2016 Year in Review

My first full year away from home, 2016, involved many experiences that worked to mature and shape me as a growing adult. My involvements on campus helped me to meet a lot of new people and really enjoy my time on campus. This pushed me to stay and take a May class that I was interested in. Professionally, I faced a major challenge. I began my exam process for the Society of Actuaries. In April, I failed the first actuarial exam. Although the exams all have pass rates less than 50%, I underestimated their difficulty. This made me realize how difficult the process would be, and I passed that exam in August. Passing this exam was a huge relief and even a motivator to keep pushing forward. During this fall semester, I applied to a few places where that offered very meaningful internships. I received interviews with most of these companies, but did not receive an offer at any. This hurt me mentally, but it also made me realize how much harder I would have to work to make sure I get one of these top tier internships next year. To do so, I plan on taking two actuarial exams this upcoming summer. It will be a very difficult and trying summer, but if I am successful with it I will put myself in a great position moving forward.

On top of these actuarial specific challenges, I pushed myself to get more involved on campus and enjoy my limited time here. My involvements include working on campus, volunteering with the women’s basketball team, joining a fraternity, intramural sports, and working as a peer adviser for freshman in actuarial science. These have helped me meet a lot of new people, learn new things, and really turn Ohio State into a place I feel like I can call home.

Moving forward, my challenges will include passing the next two actuarial exams and securing an internship I want so that I can make myself as valuable as possible when looking for a full time job after college. I will also push myself to do more on campus to continue to learn and grow as a person.

Machine Gun – Post Trip

England proved to be advanced in warfare weapons early on when they used machine guns in The Battle of Omdurman before their enemies had any weapons of such power and efficiency. Through museums and galleries in England I got to see of the weapons and the development of weapons in England over time. It was unbelievable being able to see real weapons that were used by soldiers in England so long ago. The amount of swords and armor stood out to me much more in person that they did in a textbook because it is then that I realized how brutal war must have been when soldiers had to be face to face with an enemy and fight to the death. I am used to thinking of war today as very strategic with the use of technology to pinpoint exactly where to strike from a distance with advanced weapons. The closest that the British troops had to this long ago was bow and arrows, canons, and weaker guns. This made me realize how huge of an advancement the machine gun that they used was. Fighting with the early weapons that I saw against an army armed with machine guns would be nearly impossible. I understand that England is not the dominant military force in the world today and that the United States has that reputation, but I can understand how huge England’s advancements were a long time ago.



Operating Theater – Post Trip

I got the chance to go by St. Thomas Hospital in London. The original St. Thomas Hospital is now just a church, while a more modern building was built, referred to as the St. Thomas Hospital that is used today. It was in the original St. Thomas Hospital where major medical advancements were made. These advancements were pushed forward in the operating theater, where surgery was performed on people in front of a large crowd of students.

I learned more about the medical advancements in England at the Museum of Science. Almost half of an entire floor was dedicated to the medical history of England. England made strong advancements in the use of prosthetic limbs before other countries did. Although they did have many failures with this practice, they learned from their mistakes to create a world of new technology that aids those who do not have working limbs. England made advancements early on in all sorts of medical practice, including medication, diabetes, and brain abnormalities according to the Museum of Science in London. It is for this reason that even today they are ranked second in the world in most medically advanced countries according to Forbes. The United States is at the top of this list, which makes sense to me because I understand that an unbelievable amount of research and development is done in the United States. I do think it is very cool that both the United States and England are ranked highly in this category because I find it to be an important one.


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Soccer Ticket – Post Trip

The futbol match that we went to in London was the first soccer game I have ever been to. I have been to plenty of basketball, baseball, and american football games in the United States so I was eager to compare the sporting events. We were served a nice lunch before the game, and even introduced to a former professional goalie which was an exciting start to the event.

In the stadium, I was very impressed with the energy and spirit of the crowd. They were almost all wearing clothes that supported their team. There were even cheers that almost everyone in the crowd seemed to know and do together.

The soccer game was much more exciting than I had expected. I found myself and those around me, who previously never watched much soccer, to be very focused and into the game. Every time something exciting was happening, the energy of the crowd itself would have me on the edge of my seat. There were only 2 goals throughout the entire game which sounds boring, but it was actually a lot of fun. Even though the match ended in a tie, the crowd gave the home team a standing ovation for their performance, which I respected rather than the fans being upset that the game did not result in a win. I find that at most of the sporting events I go to in America, winning is the only thing that will get the crowd to cheer for the home team after the game.



