The Anti-Dropout

The Anti-Dropout:

It’s true (and exciting) that so much knowledge has moved online in the past decade. I can learn basic programming via Treehouse. I can learn web design in a course on Udemy. But what if I want to learn about the physics that drive hardware performance? The materials science behind the next generation of wearable computing? Or what about how to bring electronics manufacturing back to the United States? There are real, fundamental sets of knowledge that are still locked up in traditional academia.

Spending 24 hours in Bath, England

As part of the 3-week vacation I took in April Leah and I spent about 24 hours in Bath, a fantastic city about a 40 minutes by train west of London. I remembered loving Bath when I visited as a kid and it lived up to expectations after returning. Since we were there for just the night we wanted to be somewhere close to the train station and ended up staying at the Parade Park hotel. While the room was small we couldn’t complain about the view.

DSC_8614

After grabbing a quick lunch we headed to the Roman Baths. For some reason it seemed every school-aged kid from France was there that day. Despite the crowd it was interesting to wander around.

DSC_8654

The view from the baths up to the abbey.
The view from the baths up to the abbey.

Our next stop was the abbey. It’s free (suggested donation) to wander around and we paid the £6 to tour the tower, too. It turned out we were the only two who signed up for that tower tour time so we ended up with essentially a private tour.

The abbey has this amazing organ which is quite impressive when combined with the fan vaulting.

DSC_8693

I forget where this eagle was perched but I thought it was a neat piece.

DSC_8687

The coolest part of the tower tour was going up behind the clock face. We were able to walk all the way up to the gear system turning the clock hands. Pretty cool vantage point.

DSC_8700

DSC_8702

There’s also a small hole at the very top of the fan vault which gives you a sense of how thin parts of the ceiling are. You can peer through the hole down to the abbey’s floor.

DSC_8705

We also got to check out the bells which sit in the abbey’s tower. Below the bells lie this set of ropes. Each is attached to a separate bell. The abbey still rings its bells the old-fashioned way sometimes so these are still used. The rest of the time they use an automated way of ringing the bells.

DSC_8704

The top of the tower caps it all off with some wonderful views of the surrounding area. We lucked out and had a nice day so were actually able to see for a bit.

DSC_8716

DSC_8717

We ended the day with a phenomenal meal at Sotto Sotto. Thanks to a random table of 4 that cancelled we got a table without a reservation. Perfect meal to end a great day.