I’ve noticed that I’ve spent a good portion of my Oxford blogging to the more reflective side of things – make no mistake, I will continue to do so, but it occurs to me that I should also like to engage my readers to the visuals of my Oxford journey as well.
View it as a shameless “Go study abroad!” advert if you will, but this has been – for the past two, going on three months – my life. I can scarcely believe it myself – often times I forget that I’m not on an extended winter holiday, but an actual school term. It’s unbelievable.
Like I said, it’s been rather easy to think of this as a sort of vacation with required reading and papers, of course. I’ve had, for the most part, no reason to wake up very early, so I’ve miraculously never been lacking in the sleep department. And most mornings, I wake up smiling. As I have my two tutorials on every other Monday and every Tuesday, I’m essentially left to my own devices for the remainder of the week. I won’t bore you with the nitty-gritties of my studies, only to say that I am given an allotted time in which to complete my weekly/biweekly readings and assignments, so obviously it’s not a total holiday. Oh yeah, and both my tutors are both brilliant and engaging (My poetry tutor and I had a bonding moment over the subject of Sherlock last week).
I’m an associate student of New College – but be not mistaken, the only time I really spend here is to exchange my library books as necessary, and admire the Harry Potter scenery. Below is the hall where Harry and Cedric converse in The Goblet of Fire:
The Bodleian Library – it’s like the VIP of libraries in Oxford. Even as a student of Oxford, I can’t check out books from here, but I am granted access until mid-March…meaning that I can get access to the Radcliffe Camera via underground library entrance:
Depending on the day, I get the opportunity to attend either an English Faculty lecture, or Union speaker event. Yesterday I listened to a lecture on feminist literary theory, and the night before got to see F.W. De Klerk speak at the Oxford Union (BTW, he’s responsible for much of the improvements made in South Africa during Nelson Mandela’s time). Below is a poor-quality iPhone photo of him:
Speaking of the Union, some of us who went to the Moroccan Mystique Union Ball last Friday were pleased as punch with the event festivities! Which should have been the case anyway, since it cost an arm and a leg:
On one of the non-rainy days, a walk around Christchurch Meadow proves to be one of the highlights of my day. It’s quiet and serene, and the ducks are always pleasant company.
In my case, studying Jane Austen and the Brontes is a source of joy for me, so I consider it both leisure and academic-related reading for which I am responsible. An avid tea-drinker, I’ve found Café Nero to be my favorite place to enjoy a pot of English breakfast tea while mulling over that week’s reading.
Weekends…twice have I been to London. Public transport to and from London from Oxford is relatively cheap and flexible. Below are just a few snapshots from one Saturday excursion:
Towards the beginning of the term I didn’t dedicate my weekends to much other than studying and walking the Oxford grounds, but the OPUS study abroad program did sanction for the group to visit Stratford, Shakespeare’s hometown, included in the program cost. Again, some photos for your perusal:
I went to Southern Ireland about two weeks ago, so for some photos from that brilliant weekend, refer to my previous posting. Or add me on Facebook.
It’s been a fulfilling adventure thus far…I’d recommend it to anyone with a heart for the Motherland and an insatiable need to “get more” out of the university experience. Some days are harder than others. And some days contain less excitement than the day preceding it. But as a whole, I’m sorry to see my term come to a close in just a few short weeks.