Sickly, but Scholarly!
Hello everyone! The delay in my posting can be attributed to an illness I somehow acquired this past week. It’s been fun but exhausting adjusting to the London lifestyle, which is basically being a pedestrian. Londoners walk everywhere in all types of weather, especially the pouring rain. After my own walk through London in the rain on Sunday, I felt rather run down and so began my fever week. Luckily I did well on my Monet presentation despite the fever. I hope I’m 100% better by the time my mom and brother come to visit. Since being sick is not exciting, I will discuss the second of our fieldtrips instead.
On Saturday of last weekend (which seems like an eternity ago), I visited the old university town of Oxford with my fellow study abroad students. With collared shirts and lace-up shoes in mind, most of us felt we should dress “scholarly” when visiting such a place. We toured the Sheldonian Theatre which holds convocation and graduation ceremonies. The round wooden building features a dome which offers amazing views of the Oxford Colleges. It was quite a climb, but what a view!
Pedestrians roam London, and bikers wheel their way through Oxford. With the exception of bicycle shops, I had never seen so many bicycles in one place. I ate lunch at a pub called “Eagle and Child” where J.R.R. Tolkien (author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and C.S. Lewis (author of the Chronicles of Narnia) would often meet for literary discussion and a pint. I felt considerably humbled by being where such great authors and minds gathered, that I later bought myself an “Oxford University” sweatshirt to instill some intellectual pride.
We met our professor, Philip, for a historic walking tour of the city. The tour ended at Christ Church, which was the highlight for most people. The reason? Christ Church was a filming location for the Harry Potter films. Its staircase is indeed the one that is supposed to lead up to the Great Hall of Hogwarts. I had never seen so many people take pictures on a staircase before. As a Harry Potter fan myself, I’ll admit that I posed for a few as well. The building’s own “Great Hall” was beautiful, but I left quickly due to no heat. It was colder inside the building than outside.
What impressed me most about Oxford (aside from providing a film location) is its age and history. Some stones walls, almost caked in black soot, haven’t been cleaned since the middle ages! The place had a real Gothic, medieval quality about it. I realized I would not want to be a student at Oxford, but I would really like to visit again!