Leadership in Literary London

Leadership in Literary London


>>ALEXANDRA APICELLA: The summer in London,
it was the Literary London program. And that was — I took a creative writing
course and then a course on the writings of Jane Austen. And that was really cool to be able to read
like Jane Austen’s books in the place where she wrote them. Because London, you know, it’s a literary
culture hub, so if you’re an English major there’s obviously something that you can do
there. But also, being a women’s studies major, Jane
Austen is a female writer, so I got credit for that. The program, I think, is mostly centered around,
you know, cultural life in London. So, the theatre is a huge thing, you got tickets
to shows in London. And we saw like “Twelfth Night,” we saw “Hamlet,”
“Romeo & Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “Antony and Cleopatra.” We saw like six or seven shows, like a couple
of them in the West End itself. So I didn’t have to really be in the Shakespeare
class to participate in this, so you don’t feel left out if you’re not taking that class. You didn’t really have to understand the Shakespeare
either to appreciate the art that goes into the theatre and the acting. It wasn’t my first time in London, but I was
there in London with a group of students from Miami, many of whom had never left the country
before, and more of whom had never even been in a big city before. So when you’re put into a position, you’re
in a group and you’re the one with the more experience, you emerge as a leader, because
you know how to navigate a city in a country that people have never been to. So you get certain leadership skills in that
kind of position, where it’s, okay, so I know how to get to point A from point B, and I
have to make sure that everyone else gets there as well, despite them not knowing how
to use the transportation. When you are in a place for a certain amount
of time, you get like desensitized to it. You take for granted, you know, X, Y, and
Z, but when you’re there with someone who has never experienced it before, you gain
a new perspective because somebody will notice something that you have never even thought
about before. And whether that’s like language differences
— like people were noticing that people say “ta” instead of “thank you” sometimes — they
were like, “What does that mean?” and I’m like, “Oh, it just means thank you.” I’ve never thought of it as being — you’re
really, like — you’re experiencing a completely different scenario, essentially, when you’re
traveling with people who have never been there, and I think that that’s probably what
makes it part of like most enjoyable. It’s really different. Of course you get the leadership skills, you
get like really listening to your peers, and, yeah — on top of all of that taking classes
and living in a big city.

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