Posts Tagged ‘London School of Economics’

Welcome to Lent Term!

I’m sitting in Cafe 54 on campus, sipping some coffee (only one cup — one of my NY resolutions is to cut back on caffeine consumption) and watching the hordes of people that are back on campus… it was so nice being here just a week ago when the majority of people were sleeping their lives away in their homeland. Now, once again, it’s packed and I have to use physical force to find an outlet. In any case, my first seminar of this term is done and though my brain was only 60% on, it was good to get back into the groove of things! I have a busy week ahead: on campus today from 930A to around 6P, with Tuesday and Thursday shaping up to be very similar. I’m still trying to decide on my last class for this term, so I’m sitting in on three lectures, hoping one will really stand out (Public Management of Development, African Development and Globalization & Social Policy — if you have insight, leave me a comment)!

This term is going to be a rough one, but now that I’m back in an intellectually stimulating environment, I feel much more prepared to take on assessed essays, dissertation proposals, exams, job applications and the like. I’ve also made it my goal to go to at least one LSE public lecture or partake in some cultural experience each and every week. Also, exciting (for you LSEers out there), my lovely flatmate, Lindsay, has her own radio show (‘Brunch Buffet’ on Pulse Radio) this term! If you’re an LSEer and want to show a peer some support, you can join her facebook group here!

In other news, I have a load of guests coming to visit in the next few months: my cousins are coming for a jaunt over from Malta next week; my sister & dad are coming in April (yay!) and my cousin from San Diego is coming over for a couple of months in the summer! My (overly ambitious) goal is to have my dissertation mostly completed by the first week of July so that my cousin and I can do a bit of traveling while I put the final touches on my thesis. Here’s to hoping! Send some positive energy my way <3.

Now back to work!


Boo on Reality. It’s Finally Setting In…

December is coming to a close which means January is right around the corner! Before January 11th rolls around and Lent Term begins, I have a dissertation proposal to write and a summative essay to conclude. Ideally, both will be done well (let’s all cross our fingers for distinction). On top of that, real life has begun to hit me: although last term was challenging, this term is going to be a real feat. Not only do we have to concern ourselves with normal coursework, but most of our graded coursework is due at the end of this term/beginning of Summer Term, plus we have to get a substantial start on our dissertations, plus there’s the whole job/internship situation if we actually want to put our education to use (I like to think that most of us do).

Knowing that we’ll be 100% done in 9 short months is a little daunting. Most people are leaving before then — off to law school, other professional programs or back to their homelands to send in their dissertations. Theoretically, we can all go back home in July and submit our dissertations via courier. For some of the direly homesick, this is a great option. I, on the other hand, have been wanting to drag out my European excursions for as long as humanly possible! I’m loving London life (aside from the occasional mild bout of homesickness) and have thoroughly enjoyed my ability to travel and meet some amazing people along the way. Thinking of all of this coming to an end is saddening (and an impetus to pursue a PhD). So, this term is going to be a full one: normal coursework, a trip to Cumberland Lodge with my program, a summative ‘project planning’ submission, a dissertation to begin, careers to investigate, jobs for which to apply, summative essays to submit and preparation for exams in May/June. On the bright side, I also get to look forward to some special visitors this term! My cousins are coming at the end of January for a visit, Chris is hitting up Londontown in February, and my dad and sister are coming during my break for a two-week, three to four-country mini tour (England, France, the Netherlands & maybe Scotland)! Hopefully seeing all of their bright, smiling faces will help in getting through the term and alleviating a bit of my homesickness (and hold me over until I return back to the US).

Also, I must wish my friend, Pooja, congratulations on getting her first acceptance to law school! She’s the perfect example of a girl who has her stuff together: finishing her Masters and off to start law school all before the tender age of 22 — talk about motivation! On that note, I’m off to look for jobs/PhD programs to feel like less of a delinquent.

Here’s to Lent Term and to facing reality!

On an amazingly bright note, Lent Term marks the welcoming of one Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid, and I am going to be 1st in line to see her! I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to take advantage of the university’s speakers and public lectures. We get some amazing visitors at our school (Presidents, Prime Ministers, Queens, Scholars, etc.) and now is the time to get to see them in person!

Goodnight, Moon.

