Friday, December 16, 2016

Finals are Over and I am Home!


After an incredibly stressful two weeks I am home! Dead week and finals were much more intense this year, and I am so glad they are over. 

I had to write four essays, two were 10 pages long and two were six pages. I also had a Personal Finance Exam. The essays as a whole weren't bad, but I really struggled with one in particular. My roommate and I affectionately called it "the essay from hell." I turned it in on Tuesday, and am trying not to think about it until grades come back. 

I flew home last night and was welcomed back to Alaska by 19 degree weather and snow. It was amazing! My friend drove me to the airport, and on the way we stopped in Tacoma to get bubble tea. She consented to me posting a picture of her; so here we are at the airport:

I am spending my first day home getting in the Christmas spirit. I baked sugar cookies and gingerbread, and wrapped Christmas presents. I swear my dog gave me a sarcastic look when I turned on the Christmas music. 

I can't believe there are 18 days left before I head to Manchester! Now I need to start preparing in earnest.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

When Life Gets in the Way


I know I promised a Thanksgiving update, but college got the best me. I got back to school on Sunday after an amazing visit home, but this week has felt like a whole year. 

Over break I spent time with family, ate far too much food, and watched all of the Gilmore Girls revival with my sister. It was exactly what was needed, and I am so happy that I got to go home. 

My friend picked me up from the airport and we went back to her house to eat the Pecan Pie Cheesecake that her brother made, it was my third Thanksgiving, and I can say that I do not regret that decision at all. We got back to school around 7:30 pm and I have been doing homework ever since. 

This week was incredibly busy, even though next week is Dead Week. I worked a bunch, and have assignments coming out of my ears. Part of my job consists of throwing events, so on Thursday night I hosted an event about creating civil dialogues. It wasn't well attended, but I went through the program anyway and it went great. Friday, I was on a panel that presented to the Board of Regents. It was a very brief presentation, but I had a really great time doing it. 

Today I helped a professor lead a cooking event for her class. The students selected four recipes to make, and partnered up to prepare the various dishes. It was so much fun, and the students made great food! The best part was that I got to eat the food without helping that much, it sounds terrible but I was excited about it. 

Currently, I am sitting in my friends' room while we have a paper writing party. We ordered $50 of 50% off pizza and ate it to mask our feelings of deep despair regarding Finals week. 

On a more exciting travel note: I finally have more information about Manchester! We had a group meeting detailing our travel arrangements and the schedule for the entire month. It is incredibly exciting! To add to the joy of this meeting, Santa showed up. The restaurant we were at had Santa come to take pictures with kids, and our table happened to be right next to it. There is nothing quite as weird as talking about a study away trip while Santa is asking a small child what they are most looking forward to for Christmas. 

Exactly one month until I leave for Manchester!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I Flew Over Thanksgiving?


I know what you are thinking, why did you think flying over Thanksgiving was a good idea? Simple answer really, I missed my family and I wanted to go home. 

I was scheduled to fly out of Seattle on Wednesday afternoon, later than I wanted, but I had classes on Wednesday. Turns out the classes that I have on Tuesdays and Wednesdays got cancelled at the last minute, so I had two free days at school to do my homework. I tried a few times to change my flight, but last minute flight changes are expensive! So now, I'm sitting in the airport waiting for my flight. 

My friend very graciously offered to drive me to the airport, after I told her I would buy her coffee and feed her. It worked out well in my favor, as she agreed to drive me. We left school 4 hours before my flight was supposed to leave, and the drive is 45 minutes so I got to Sea-Tac at 1:00. I was fully prepared to wait forever in a Security line. After all, the first line I was in looked like this:

I got moved to another line, and made it through security in 15 minutes, the fastest I have ever gotten through security in Sea-Tac. I found my gate and now I'm waiting the 2 1/2 hours until my flight departs. 

I absolutely cannot wait to get home! I hope you have a fantastic holiday! Keep your eyes peeled for a thrilling update of the Mellish Family Thanksgiving extravaganza. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why I'm Not Moving to Canada (But Will Still Help You If You Are)

Warning: This is going to be political.


I started off yesterday wanting to have a really great dinner and watch our first woman president be elected. Instead, I ate breakfast tacos and watched in horror as Donald Trump became the president-elect. 

My roommate and I stayed up late waiting desperately for the election results, trying to calculate everything that would need to happen for Hillary Clinton to become elected. After we found out that she had called Trump to concede, my roommate and I began to cry. Not just for the historic moment lost, but for the change we are about to see in the United States. 

This is not to say that I agree with everything that Hillary Clinton has said and done, but I do not agree with anything Donald Trump has said and done. 

Although this election has made my stomach crawl on many occasions, last night was the worst. I laid in bed hoping that this was all a bad dream, but I woke up this morning and it was not. 

I spent the majority of last night texting my family, trying to stay connected, even though we are 3,000 miles apart. My parents went to bed before I did, and my dad texted something to me that really stuck:

This reminder that one person, and one administration, cannot determine how I live my life is the reason that I will not be moving to Canada. I am taking this opportunity to prove to everyone out there that told me I couldn't do something because I am a girl wrong. 

The results of this election show me that in order to make a difference you need to take a bigger chance. I am no longer going to allow myself to quiet my beliefs because they make others uncomfortable. I think it is time to be true to my authentic self: A 19 year old college feminist who has dreams to change the world. And, I'm not going to let anyone stop me. 


We will now return to our regular scheduled programming of Anglophilia. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

It's Starting To Feel Real!


This whole trip is really starting to feel more real!!! Yesterday the study away center sent out emails letting us know that they have our plane tickets, and today we had our first group meeting to discuss the trip.

I didn't realize how nervous I was about everything until after the meeting. It was just a brief informational overview, but it really helped clarify some things. The professors told us about the different national identities in the United Kingdom, the currency system, and how the government works. It was a lot of information, but incredibly informative.

Apparently due to Brexit, we will be in Manchester during a "tumultuous time." The professors were quick to assuage any worries that we had, highlighting the fact that the value of the pound has dropped so it will be cheaper for us to be there. I don't know if this is reassuring or not, but its nice to think about.

The presentation had tons of pictures of Manchester, and we got a few more details about where we will be staying, and what kind of place Manchester is. If everything goes according to plan the hotel we are staying in is next to the best pub in Manchester. At least, this is according to the professors, I have no way to corroborate this, but I believe them.

I also got to learn a little more about where Manchester is located. It is in northwest England, and is apparently perfectly situated to travel to other places. I don't know how much of this I will be doing, but it is really nice to know.

The travel aspect of the trip is interesting. We are meeting in Seattle, and then flying to Amsterdam, and then Amsterdam to Manchester. The flight to Amsterdam is 10 1/2 hours, I can honestly say that I am not excited about that. Amsterdam to Manchester is 1 1/2, which is going to feel like nothing after the long flight. Not to mention the fact that I have to fly from Alaska to Seattle earlier that day. The best part, in my opinion, is that although we leave Manchester (at 5:55 am!) we land in Seattle on the same day. Time zones are confusing!

I have a countdown going for when we leave. I can't believe that I get to say that I will be leaving for England in 66 days!


Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Preparations Begin


My name is Madeline Scully and I am a sophomore at Pacific Lutheran University. I am an English and Global Studies double major with a French minor, so most of my life is consumed with school work. It sounds thrilling, I know. When I’m not trying to cram 4 hours of reading into a night, I am usually attending one of the on campus events, participating in band, or bumming food off of my friends.

I am from Palmer Alaska, a relatively small town in the south central region of the state. In high school I was part of the IB Program, whose mission statement can be shortened to: the production of global citizens. As a result of the importance put on being part of a global community, I became interested in studying away in college. This wasn’t my only motivation for studying away though. My great-grandmother, and grandmother, were born in Germany. As a little kid I was obsessed with hearing anything that my grandmothers would tell about Europe. I think that the realization that you didn’t have to be born in the United States sparked my interest in studying, and living in another country.

I recently applied (and got accepted) to a study away program through my university.

In January I will be heading to Manchester with a small group of students and two professors. We will be in England for the entire month exploring Manchester and learning about the Industrial Revolution. From what I understand, most of the program is walking tours and museums, which happen to be two of my favorite things.

This class is a Literature/Communications/Political Science credit; however, I don't need any of those credits for my general education requirements.  Instead, I am adapting this study away opportunity to fit the requirements for my Global Studies major. According to my advisor, as long as I complete all of my assignments with an International Affairs focus this program will count for study away credit to Global Studies. I think that this is an amazing trade off to go to England!

Not only am I going to Manchester in January; I will be studying away in Oxford for six months in 2018! I still can’t believe that I get to go on two amazing trips in just two years. One of the things I am most excited about is experiencing the same culture from two different places. I am fascinated by the difference location plays in culture, especially living part time in both Washington and Alaska.

I cannot wait to share my adventures in England, and I though the best way to start was to begin this narrative at the beginning of my experience.

Here is to waiting out the next 3 months until I get to Manchester!