I can’t believe it, but I’ve been in classes for five weeks now. Within these past weeks, I’ve made best friends with the porters at the Radcliffe Camera (one of them knows me so that he no longer asks to check my bag for any prohibited items), my papers have been ripped to shreds, and I’ve wondered several times why I didn’t spend my year abroad in a more “fun” setting. Believe me, when I see some of my Holy Cross friends posting photos from their weekend trips to Germany and France, I get a little jealous. Yet, despite being ripped apart, I’ve never learned so much in such a short period of time and/or had so much fun. Yes, I know – I need to be locked up in the sanatorium for saying that spending all of my days in the Radcliffe Camera or the Bodleian Library is fun. These past five weeks have been frustrating because I know that I haven’t produced work that has been up to my potential. But, now that both of my tutors have ripped apart at least two of my essays a piece and I’ve been in class for five weeks, I know what they want from me and how to do it in the most efficient way. Now that ballroom is in full swing (get it? Swing? Even though they don’t dance Swing here), I now have a schedule so that I’m not constantly freaking out about my papers. If I have too much time, then I just can’t accomplish anything. I’m weird like that. But back to the fun part. My research topics have been rather illuminating for what I want to do not only for my Senior Thesis (oh. Right…who said senior year is supposed to be all fun?), but also for graduate school (right. I have at least seven more years of this? Excellent!). My last topic for History of the English Language was to analyze how English became an analytical language (words derive meaning from positions) from its synthetic origins (words derive meaning from endings, like in Latin). It was fascinating. I was comparing the different languages that appear in different manuscripts and arguing how they’re different. It was fantastic. My next topic for Age of Bede (which is going much better. Then again, I really don’t think that I had anywhere to go but up. One day, I will post that awful paper on this site for all to see. But not now. I’ve got to get into graduate school first) is to basically reconstruct Anglo-Saxon society based upon the “Dream of the Rood.” This is actually what I’m thinking about doing for my senior thesis – syncretism of paganism with Christianity in Anglo-Saxon texts, specifically “Beowulf.” I’m as happy as a clam. Don’t worry; I will return to Holy Cross…eventually.
Okay, so that’s probably way more about academics than any of you ever wanted to read. As for living in Oxford, well, I’m still alive! Cooking for myself has definitely been interesting. I’m so used to going to Kimball or grabbing something from either Lower or Crossroads. No preparation time, no cleaning up. But cooking for myself has been rewarding. All of the American JYAs are branching out and trying new things. My favorite new item that we must start importing into America: treacle tart. It’s delicious. I have also been maintaining a social life with human beings other than the librarians. Saturday night was Mansfield College Ball, which only happens once every three years. They had bumper cars. I’ll let that one sink in. It was a really fun night. Of course, we all paid for it the next day because none of us finished any work all day Saturday. Oh well; it was worth it.
Well, you guessed it – I’m back off to the library. Until next time!<< Older Entries