It’s quite weird. As my friends at Holy Cross are preparing for their final exams and beginning to pack up, I’m just getting ready for Trinity Term. Luckily, I wasn’t in Europe when the volcano erupted, so I’m all set for term (some of my friends are still making their way back to Oxford. Transportation has been chaotic to say the least). It seems that my first semester of senior year is all planned; I know where I’m living (I have a single in Healy!) and what classes I’m taking. It’s just odd since I won’t be finished at Oxford for another two months, and then I’ll be here for the summer. But let’s not talk about me leaving, shall we? Let’s focus on the present.
Term officially commences tomorrow. How frightening is that? This term, I’m taking Medieval Female Mystical Literature with Lucinda Rumsey as my primary; I’m going to be focusing on Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich. The latter occupies a significant amount of my thesis, so I’m quite excited to have eight weeks of intensive research on Julian with one of the world’s most knowledgeable Julian scholars. For my secondary, I’m taking the History of the British Isles c. 1024-1215 with Hugh Doherty (remember him from first term?). I’m really excited to continue with Hugh. During my first term with him, I focused on the transition from Britain as an annex of the Roman Empire back to its Insular/Germanic tribal traditions. This term, I’m going to focus on the breakdown of those tribal/chieftain traditions and see how England transformed into a veritable kingdom with stark European influences. I’m so excited for both of my tutorials; they’re both going to be a lot of work, but I’m excited for them nonetheless.
And, of course, you all require an update on ballroom dance, which has consumed more of my free time (if that’s even possible). The Oxford team is gearing up for the Varsity Match against Cambridge; since we lost the boat race, we’re all seeking revenge (yes, this is the second most highly anticipated Varsity event…okay, so maybe I’m dreaming). The beginners had a training day this past Wednesday; it’s a miracle that we could walk out of the practice hall after Bruce and Neil went over every aspect of the Waltz, Quickstep, Cha, and Jive. As for my other competitions, I actually have one tomorrow, and I’m dancing two dances that I’ve never danced before with a new partner. It’s going to be interesting! But, yes, ballroom has taken over my life since I have a ballroom related event practically every weekend this term. I think my only free weekend is next weekend, and Margaret and I are planning to go to Blenheim Palace to see the Jousting Tournament and Falconry display. Yes, we’re pretty cool people if you ask me!
Now, I promise that I’m not always either in the library or the dance studio. Believe me, the weather has been too beautiful for the past couple of weeks to even fathom that! This term, all of the JYAs are planning several punting trips, picnic lunches in the meadows, trips into London (I’m going to see Hastings one weekend, actually), and just trying to enjoy the last term that we have at Oxford University.