“Oh, Oxfordshire is Wonderful…”
So I know I ended my last post by saying that this second half of term has been eventful, and it definitely has…but for some reason I can’t remember all the details right now. I’m going to try…in general, things are starting to feel very interesting here. For the past month or so, I’ve been in a mindset that I’ve never experienced before – one in which the thought of home brings me a feeling of adventure. When I think of Vermont or Kenyon, it feels mysterious – I have distinct and powerful memories of those places, of course, but what has changed there since I left? What will America look like to me now? And I’ve STILL got more than three months to be away from it, too. It’s very cool. So cool, in fact, that it’s almost distracting me from the present. It’s not that I want to go home, exactly – it’s almost like I want a VACATION home. The “headquarters” of my life, to put it weirdly, is in America, but I wish it were here. I want a “vacation” to America to see my friends and family, only to return within a few weeks to my beloved England with a more permanent life set out for me here than I have in reality.
In terms of academics, this term has continued to be less challenging than Michaelmas. Not much changed in the way of academics since my last post, actually – film was still easy and fun, and creative writing was still emotionally stressful, INCREDIBLY rewarding and fun, and useful. Both tutorials ended extremely well. I am positively glowing with happiness about my creative writing tutorial, to be honest. One interesting tutorial ended up with me explaining all of the plot that I’d planned so far to my tutor. His reaction was that I was trying to do something extremely difficult and complicated, involving the motivations of a TON of characters – but that if I could pull it off, it would be good. You can’t imagine how happy this made me – for years now I’ve been afraid that the reason I can’t figure out the plot is just that I’m not good enough or not motivated enough, when in reality it’s just that I’m challenging myself a lot. This, of course, is a great thing – I don’t want to write some crap vampire romance or yet ANOTHER story about a corrupt government. Of COURSE it’s hard. But I can do it. Having a ton of characters is, in my opinion, the way that J.K. Rowling was able to create such a complete world. I think that this world is the reason her books are so popular. Soon I’m going to send the first chapter of my book to a woman my tutor knows who was commissioned to write a series for girls that takes place in early nineteenth century England. Oh, and by the way, my tutor also thinks that my story is going to be insanely long. Interesting – I guess I should have seen that coming.
Hmmm okay, what else? Football has been freaking amazing, as usual. Varsity (which means an Oxford vs. Cambridge match here in England, not high school athletics like in America) was SUCH an incredible experience. I feel so lucky to have been able to participate in the Oxford/Cambridge rivalry during this year. The night before the matches we had a fun dinner, and then we gathered in New College to make motivational signs for each other. After a good night’s sleep, both teams proceeded to BEAT Cambridge!! We (the Furies) won 2-0, and the Blues had an exciting 2-1 finish. We got medals and trophies! Throughout the match we yelled traditional anti-Cambridge songs like “I’d rather be a leper than a tab” (“tab” is a derogatory term for someone who goes to Cambridge) and the song “Oh Oxfordshire is Wonderful”. Cambridge, who are obviously a bunch of crass idiots, just sang “you can stick your dreaming spires up your a**”. The hostility didn’t end with the matches. I knew there was going to be a formal dinner, but I didn’t know Cambridge would be attending, too. When I learned this, I pictured us sitting together, getting to know one another. This was not exactly the case. We sat at COMPLETELY separate tables, and proceeded to insult each other throughout the meal. It was brilliant!! Plus, the four-course meal was SO GOOD and it took place in the New College hall, which was one of the most stunning halls I’ve been in so far in Oxford. At this point I can’t believe that I almost didn’t try out for the university football team. It has been a huge, relatively unique, and wholly positive part of this experience. I couldn’t imagine life at Oxford without it, and I’m seriously disappointed that it’s over now. Well…at least we have dinners next term.
Otherwise, I’ve still been involved in the Harry Potter society, mostly just going to the film showings. Hopefully next term I’ll do more with them. I’ve developed quite the…ahem…reputation for having joined this society. WHATEVER, NERDS WILL RULE THE WORLD SOME DAY.
I feel like I’m leaving some things out…but I can’t remember them…in any case, I have a potentially fantastic break planned. Tomorrow I go to CHATSWORTH, the famous country home of the Dukes of Devonshire, which is Pemberley in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. On Wednesday I leave for Barcelona, and on Sunday I go to Ireland for my almost-month-long WWOOFing experience. Then I have about ten days to get my work done for first week before my parents arrive!
Miss you all,