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August 15, 2008

August 13th, 2008 admin

Well, another fantastic week at Oxford has come and passed. This past week our seminar covered the history of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and we went into particular detail about the insurgency in both countries. My readings for this week bore a striking resemblance to my Modern Middle East class back in first semester, so that was definitely nice! I just returned from this week’s tutorial. The essay topic was the following: ‘What is the origin of the Iraqi insurgency?’ I took it from a historical approach, and studied the Shi’a/Sunni divide since the Ottoman Empire. It went really well, and I really enjoyed writing the paper (yes, I am aware how nerdy that last statement sounds).

This past week, I also went into London to see my cousin, Camille, who is studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts for the summer. It was kind of weird that we were in England at the same time; we usually see each other only at Christmastime. As we were walking around Westminster, the heavens just opened up and began to pour. Running through London in the rain isn’t exactly fun, but it sure makes a great story.

I can’t believe that I have a little more than a week left here. There’s still so much more to see! Today, between my seminar and tutorial, I went to Magdalen College, and walked around the grounds there. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous. It’s centered around a water marsh in which some deer live, and the Cherwell river runs right through the campus. Tonight, a couple of us are planning to take advantage of this beautiful weather and go punting on the river. Hopefully we won’t tip, but that might be a very real possibility!

Tomorrow, we’re headed over to Salisbury, Stonehendge, and the Vale of the White Horse. I’m so excited to see the Old Sarum section of Britain, simply because I find ancient history so fascinating. I’ll definitely have some pictures to post from that! On Sunday, I’m planning to walk down to Iffley, where there’s one of the oldest and best preserved medieval churches in all of Europe. If it rains or I don’t feel up to walking six miles both ways, Cathleen and I are planning to go see C.S. Lewis’ grave and parish church. I really can’t believe that I have to plan out my final week in Oxford. As cliché as it sounds, it feels like I just arrived. I’m excited to return to Holy Cross, but I’m also quite sad to leave this amazing city!

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