The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Friday, March 25, 2011

London Centre, Fall 1980, Part 4

Ball State University London Centre Students, Fall 1980

September 9, 1980

Today we discussed Hamlet and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's field trip when we will see the play. After class I didn't do much, but I was happy to see my weekly allowance. I discovered that if you are fairly stern about it you can get the British cashiers to make change.





September 10, 1980

Today's field trip was a lot of fun. I learned a great deal. I was impressed at Coventry by the cathedral turned war memorial. It made me think to see the word FORGIVE on the wall of that gutted building and to think why it's there. Dr. Lindblad said you would either love or hate the new cathedral attached to the old one. To me it was very beautiful indeed and an interesting contrast to some of the older cathedrals I've seen or seen pictures of. To me it was no less impressive, awe inspiring or holy than any of these. But I can also see why people of Coventry would nickname the steeple Radio Coventry. That spindly spire was one of the few things I disliked about the cathedral. Frankly, the very newness of this structure makes it memorable. Older ones manage to look very similar by comparison.
Moving on, the home of Shakespeare's wife to be caught my imagination more than Shakespeare's home did because so many of the furnishings were originals owned by her family. To me this is much more interesting than just "furnishings of the period." I picked up on a couple of things at her home more than the others. One was the overhead meat rack in the living room where guests were received. This was an indication to the newly arrived guest that he was welcome and that there was food in the house if meat hung from this rack and that he should make a hasty retreat if there wasn't. It had me very surprised to find that the thatch roof weighs many tons and only needs changed about every thirty years. But my favorite piece of information for the day was the phrase "More power to your elbow," which was referring to a jug of leather that you drank from while it was slung over your forearm and your elbow raised high. The play that evening was very good. I'd only seen one Shakespeare play before this and this was a real experience. The late ride home was also a real experience!!



William Shakespeare's boyhood home.




[Reviewing the slides, I was reminded how film was carried and processed and why the numbers of photos at each place was limited. Remember, with slide film, you had canisters with 12, 24, or 36 shots per roll. Each roll was carried, along with my camera equipment, in my backpack. You had no idea if you had taken a good or bad shot when filming and with a limited number of images available per roll, you tended to be conservative with the shots you took. In this case, the rolls I was carrying had to last 13 weeks. You tried to take the best views to capture the whole experience. However, as you could not see them until they were developed weeks or months later, you received no confirmation that your efforts were good or input suggesting you needed to change your approach. So images were far fewer and no corrective photos were possible. That is very different from today and I still find it hard to shake that photography mindset, which comes from years of experience. I was stunned the other day when at a recent event lasting 4 hours a friend of ours took over 200 digital shots. That possibility would have never entered my mind. It is interesting to note what impacts our lives and our habits as we grow! -- Of course, another reason the shots shown here are few is that it take a while to scan slides ... it seems, technology shapes action.]

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