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an image of a small river through Edinburgh

Hello! I am writing this blog during my mid-term break on my FSP! We have a five-day break to travel anywhere we please; my classmates have gone to Italy, France, and even Morocco—I'm in Edinburgh, Scotland.

an image of a church and statue in Edinburgh
What a beautiful city!

It's hard to believe that I am already halfway through my adventure abroad; the journey so far has felt like a dream and a blur all at once. The speed at which Dartmouth terms go seems to be universal, no matter which country my classes are in. From rushing to concerts to preparing for classes to cooking meals at 10 PM, the experience has taught me to be kinder to myself, as not every city-going venture is going to end up perfectly, nor is every practice session going to be mistake-less or even productive. I put high expectations on myself, both in music and life in general, but the unpredictability of the city, the events that we're going to, and the burden of a long commute have allowed me to be more forgiving of the circumstances.

Here are some highlights of the FSP so far:

Going to the Seven Sisters Cliffs – This was the first time I planned a day trip out of London, and I think that the circumstances ended up beautifully! The weather was beautiful, the hike was fantastic, and although the journey was exhausting, I was happy it ended so well.

Seeing Van Gogh and Monet at the National Gallery – Seeing so much art in London has been a huge highlight for me, and I still have so many other places to check out. Art for me is a very important part, and it's great to feel re-inspired musically and expressively through the art I see.

an image of a Monet painting of boats on a river

Listening to my classmates' mid-term presentations – This past week, we got to present to our classmates to show the progress we've made and the plans that we have for our FSP performances at the end of the term, as well as our journeys as musicians. The passion that everyone has for their musical crafts inspires me so much, and I hope to work on my own and share my passion, too.

Taking piano lessons – I truly appreciate that my teacher genuinely cares about my progress even for the short time we have together; they are squeezing me into their tight schedules. I've never met a piano teacher who laughs as much as my piano teacher on this FSP, and it's helped me re-realize the joy that can come from classical piano.

With only half of the FSP left, I hope I get to do most of the things I want to do (I have yet to spend a day at the British Museum…perhaps I am saving the best for last)! Even if I don't, I've gotten so much out of living here, even just for half a term. As I took the coach to Edinburgh last night, I felt very lucky to be at Dartmouth, living this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

A view in the Royal Albert Hall
A view of the Royal Albert Hall, where we watched Verdi's Requiem recently!

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