Hey everyone! I can’t believe it, but I’ve been in Oxford for a week now. This city is spectacular. The entire city is a medieval city trapped in modern time. Some of these buildings have been around since the 1400’s. It’s just incredible to take a walk anywhere.
Oh yes, the real reason why I’m here. The class that I’m taking is going well. There are nine of us in the class, so every day, we each have to present an article and voice our agreements and/or disagreements about it. Our seminar is very similar to a debate. Every Thursday, w
e have a “tutorial.” We bring our papers to our tutor, and he basically rips them apart in front of us. We have to debate with him and support our arguments. It’s very similar to office hours, I guess. The entire experience is just amazing, and I think that the entire tutorial process has molded me into a stronger student.
One of the most amazing experiences so far was being inducted into the Bodleian library. The Bodleian is one of the largest libraries in the world, and receives 3,000 to 5,000 books per week. The library collection is so large that one building cannot contain it. Instead, the Bodleian collection is dispersed throughout the campus. Some books are even kept in a salt mine in North Oxford because there simply is not enough room! Studying in there for me is more of a distraction than anything else, quite honestly! Just looking up and being able to see such a vast wealth of literature is just awe-inspiring, to say the least. Before we were allowed in as “readers,” we had to swear that we would not a) bring in any food or water, b) damage the books in anyway, c) take the books out of the library (the library is reference only), and d) set fire to any of the books or the building itself. There have been threats against the library in years past, and one was nearly carried out. After we all took the oath, we were inducted into the library.
So, Oxford is going really well. I’m going to try to put up daily updates from now on to give you all a better idea of what daily life is like during Study Abroad. Until next time!
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