Overall Trip Artifact

An artifact that would describe my trip as a whole is tea. Before going to London, I had tried tea only a handful of times. When I did have it at home, it would usually be in my kitchen because my sister would have me try it. I never had it when I went out to a restaurant or social gathering. What I learned is that there is a very social atmosphere in London. It was not uncommon to sit down at breakfast for an extra half hour or so after eating to drink tea and talk with my classmates. It was also very common to go out to a restaurant or pub for hours to sit down, eat, and talk with classmates. If this was done in the morning or afternoon, we would all usually have tea to sip on while we hung out. Throughout the trip, I spent almost no time in my hotel room because I was always out and about with classmates. I was extremely surprised to see how close I had come to classmates that I barely knew throughout the semester. I account this for the amount of time we went out together to try new things and dive into the culture of London together. I can definitely see myself staying at the dining halls or restaurants with my friends much longer to relax and socialize like we did in England every single day, rather than getting the bill and leaving as soon as we can. I enjoyed the social environment of London much more than I could have expected, I believe that is what made the trip so special for me.



The Gallows – Post Trip

Throughout our tours through the museums and other places around the city, I learned a lot about the use of gallows and other execution methods in England. Punishing people by death seemed to be a common occurrence in the history of England. People would be executed for minor crimes, or even what seemed to be no crime at all. These instances include those who were sent to bring a bad message to the king could be executed for being the teller of bad news, or when a king would wanted a new wife so he would have his old wife sentenced to death.

The gallows were popular, but used in ways I had not known previously. Instead of hanging someone to kill them with the gallows, they were used to torture people before death, which is terrifying. People would be hung until they nearly die, and then they would be drawn and quartered. This punishment was used on the more serious criminals, but it is still brutal and horrifying to imagine that it was actually done in a dominant society in the past.

The gallows were not the only tool used to execute criminals, but they do seem to be one of the most used and well known.



Train Ticket – Post Trip

My train ticket was one of the most necessary things to have in London. I took the train several times every day. The efficiency of the tube stations amazed me. My first night in London was New Years Eve. After the firework celebration, there was a crowd that must have consisted of thousands of people. Most of these people were heading to the tube station to go home. I almost never had to come to a stop when I was walking to the train because of how well everything was run to get the mass amount of people onto the trains. The tube maps appeared to be confusing when I looked at them before I went on the trip, but they turned out to be very clear and effective. I almost never had a problem getting to where I wanted to be in the city just by following the map.

I saw a massive tool used to dig out the land so that underground trains could be implemented. Some of the trains go so low into the ground that my ears would pop when I was down there so it must have been difficult to build such a complex system of train routes. I was impressed with how little the train system interfered with the city, for it takes up such a small amount of space above ground. Overall, the train system was very impressive and definitely necessary to travel around the city.



St. Paul’s Cathedral – Post Trip

St. Paul’s Cathedral was the first major place we visited in London. I was quickly taken back by power this building embraced. It appears to be a very simply made building, for it has not serious technology within it. Although simply made, it is a massive and beautiful building. It surprised me that a building so well built and so large could have been made hundreds of years ago. This showed me how serious religion was in England. The people who designed and built the building must have felt a strong devotion to their religion to go through with such an operation. Christianity is still the official religion of England today, which I found odd because The United States does not have an official religion so I have been raised to think that a country should not be involved in religious topics.

Inside the church, there was mass being held. This shows that even though it is not a typical local church, it serves the purpose of a church. It was also a very popular sight for tourists. This was shown when we had to pay to get in. St. Paul’s Cathedral opened my mind early on in the trip to the wonders that people could have built with such little technology, as well as how The United States differs from England in terms of including religion into society.


Train Ticket – Annotation

My train ticket, which is also known as an oyster card, will allow me to ride the trains, or tubes, in London. These can be bought to allow one to get on a train for a single ride, a day, a week, a month, or a year for example. I will use it to get into the tubes and around London.

Futbol Ticket – Annotation

The futbol ticket is a ticket to see Charlton Athletic vs. Nottingham Forest. This is a professional soccer match that will be played in Charlton Stadium which is in London. The game will be played on January 2nd, 2015.