the semester of a lifetime

evansville, IN. thoughts and discoveries while exploring this beautiful world. harlaxton college. grantham, england.

Four months in Europe summed up in a video under 10 minutes! Makes us want to relive it all. 

After an amazing 10 days in Italy with some great people, the long journey home has officially begun! Next stop, London and then ‘Merica on Saturday!! ❤️💙🇺🇸 (at Rome International Airport, Italy)
When in Rome (at Fontana di Trevi)
👋 hey Pisa  (at Leaning Tower of Pisa)
Saying goodbye is never easy. But this has got to be one of the toughest yet. Wednesday was a whirlwind, even more so than the past couple of weeks have been. Last minute planning for Italy, studying for the British studies final, and spending every last minute with friends watching movies in the manor took precedence over sleep on Tuesday night. The final ended at 11:30am, marking the conclusion of the academic semester at the most amazing school, and the end of my junior year of college. 

Students filed into the refectory for one final lunch together in the manor. It was the sub-par pizza, usually served once a week. But I would give anything to eat another cafeteria meal of mystery meat, potatoes in all varieties, and a cup of tea. Jillian, Emily, and Abby stood on their chairs and led the entire hall in singing ‘The Garden Song,’ a song Kingsley taught to us upon our arrival at Harlaxton. 

"Inch by inch and row by row,
We’re gunna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.

Inch by inch and row by row,
Someone bless these seeds I sow.
Someone warm them from below,
Till the rains come tumbling down.”

What seemed a little cheesy 15 weeks ago now almost brought tears to my eyes as I was flooded with memories of the entire semester. Kingsley was right, we had grown our ‘garden’. Harlaxton spring 2014 had grown into a family. No matter the age, major, home university, or personality, we all fit together. The faculty and their families included. The one thing we had in common was Harlaxton. 

After lunch, Clare and I scrambled to pack the rest of our things up and move out of our room. The manor was full of hugs, tears, goodbyes, and well-wishes as everyone departed their separate ways. It all happened too fast. With our taxis arriving at 1pm to take us to the train station in Grantham, I felt rushed out of the manor. Tears rolled down my face as I waved goodbye to some of the great new friends I had made, unsure when our paths will cross paths again. 

Emotional is the only word to describe Wednesday. 
Relieved to be finished with school.
Excited to be headed off to Italy for 10 days. 
Anxious to be so close to returning home to Indiana.
Heartbroken to be moved out of our home at Harlaxton.
Thankful for the experiences of this past semester. 

It’s hard to find the words to explain these feelings, but all I know is that I don’t want to forget them. Any of them. The good or the bad. Harlaxton will be in my heart forever. All of the miles traveled, the cities visited, the bistro nights, the stolen pizzas, the broken chairs, the friends marathons, the awful wi-fi, the goose and late lounge, the shuttle bus, the house competitions, the potatoes, the flights of stairs to the 500s, the incredibly slow lift, the Facebook page, the exams, the fish and chips, and most of all the people. 

Farewell, Harlaxton, it’s been real. Now time to eat all the gelato, pizza, and pasta possible before heading back to the good ol’ US of A.

Cheers,

Theresa

Saying goodbye is never easy. But this has got to be one of the toughest yet. Wednesday was a whirlwind, even more so than the past couple of weeks have been. Last minute planning for Italy, studying for the British studies final, and spending every last minute with friends watching movies in the manor took precedence over sleep on Tuesday night. The final ended at 11:30am, marking the conclusion of the academic semester at the most amazing school, and the end of my junior year of college.

Students filed into the refectory for one final lunch together in the manor. It was the sub-par pizza, usually served once a week. But I would give anything to eat another cafeteria meal of mystery meat, potatoes in all varieties, and a cup of tea. Jillian, Emily, and Abby stood on their chairs and led the entire hall in singing ‘The Garden Song,’ a song Kingsley taught to us upon our arrival at Harlaxton.

"Inch by inch and row by row,
We’re gunna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.

Inch by inch and row by row,
Someone bless these seeds I sow.
Someone warm them from below,
Till the rains come tumbling down.”

What seemed a little cheesy 15 weeks ago now almost brought tears to my eyes as I was flooded with memories of the entire semester. Kingsley was right, we had grown our ‘garden’. Harlaxton spring 2014 had grown into a family. No matter the age, major, home university, or personality, we all fit together. The faculty and their families included. The one thing we had in common was Harlaxton.

