Wow I have no idea what week I am on anymore. The Christmas & New Year period have thrown me way off my week by week so I'm just going to pick up from last week and do a quick summary of what I've been up to.
Some of you may be familiar with the dreaded January exams. You have to revise over the holidays, you don't want to, there's always mince pies to distract you, your books get lost under wrapping paper, they are always the worst. Anyway, it seems that my programme decided that a nice long break between classes and our assessment (a group debate, 2 essays & a presentation) would mean that we would have plenty of time to work on it. Sadly most of us had no idea what we're doing so January has started off with a mad rush to have group meetings and writing gibberish in the hopes that it will turn into an essay. One thing that I have found difficult is balancing work, life & study. Working full time really kills your motivation for any further work away, and personally I want to spend my weekends exploring, so finding the time for study can be difficult. Thankfully we have Martin Luther King Junior Day soon so I am using the extra day of the weekend to write as much of my essay as possible in the hopes that I can get it all done before I go home at the end of January.
As it is a three day weekend,I wanted to use the time to do something fun. What could be more fun than going to the Broadway Comedy Club with friends? We got seated in the front row which was a bit daunting but we had fun. Although some of the acts weren't great it was a fun way to spend the evening and reasonably cheap ($10 with TodayTix plus 2 drink minimum). I also attended another Ellevate networking event which was a panel discussion on Defining Success. It was a lot of fun and had some very thought-provoking discussions and questions. These types of event are essential if you want to build a professional network outside of work, and can actually be very helpful in your career. You can read about the event here.
I also took a trip to Princeton University, somewhere I wanted to visit as it is so close to New York and because a I got inspiration from one on my favourite films. In the film a little girl asks her father "Where do princesses' go to college?" and he comes up with, in my personal opinion, one of the best lines ever "They go where the princes go, they go to Princeton". From my place in New Jersey it is pretty easy to get there too, and I got some tips from my flatmate who is actually in the process of applying to the Woodrow Wilson school of Public Policy's graduate programme. I hopped on the PATH to Newark (changing at Grove Street), which actually takes you right to Newark Penn Station. I went and grabbed my ticket and then took the NJ Transit to Princeton Junction. From there you have to take the "Dinky", a one carriage train that, on boarding, makes you feel like you've got on a train in the 1960s, to take you up to the university.
On arrival at Princeton I decided to head just outside of the university grounds to Albert Einstein's house. He was a professor at Princeton for many years and online it looked like his house was a museum. Turns out it is a private residence so I took a quick photo and headed back to the main high street. As a quick word of warning most of the shops in Princeton are closed until 11am or 12pm on Sundays with the exception of Starbucks (bless that American institution), so I managed to get a coffee and a sandwich to warm me up (-11 celsius, what fun). After that I headed to Labryinth bookstore which was similar to Blackwells in Oxford in the fact that I spent an hour there just browsing the many many shelves. I then popped next door to the Princeton University Store. Afterwards I headed to the Princeton University Art Museum, a great little museum, with a very impressive collection of medieval art. I then did a tour of the university, learning about the beautiful buildings and former students (including Woodrow Wilson), before heading back to New York. Even if you're not interested in the university, Princeton is an easy day trip and is an absolutely beautiful little town in New Jersey so I would definitely recommend visiting if you can.
That's all for now. I am swamped by work at the moment so I may not have much time to write in the next few weeks. At some point I will catch up I promise!