From Alberta to England

It has been a little more than a week since the move. I recently traveled from Edmonton, Canada to Guildford, England to pursue a MSc in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Surrey. I'll be studying here for roughly a year. The change has been subtle but great in many ways. Getting used to Sterling and trying to keep up with new phrases have kept me busy. As well as adjusting to people driving on the wrong... I mean, the 'other' side of the road has kept me looking both ways. 

I've met some lovely people, and some not so lovely people. For example, just off of landing in Gatwick I had to make my way to Guildford via train. I struggled but trudged forward trying to keep my three seventy-pound luggages in check as I pushed them slowly along the cobble roads (which were no help either). Trying to make the train, an older lady behind me asked me to move, and honestly I would have, except for the fact that I was trying to push three mountains ahead of me. I enjoy the English accent, but when they are angry or annoyed, I feel like the accent multiplies the effect of being completely crossed. She could clearly see me struggling to not block people on their commutes, but that didn't phase her. So things were looking up after being in England for a total of 45 minutes (sarcasm). 

Guildford is an affluent and quaint town. More photos of where I live to come soon. But besides that, it's just like the movies. Young students wearing uniforms, hustle-and-bustle filled train stations, the popularity of smokers and e-cigarette users, the dampness, all so very accurate. The readily available liquor at most supermarkets make it so easy to grab a cold one after a day at school, which is always a plus. 

During the International Welcome Week, the uni held many events for new students. One in which was a coach tour of Surrey County. While learning the difference between the UK, The Great British Isles, and Great Britain on the coach, we visited Polesden Lacey (a National Trust owned Edwardian estate) and Box Hill Point. I took some photos below. 

I'll try to document my year abroad. No promises, but I hope to keep it all noted. I miss my family and friends. Sending love from across the pond.

Your friend,

Jon

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April 2015 Playlist

  1. All-American Lover by La+ch
  2. Karma, You Got Owned by Tep No
  3. Jupiter Grayscale by Gallant
  4. Far Away featuring Josh Roa by Palastic
  5. I'm Not the Only One (Tep No Mix) by Sam Smith
  6. We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off (Tep No Mix) by Ella Eyre
  7. King by Years & Years
  8. Lay Me Down (Flume Mix) by Sam Smith
  9. White Dress featuring Deutsch Duke by Set Mo
  10. Independent Woman (Kill Them With Color Mix) by Destiny's Child
  11. Down In The Valley by The Head and The Heart
  12. House of Winston by Shakey Graves
  13. The Wolf by Mumford & Sons
  14. My Song 5 by Haim
  15. Waste Away (featuring Devon Baldwin) by Blackbear
  16. Chains (Just A Gent Mix) by Nick Jonas
  17. Be Together (Tep No Mix) by Gold Is For The Golden Team

With finals coming to an end, here is a mix filled with a lot of Tep No, can you tell? Here is some stuff I've been listening too whilst studying for finals and preparing for my move to Vancouver for the summer. Enjoy the sun now that it is out, and add some pep to your walk when listening to these gems. Hope everyone had a great semester and here's to the summer of 15.

Cheers,

Jon

December 2014 Playlist

  1. Hold Back the River by James Bay
  2. Lay-by by Tennyson
  3. Out of the Woods by Rusty Clanton
  4. Agape by Bear's Den
  5. Feel by Bombay Bicycle Club
  6. Oceans by Coasts
  7. Love You Down (Esentrik Mix) by INOJ
  8. Got it (Kill them with color Mix) by Marian Hill
  9. If You Wanna by The Vaccines
  10. Money Grabber by Fitz & The Tantrums
  11. Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware
  12. The Love You're Given by Jack Garratt
  13. Snap Out of It by Arctic Monkeys
  14. More Than You Thought by Flume
  15. Get Free ft. Amber (What So Not Mix) by Major Lazer
  16. Idea of Happiness (What So Not Mix) by Van She

Wow I sure am awful, it's already January and I haven't uploaded the December playlist. Sorry about that! I've been too busy with... Well nothing really. Just bracing myself for another semester this winter. Hope everyone is keeping warm! Nothing too much inspired me this past December to bring these tunes together. Actually that's a lie, I listened to What So Not a lot this month, hence why there are two mixes on this one. Ah, and Bear's Den, have a very, not as emotional, feel as Mumford & Sons, definitely check out the rest of their debut album! I guess this is just what I listened too whilst studying for my finals. January playlist will be up soon!

Your Friend

Jon

3 Lives Sets To Listen To Whilst Studying

Hey guys, quick post. It's a pretty busy time for students this time of the year, as we are all on lock down studying our asses off during finals. I thought I'd help make the studying for finals process slightly more bearable, here are a few of my favourite live sets (recorded). They are radio shows or live streams, which is awesome because you also get to learn about them as they answer questions on air which is pretty awesome. Live sets are great to listen to, spices up your studying routine, as compared to your standard made playlist. Hope you enjoy these guys as much as I do. December playlist is coming soon as well! [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6Oirjkc98U[/embed]

The Fray Live Stream Session

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHyaeKayHD0[/embed]

Bombay Bicycle Club on KEXP

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CsMofGArY0[/embed]

Hozier on KCRW

Happy studying!

Jon

I just want to keep my head up in the clouds just for a little while longer.

* Bear's Den plays quietly in the background *

Today I found out that a classmate of mine passed away. He took his life away. His name was Brent, and from what I can remember of him, he was quiet and always smiling. He was polite, and I never said more than 10 words to him. Maybe a "is anyone sitting here?" when I needed to save spots for my friends in class.