After lunch, Clare and I scrambled to pack the rest of our things up and move out of our room. The manor was full of hugs, tears, goodbyes, and well-wishes as everyone departed their separate ways. It all happened too fast. With our taxis arriving at 1pm to take us to the train station in Grantham, I felt rushed out of the manor. Tears rolled down my face as I waved goodbye to some of the great new friends I had made, unsure when our paths will cross paths again.

Emotional is the only word to describe Wednesday.
Relieved to be finished with school.
Excited to be headed off to Italy for 10 days.
Anxious to be so close to returning home to Indiana.
Heartbroken to be moved out of our home at Harlaxton.
Thankful for the experiences of this past semester.

It’s hard to find the words to explain these feelings, but all I know is that I don’t want to forget them. Any of them. The good or the bad. Harlaxton will be in my heart forever. All of the miles traveled, the cities visited, the bistro nights, the stolen pizzas, the broken chairs, the friends marathons, the awful wi-fi, the goose and late lounge, the shuttle bus, the house competitions, the potatoes, the flights of stairs to the 500s, the incredibly slow lift, the Facebook page, the exams, the fish and chips, and most of all the people.

Farewell, Harlaxton, it’s been real. Now time to eat all the gelato, pizza, and pasta possible before heading back to the good ol’ US of A.

Cheers,

Theresa

Venice is magical.  (at Venice, Italy)

To make an end is to mark a beginning

Well, here we are, on our last full day in the manor. Gordon Kingsley, the principal of Harlaxton, just sent out an email to all of the school. His words perfectly sum up the emotions myself and the rest of our family here at Harlaxton have been feeling lately. The past couple of weeks in the manor have been some of the best of the past few months. Filled with laughs, tears, and many many stories — reflecting on one heck of a semester.

————-
I write this on Easter Sunday evening, 2014, a “soft” evening at beautiful Harlaxton Manor.

Students are in the midst of their final examinations after a very busy, eventful, and successful semester. We celebrated with a Valedictory Dinner last Thursday evening, a formal dinner “In Hall” with faculty handsomely processing in robes, with awards to students, with appreciation to faculty, and with a marvellous video wrap-up of the term created by College Intern Gloria Atanmo. Harlaxton students were at their enthusiastic, energetic best as they expressed appreciation to one another and to those who have guided them through their magical semester in this place.

Now, for them, three more days of writing exams, along with some last-minute packing. And then on Wednesday afternoon, the coaches drive up, the students board, tears and goodbyes overflow, and it is Farewell to Harlaxton—some going to Italy (Rome-Florence-Venice) on the College trip, some home to America, some traveling on their own, all going their separate and several ways.

And it ends.

But we all feel it, even through our tears: “To make an end is to make a beginning.”
(The words are from T. S. Eliot, St. Louis-born, Harvard-educated, who spent his life in England—from his poem “Little Gidding,” named for a church and village not far from Harlaxton.)

Harlaxton students feel this in their hearts, and it is not just because of Easter, not just because of a beautiful English Springtime, not just because “home” beckons. They feel, and they say, without any sense of exaggeration, “Harlaxton changed my life.” They go from Harlaxton better people, more mature, more knowledgeable, more sensitive, more caring, more—well, more ALIVE.

I know how they feel, for after 11 ½ years Suzanne and I are taking our leave of this magnificent place, we ourselves returning to America. It is time, it is “right,” but we shall miss Harlaxton terribly.

For, you see, Harlaxton works her magic not only on our students, but on those who serve here as well. Harlaxton changed our lives, too, and we shall be forever grateful. Our hearts and our thanks go out to those who gave us the privilege of serving Harlaxton College, to those who have supported, to those who have cared, to those who have been part of the Harlaxton Family in any and every way.

We join our students in saying, “Thank you. It has been good,” as we all “then, again, begin.”

Gordon Kingsley, Principal

“Some call it traveling. We call it LIVING.”

—   Harlaxton, Spring 2014

A Sunday afternoon walk through the grounds of Harlaxton. Going to miss this place so much.

Had class on the manor lawn this afternoon …definitely gunna miss this place.  (at Harlaxton College)