London at Night

How is it that despite putting serious effort into getting to bed before 11P, I am still up at 1240A? Sadly, this is not a rarity. Having just gotten back from the Social Policy party and a concert that I attended with my flatmate, I’m finally getting ready to get some shut-eye and prepare for the very last day of term tomorrow. It’s a bit insane to think that ten weeks have already come and gone; a bit bitter-sweet, in fact. It’s actually amazing to look back on how much we’ve gained in such a short span of time and, at the same time, a bit sad to say goodbye to some friends as we go our separate ways for the holidays. That being said, I have a lot going on between now and Friday and I have some grandiose plans for the coming holiday. I tend to think that if I put all of my plans up on a public forum, I’ll be a little more inclined to follow through! Also, side note — Lindsay & I hit up Scala this evening to catch The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, a New York-based band that came into London for a show. Both the venue and the band are worth checking out!

My week is semi-jam-packed with mundane daily chores like cleaning my room, doing my laundry, packing, etc., but I’m aiming to hit the gym tomorrow, Thursday, Friday and Saturday before leaving for Malta on Sunday. Being there for five days, followed by Scotland for four days leaves me with very little time to get a proper workout in… I’m gonna bring tennis shoes on both trips to see if I can somehow get myself to go for morning runs! With tomorrow being my last official day of class (although I do have to be on campus both Thursday and Friday for other commitments), I plan on using my last few days in town to do some exploring before heading to Malta! Borough Market is on my schedule for Thursday, while Portobello Road is slated for Saturday morning! I haven’t been to either yet, but I’m hoping to find some fun gifts for the holidays… nothing makes me smile like spiced cider, vegan goodies and shopping.

I’ll share my plans for Edinburgh with you kids tomorrow — suffice it to say, I have a few things in mind and Edinburgh has some awesome Christmas markets to keep my busy! I’ve checked out a ridiculous amount of foreign aid-focused books from our library to take with my on my trips for a bit of easy reading in the evenings. I figure if I can give myself a few productive hours a day between readings, my dissertation proposal and essay-writing, I should be in good shape when Lent Term begins in January!

Catch up with you tomorrow — I’m going to leave you with this song that I can’t get out of my head.
Crooked Teeth by Death Cab for Cutie… an oldie, but a goodie.

Good night, friends!

Dick in a Box

PS. Chris asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I sent him this video… if you’re easily offended it might not be that funny, but if you think Justin Timberlake + SNL make for a funny musical duo, this one’s timeless.

Time to Revise!

Hello fellow grad students!

In light of next week’s mock exams and the revising that’s currently taking place, I found some really awesome tips on a study skills-focused website to help with revisions. Although some of it seems pretty common sensical, I still think it may be useful to some. In addition to some basic tips, the website outlines how  to leverage your learning style when studying!

Tips for Visual Learners

-Rewrite your notes as mind-maps
-Use colour to highlight important things
-Draw diagrams and sketches to help you remember points.

Tips for Auditory Learners

– Read your notes aloud
-Record yourself on cassette reading key points of your notes aloud, then listen to the tape afterwards
– Revise with other students if you can

Tips for learners who are readers and writers

– Copy out your notes
– Read your notes silently
– Rewrite the key points using different words
– Write down key points from memory.


Tips for Active Learners

– Move around the room
-Revise while working out
– Mentally review what you’ve been revising while you’re swimming or jogging


Also, I’ve found that looking through old exam papers has been incredibly useful! It’s always nice to see what questions typically arise on exams and how questions are phrased to know what you’re dealing with. Click here to check out old exam papers held in the LSE Archives.

Also (since I happen to be an auditory & visual learner), I find that revising in groups is much more effective than sitting alone in one’s room, staring at a PC and old exams. In addition to hearing other’s opinions and input on a particular topic (and being able to ask questions and expand upon topics that are confusing), working in a group tends to keep relative focus. I find that when I’m working with others for five hours, I can be pretty focused for most of it. If I’m at home by myself for five hours, half of that time will surely be dedicated to facebooking, blogging and the like. It’s always nice to have others to keep you in check!

Happy revising and good luck to everyone <3.
Hello, last week of Michaelmas term!


The Garrick — my new favorite place.

