Exploring the city

Trip Start May 04, 2007
Trip End May 21, 2007

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Monday, May 7, 2007

After breakfast headed out to find St. Peters church, the final resting place of Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein).  We wove our way through the town center and located the church, also found a plaque that noted Percy Bysshe Shelley's heart was also buried with Mary Shelley (!).  The church itself was beautiful and the cemetery behind the church was interesting, including the grave of the first vicar of Bournemouth & the founder of British Columbia.
From there we set off to find St. Stephens church (where a prince of Norway was married in 1888).  Upon entering the church we were informed that a concert was about to begin (with a 5 pound admission fee...$10).  The man inside was so helpful, providing us with a brief background on the church and encouraging us to return for a later concert if we were'nt able to stay for this one. He said that this church was actually constructed to appear much older (as you can see by the gothic architecture) than it actually is.
We found some other churches along the way and took pictures of these as well.
We also wandered through Bournemouth gardens; a quite long swath of land with a canal down the center. The flora was amazing and there was a small castle-like monument and a memorial to the veterans of WWI and WWII (see poppy wreaths in picture). !).  I took some pictures along the way, including many of the gorgeous flowers (some were quite unusual and prehistoric looking).  Strangely enough, even the litter was interesting!  The discarded cigarette packs caught my eye; the labels are not too subtle about the health warnings are they?!
As we headed back, we stopped at Thornton's chocolates (quite a famous chocolatier in the UK), then to  lunch at the "Slug and Lettuce Café" (love the title!).  And, after purchasing a bit of candy at Thornton's, I noticed that on the back of the package, there are separate recommendations for caloric intake for men/women noted.
We returned to the hotel and they went to the home of Louise Spencer (an arts faculty member at BPC) in Poole (a neighboring town a few miles away).  Along the way we paused to notice a placard marking an area that was once the home of the author Robert Louis Stevenson.
 Louise and her significant other (Chris) served us a wonderful dinner of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding (gravy in a bread "cup"), cheesy cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. For desert, she served summer pudding, which was an incredible raspberry cake filled with raspberries & blueberries (with cream over the top). It was wonderful.  After dinner we walked around the area and went to the Bermuda triangle (a local pub) to talk "shop." 
We discussed some of the differences in our degree programs/educational system while there and we tried to figure out which degrees/steps were equivalent in our two systems.  It appears that the 6th form  (students course of study after age 16 up until 19) might be similar to our associate degrees.  It is at this step that students in the UK begin to specialize in their degree programs and plan to attend university or to participate in vocational program.  Students can also elect to complete a "foundation degree" (2 years) then complete an additional year (a "top up" year) in order to finish with a BA Honours.  These first 2 years are completed at BPC, but are essentially credited as university level courses (BPC works with Bournemouth university).  For the 3rd year, students often have to move to another university to complete their honors BA.  We also discussed the administrative structure of BPC and compared some of the roles/functions of  faculty/administrative positions.
We took a taxi back to the hotel (I almost wrote home!) and are getting ready for tomorrow; we start at 9am.
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