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A Million Books to Read + 2 Papers to Write = a Very Happy Colleen

October 10th, 2009 cmcurr11

You know, it’s incredibly difficult to come up with catchy titles, but now that I’ve started to do so, I feel indebted to continue. Anyway, that is not the point of this post.

On Wednesday, we had our Freshers’ and Visiting Students’ Induction Dinner at Mansfield College. It was held in the chapel, so all of the people from Holy Cross were a tad confused. The chapel is gorgeous (not as pretty as St. Joseph’s, though), and the food was excellent. I was seated next to an Oxford third year student, and we were comparing American universities and colleges to Oxford for the night. Oxford has a different approach to academics. While I personally feel in America that a majority of people use education only to advance for jobs and the like, I think that Oxford has more of a “learning for the sake of learning” feel. It definitely reminds me of the Holy Cross state of mind. However, Oxford really differs from Holy Cross in that once you’re accepted at Oxford, you study one subject for your three years. I don’t know if I could possibly do that. As much as I love English, I couldn’t give up Classics, History, Theology, or Philosophy (now Math I could very easily give up. That would not be a problem. I think that my title shows the extent of my aptitude for math.). The other point that we both deduced was that JYAs (that’s what those who spend their junior year abroad are called at Oxford) tend to work much harder than Oxford students while they’re here. Jack (the student with whom I was talking) asked me why. I told him that at Holy Cross, we push ourselves beyond our extremes, and if we’re not doing something related to academics, we’re probably at a club meeting or at a team practice. He was shocked that we do so many extracurricular activities; here, students tend to find one club or one team, and they dedicate themselves completely to it. It was just a very interesting conversation.

Enough of that, though. On Thursday, I went to the Oxford Oratory to see the relics of St. Therese of Liseux. No, I did not plan to come to Oxford the year that both St. Therese’s relics and the Pope are scheduled to come; it just happened that way! It was an incredibly moving experience. I really can’t even describe it.

Then, Friday was the big day. I had my first tutorial. Okay, so I really didn’t have my first tutorial. It was more of a meeting in which my tutor told me what he expected of me and where the class was going to go. Although it was kind of nerve wracking for a bit, there were some funny moments. For instance, Dr. Doherty asked me what college I attend in the States. I replied “Holy Cross,” and he said, “Oh, yes. That’s a very rigorous school, isn’t it?” You have no idea.Well, maybe he does. I mean, he did just obtain his Ph.D from Oxford. Yes, yes, I’m pretty sure he has an idea, then.

Until next time! Of r

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