Michaelmas Term: A One Way Ticket to Pound Town
Greetings from Madrid! I know what you are thinking. Yes, I was just in Oxford, but now I have left and am at my first of 12 stops, visiting my best friend Jason and exploring the city. Let the fact that I am just now blogging be a testament to the fact that I absolutely adore Oxford and am constantly busy working (or playing). From the moment I arrived, I felt more at home than I ever had before. Oxford is a sort of enchanted city, and each day I wake up I have to remind myself that it is, in fact, real life. Oxford University is made up of various member colleges of different sizes that are known for different things. To describe Worcester, the college where I am studying and living, I will recount one of my worst experiences in my eight-week term. On one Friday night, I went to the Purple Turtle, an odd bar-club-sometimes-we-play-
Oxford (the city):
The photos speak for themselves, but I will highlight some of my favorites.
Radcliffe Camera-This is a very famous building in Oxford that is not open to tourists. I would be lying if I said I don’t really enjoy walking past people to show my bod card (Oxford University library card) to the man at the entrance. Anyways, I study here very often. The first floor has big open tables with lighting meant for long study sessions. The upstairs is an open dome with reading spaces and is a great place to go when my mind needs to contemplate expansive issues (I am at Oxford…apparently I am supposed to be doing this). Without jest though, this building is probably the one I frequent the most often.
Worcester boat house:
Eagle and Child/King’s Arms: Famous pubs!
Getting coffee-I NEVER do this at Hamilton. If I am not in class during the weekdays, I am studying, in meetings, working out, eating or sleeping. However, when in England, I take study breaks fairly regularly. There is just so much to talk about!
Rowing-Like I said, I joined the boat club. WOO! I cannot wait to get on the water, but for now I have been stuck in the erg shed with Miranda, one of my best friends at Worcester.
I won’t go too in depth here for the sake of my parents, older relatives, and other professionals who may stumble upon this. Drinking is a huge aspect of British culture, more so than in America. This is something I have had trouble getting used to, because I have never been a big drinker. I can do one or two days in a row, but more than that and I can’t handle the heat. In Oxford, there is no concept of the weekends. People say that because the work is so intense, drinking and dancing is the only way to unwind. We have a college bar at Worcester that serves cheap beer and drinks (the famous “sting” has five shots and is only 4 quid). I frequent here, and most people go out to clubs after. There are also loads of pubs around the city to go out for a more relaxed time and to meet people. This is one of my favorite things to do. I LOVE meeting new people and every time I get a chance I take advantage of that.
Main differences between Brits and Americans:
Drinking-They do it more.
Humor-We do it better.
Studying-They talk about it less.
Boat club dinner: At the end of term, we have a boat club dinner. I have been on various crew dates before, and this is like a big one with everyone you know. A crew date is where two groups of people who have no relation go out to dinner at a restaurant that is willing to host a group of insanity. There is fining, pennying, and various shenanigans. Fining is when you stand up and say, “I fine anyone who has (insert something horrifying).” These can get bad. Pennying is where you toss or place a penny in someone’s drink and they have to down it. There are different rules, some are followed. At BCD, you sit with your boat in formal hall and listen to all the ridiculous things about other members of the boat club.
Tea Party-first week
There is a tradition at Worcester that college parents and their relatives throw their sons and daughters a “tea party.” Technically, there is no alcohol allowed, and I think that rule is actually enforced, but it is fair game after a certain time. After, we all head to the bar for the “bop,” an Oxford term for “college-wide party.” The theme is pink and black, so I naturally wore a pink wig.
RANDOM PHOTOS BECAUSE THEY ARE FUN: