I finally bit the bullet and bought a voucher for internet in my room. It was too much trouble running around with my laptop looking for free wireless. At this point I only need a week, which is 8 pounds. For two weeks it’s 12 pounds – well, actually for a month it’s 12, but you can only get either a week or a month.
This morning’s lectures were fairly interesting. Andy talked about the problem of publishing monographs (i.e, very expensive) and how publishing electronically would be an improvement. Also someone from John Wiley & Sons talked about online learning systems, causing some heated debate with our dean who doesn’t like the idea of online universities, despite the fact that this is the only way some people get to earn a degree.
After lunch we to the British Library for a tour.
It’s a beautiful space, but it’s definitely not a public library. You have to bascially apply to be able to use the books, and you can’t just use the space, you have to be using the materials. It’s more like special collections (rare books and manuscripts, art monographs, etc.).
The guide was smart but had somewhat of a superiority complex. He said everything in a joking way, but who knows. He made fun of American English spelling – like dropping “u” from “color” so that a British person wouldn’t be able to find “The Color Purple” in their system – yeah cuz “programme” makes a lot more sense than “program.” He also seemed to have no idea about the Kindle. And he wasn’t old. Maybe in his late 40s.
After the tour, we all stayed to check out the rare books on display, including the Magna Carta. Very cool.
I was going to go to the National Gallery but it was already 5 by the time I left the British Library and I thought it closed at 6 (actually 9 on Thursdays). I just started walking in that general direction, then stopped for a yogurt. Looking through my London book I saw that the British Museum was open till 8:30.
It was very close walking distance, and I spent almost 2 hours there. It reminded me of both the American Museum of Natural History and the Met, but on a smaller scale. I especially liked the exhibit on different clocks through the ages, contemporary Korean ceramics, the mummies, and the Parthenon.
I got back to my area around 8. I felt like hearty Asian food again – the weather has become quite chilly – and stopped at what looked like fast food Japanese, Sushi and Bento. I was planning on getting udon noodle soup but opted for curry chicken with rice. It was good! Exactly what I wanted, and at 4.50 pounds, not too pricey.
So tonight I’ve been on internetting for hours! I caught up on emails and as you can see, have been updating my blog. I was going to download my pictures, but I am suddenly really tired.
Tomorrow: lectures, then a visit to Thomas Reuters.