I never really knew Brent. He sat in the same row as me in my signals class, sometimes in my embedded systems class. He was in one of my labs, and I remember him apologizing for setting up a circuit incorrect. Is it weird that I can remember all this about someone I hardly knew? Would I ever thought twice about him, if he didn't pass? I don't think it has completely set in yet. I'm used to seeing his face maybe twice or three times a week. I think my body still thinks because my class is semi-large that his face will pop up once again next week. But it won't. Brent won't be there next week, or the week after that.

Death is a scary thing. Recently I've been finding myself wanting to be a kid again. I want to be lied to. I want to be naive. I want to be told that Father Christmas is real. I want to be told that everything is going to be okay. I don't want to know what it feels like to invest in relationships, or to even know what a relationship is. I want to be asked what I want to be when I grow up, and not be scared to give a stupid answer. I don't want to know how it feels like to know someone who died. I don't want to know how it feels to be hurt by people you love. I want to be young again. I want to be care free.

This isn't the case however. I know this. I'm not stupid, I'm not immature. I just want to keep my head up in the clouds just for a little while longer. I've never been to a funeral before. And I can't say I know what it feels like to lose someone really close to me. But if this is what happens in my head when someone I barely know leaves this Earth, I'm frightened to find out what happens when it's someone close to me. Do people my age even worry about things like this? I can't say I'm terribly sad, I can't say I'm terribly mournful. I don't know what I feel.

Well, I mean I do feel something alright. Kinda like someone expanded my lungs and filled them up with sand. Yeah, sort of like that. It amazes me how someone who played such a little part in my life, has made me think this much. It really does go to show you how much you affect other people. Even though we don't think about it, we do leave our mark on people, may it be a large one or a small one.

I didn't know Brent, and I didn't know Brent would make me feel this way. Rest in peace, and although I didn't know you as well as I would have liked, you've left your mark on me.

Your classmate,

Jon

October 2014 Playlist

  1. High You Are (Branchez Mix) by What So Not
  2. Frontin (Disclosure Rework) by Pharrell
  3. Lana Del Dre by Tep No
  4. If Only You Knew by Tep No
  5. Never Gonna Change by Broods
  6. Four Walls by Broods
  7. ILYSB by LANY
  8. BRB by LANY
  9. Restart by Sam Smith
  10. Nirvana by Sam Smith
  11. Move Together by James Bay
  12. Let It Go by James Bay
  13. Stunner by Milky Chance
  14. Down By The River by Milky Chance
  15. It's Alright Now by Bombay Bicycle Club
  16. Carry Me by Bombay Bicycle Club

Hey folks! With such positive feedback from my last playlist, I decided to push out another one for October. This playlist was highly influenced by the autumn weather and shows I've recently been too. This mix is great to listen to while studying, well I mean, that's what I do with it anyways. In the past few weeks, I had the chance to see some great music live: Broods, Sam Smith and BBC. I fell in love with Broods whom opened for Sam, and once again fell right back in love with Sam Smith. BBC was a great show to go to as well, super groovy as always. I enjoyed them in a much more intimate setting, as compared to at music festivals like Osheaga where I saw them last. I featured some super groovy mixes with What So Not, Pharrell and Tep No. After hearing the LANY mix of ILYSB last month (which was on September's playlist), I decided to revisit his EP and was hooked to the original version of ILYSB. Like I stated earlier, this album was greatly influenced by the weather. There's nothing like a sweet voice with lovely acoustics whilst stepping through the autumn leaves, James Bay served greatly here. Milky Chance's recent album has been on repeat for a while for it's super catchy beats, so I wanted to throw them on here as well.

Disclaimer: I know a lot of these songs aren't just brand new. If you're looking for some brand new under the radar music, I think you might want to go look somewhere else. I listen to music that may be a little older and some newer stuff. But anyways, feel free to leave me some feedback! Happy listening, and to those in school, good luck with your midterms!

Jon

September 2014 Playlist

  1. Make It Real (Vestige Mix) by BABE
  2. ILYSB (Ferdinand Weber Mix) by Lany
  3. XO (Beyonce Cover) by HAIM
  4. I Couldn't Want You Anyway by Jack Garratt
  5. Worry by Jack Garratt
  6. Take Me to Church by Hozier
  7. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? by Arctic Monkeys
  8. Do I Wanna Know? By Arctic Monkeys
  9. Helena Beat by Foster The People
  10. If I Could Change Your Mind by HAIM
  11. Carry Me by Bombay Bicycle Club
  12. Gooey (Wild Culture Mix) by Glass Animals
  13. F*ck You All The Time (Shlomo Mix) by Jeremih
  14. Younger (Kygo Mix) by Seinabo Sey
  15. Stolen Dance by Milky Chance
  16. Left Hand Free by Alt-J
  17. Pretend by Bad Suns
  18. Photograph by Ed Sheeran
  19. Soul Meets Body by Death Cab For Cutie
  20. The Sound of Settling by Death Cab For Cutie

So I guess this is my first blog post! I don't know why I'm so nervous posting on this. So I thought I'd take 'er easy and go with something I know, something I am comfortable with. Ever since I graduated high school, I've been making playlists for my friends who have moved away. I'd burn them CDs with personalized playlists I created for them. Why not do one for my blog?

I created this playlist with going back to school in mind. It has some groovy "walking-to-class" electronic tracks that I'm sure others would stomp around campus listening too. I also attended Sonic Boom (a music festival here in Edmonton) just before school started, and I had the chance to see one of my favourite bands: Death Cab For Cutie. This band means a lot to me because I think they were the first "alternative rock" bands I've ever listened to, back in grade seven. But anyways, some artists I watched at the festival are on here too. Without forgetting summer, I added some favourites from last month as well. Hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I do, happy listening!

Jon