Since arriving to London I have had two unplanned and one planned encounter with Penn State alumnus. Just before I arrived in August, Melissa put Ezra and I in touch with Kaitlyn Randol, a Penn State alum who was in the first PLA class. The three of us grabbed a pint earlier tonight and talked about Penn State, PLA, as well as her fascinating career in political consulting in Colorado, her travels through East Africa, and most recently her masters program in international development at LSE.
Last week, as I was eating lunch outside the library, someone stopped in front of me and said, “Hey, I know you from political science at Penn State.” We were both startled but after regaining our composure we realized we had both been attended a banquet for the political science department last spring. Justinian Yi is pursuing a masters degree in Public Administration at LSE.
The last encounter was even more unexpected. Two weekends ago, Ezra and I had the pleasure of attending a weekend retreat at Cumberland Lodge. The Lodge, which is located in Windsor Great Park, was built in 1650 by a captain who bought the land from Oliver Cromwell. The property did not stay out of royal hands for long, however. Following the restoration, King Charles II reclaimed the property and named it the official residence of the Ranger of the Great Park. Today the lodge is an educational charity focused on exploring connections between education, international affairs, law, media, and society. I apologize for the tangent, but I felt obligated to share my burgeoning passion for the monarchy.
Anyway, while we were there we had the pleasure of attending church at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, where the Queen goes every Sunday. On our walk back to the Lodge, I saw a man walking his dog with a Penn State hat and yelled something barely audible enough to communicate that I also went to Penn State. It was lovely.