Well, I’m back in England and classes have commenced at Oxford. And, most excitingly, I matriculated into the University on Saturday (this is a ceremony reserved only for full-time Oxford students, and visiting students are not allowed to participate). I am an official student of Oxford University!
Since I’ve been back, life has been so crazy with new graduate initiation and orientation events, classes, studying, meeting new friends (and old!), dancing, and just settling into a new country in general. In the past three weeks, I’ve met so many wonderful new people through St. Hilda’s, which is my new college, and my graduate program. There’s a group of almost twenty of us from St. Hilda’s that does everything together. I’m quite lucky since my two housemates are also in the group, and our house tends to be the place where we have group dinners.
Being here as a graduate student is definitely different from my year abroad. Firstly, I don’t have any tutorials – I have lectures and massive dissertation style essays due at the end of every term. No, it’s not nerve wracking at all… I’m taking a general course on Medieval Literature (we alternate between Old and Middle English texts every week), a Paleography and Codicology course (EEP EEP EEP EEP), and a course on conversion narratives in Old Norse and English Literature. Needless to say, I’ve been spending most of my time in the many libraries around town. I now have access to the Rare Books and Special Collections Room at the Bodleian, which means I can access a wide range of manuscripts on any day. It’s mind-boggling, really. Every day that I’m here I just realize how fortunate I am to be in the best city/university on earth for Medieval Studies. I’ve also met so many intelligent people from other disciplines, and conversation at the dinner table is always so interesting. We have a formal dinner for graduate students on Wednesday, and I cannot wait to see what conversation will be like at that event.
Well, I’m off to sleep and then another day packed with manuscripts and rhinestones awaits!