The Garrick

So, I’ve decided that I’ve mentally placed a claim on this joint. The Garrick is officially my most favorite place on campus. For anyone that hasn’t experienced its glory yet, it’s a super clean, inexpensive cafe on campus that serves loads of food: sandwiches, salads, muffins, yogurt, breakfast bites and a variety of coffees and teas to keep your brain functioning properly. You can easily grab lunch and a coffee for under £5, plus it’s a seriously great place to congregate. For being such a small campus, I was surprised to find out that there are a load of on-campus eateries including a couple of student pubs. Although there are six or so other joints, I have probably been to The Garrick every day that I’ve been on campus, either to grab my caffeine fix or to plug in and do some work. If you want to find me on campus Monday through Wednesday during non-class hours, that’s probably where I’ll be! Note: The tomato & mozzarella sandwich (heated up) at lunch is delish!

Anyone else loving on this joint?

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Scoping It Out: LSE, The British Museum & Russell Square

I started the day off incredibly well. I took a jaunt down to the LSE campus without getting lost once! I got a bit disoriented on the way back (and ended up taking a bit of a detour), but I finally felt that I knew my way around, to a certain degree. Exciting! I met up with Alex, Sarah & Lisa for a quick (self-guided) tour of LSE! Although we couldn’t get an inside look since the campus is closed on Sunday, we did manage to check out the building and get a feel for the location.

Houghton Street, WC1Houghton Street — the main entrance to LSE.

LSE EntranceEntryway to LSE on Houghton Street — the buildings were so awesome!

LSESarah, Alex, Lisa & I checking out the campus!

After our LSE excursion, we headed to Starbucks to grab some coffee and chat about our impending adventures in Munich! Sarah & her traveling buddy are heading to Munich tomorrow and Alex, Lisa and I will be meeting them there on Thursday! After our much-needed and extremely over-priced caffeine run (2GBP for a grande coffee?!), Lisa and I headed back to my area to check out the British MuseumRussell Square and run a few errands.

Russell Square was so darling! It’s a fairly small green, but it was gorgeous today with the sun shining. There were loads of people in the park, enjoying the infrequent rays and having lunch. Note to self: pack a fun lunch, grab some drinks and head to Russell Square with some friends — such a cool little place!

Russell Square Sign

Russell Square

After discovering that Russell Square sits about 8 minutes from my flat, we headed towards the British Museum (which sits at the corner of Museum Street & Great Russell) to pop in for a minute. Luckily, all national museums in the UK are free so we didn’t feel bad leaving after a few short minutes — I’ll have to head back on a weekday when everyone and their mom isn’t hanging out there! Bonus: I found out that the museum is down the street from my flat — 5 minutes walking down Museum Street!

British Museum

We ended with a late lunch (jacket potato for me, fish & chips for her) at a nearby pub (the Prince of Wales on Drury Lane), and met a darling bartender who sat down to explain to use how the phone systems work! And now? Now I’m sitting in my bed, drinking pretty disgusting instant coffee & loving every second. Tomorrow’s agenda? Hit up HSBC in the AM  to get my account taken care of, followed by a trip to Oasis Sports Centre next door to join the gym! Afterwards, I may take a jaunt to the Whole Foods Market in Soho to gather some groceries for the week.

Three more days in London, then heading to Germany on Thursday!

Signature Stamp - Shannon

To check out more pictures from London, click here!

Disappointment on the Funding Front…

Alright, so let me preface this with the fact that I’m still overjoyed that I was accepted to the LSE. It’s an amazing institution — I’m totally 100% aware of that. Now let me say how disappointed I am to find out that I didn’t get any grant-type funding from the school. I had planned on taking out loans to fund my education, but after finding out that they have a certain amount of money to allocate to students through their Graduate Support Scheme (GSS), I was really, truly hopeful! They state that they grant between 2000 – 10,000 GBP for students with financial need & circumstances that merit grant money. Well, let me say — I definitely could use the funds based on the “financial need” criteria, but I think I may have applied a bit late. The funds are limited and with the economy being as crappy as it is, I know that everyone and their mom is applying for funding. Boo. I re-sent some valuable information with the hopes that I’ll be able to acquire SOME funding (anything!!), but I won’t know for a bit… Cross your fingers for me! $40,000 is a decent chunk to have to pay back in loans…

Anyone know of any scholarships or funding that I can apply for?

Shannon needs MONEY! <3.