Franz Gilbert: Post 4

Franz Gilbert
London School of Economics
London, England
Fall 2021

Study View for Formatives

I am back in the United States for the next few weeks for the holidays and am extremely excited to get some much-needed rest. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the formative assignments are extensive – taking up considerable time – and that routine did not let up into my last week at LSE. I ended up spending a lot of time on campus studying, and you can see the views are amazing. Until I was on the plane, I was in a constant state of running from one thing to the next and making sure I was getting all my assignments done, while balancing the Christmas events for all of the societies I am a part of.

East India Club

I was able to attend a formal Christmas ball at the famous East India Club (EIC). The founders of the East India Trading Company started this club. Inside the club, there were small pieces of British history scattered throughout. It felt more like a museum than a social club. I got into an interesting conversation with some members of the club about their all-male policy and how they recently had a vote to go co-ed – which did not pass. I could not help but compare the EIC to HSC in this way. A lot of the members of the EIC went to all-male institutions and value single-sex education, so I was not getting the bizarre looks that all Hampden-Sydney men are accustomed to getting when explaining the college.

British Courts

I walk past the British Courts every day on the way to LSE, and there is occasionally some sort of activity going on due to the cases being considered. The above pictures show how protestors tied yellow ribbons to the fencing to protest the Assange extradition hearings. Unlike the US meaning of the yellow ribbon (e.g., tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree) to support the troops, in Europe (and other parts of the world), the yellow ribbons are used as a sign to support Democracy. This was made popular in 2014 with the Hong Kong Democracy protests.

Lacrosse – A Co-Ed Social Event

Before I left, I played in a lacrosse match against Imperial College. I am proud to announce we won. Lacrosse in Britain is minor compared to the United States and it is more about the social aspect. Either way, it was a fantastic way to close out the semester.

Coming Home

I was fortunate enough to fly back to the states before Omicron significantly hit and looking back on it, I got out just in time. Most of my dorm, the week after I left, came down with the COVID variant and the college went on lockdown. I hope everyone is recovering quickly and all the lockdowns are cleared up by the new year, so my amazing experience at the LSE can continue. I wish all of you a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. 

Until next year…