Saturday, June 26, 2010

Packing Party

The packing has begun!  I've been packing for both the New York trip (leaving Sunday!) and Oxford trip (leaving next weekend!) simultaneously.  Here is my progress:

The larger suitcase and backpack are for Oxford, and the small suitcase is for New York.  I purchased some space saver bags (the kind that don't require a vacuum), so hopefully that helps squish all my clothes in there.

I also ordered $200 USD worth of pounds from the bank, which I need to pick up tomorrow.  The exchange rate leaves me with 133.62 pounds.  Really depressing how that works out.  Ugh.  I also downloaded some cool new apps to my iPod that will be helpful while I'm traveling, including a currency converter and French dictionary.  Ahh, the glory of technology!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crunch Time!

Only 10 days until I depart for England!  I will be traveling to New York in the meantime (June 27-30) for the National Conference on Volunteering and Service on behalf of the Red Cross.  I'm very excited about this conference, as I have always wanted to go.  HERE is the conference website.  I'll be going with my supervisor, Jessica, and we'll be staying at a Hilton in New York City.  I'll also get to see my long lost Ameri-roommate, Colleen!  Yay!  Then, I'll be back in Arlington for two days before I depart for England.  Stressful and exhausting?  Yes!  Exciting?  Double yes!

I got an e-mail from my Oxford program director, Dr. Jacobs, about arriving at Oxford.  Here it is:
"Dear Oxford students,
     Mark and I really look forward to seeing you on July 4. We'll gather all of you together at some point that day--perhaps during the reception before the (relatively formal) first dinner. Last year, the males wore ties and jackets, the females either pants suits, or dresses. Basically--you just have to look somewhat dressed up. They will serve you wine (one of only two times Exeter will do that) and some really good food. You will think you've wandered into a time warp orchestrated by J.K. Rowling.
    Bring required books--or at least read them so you can review them from the library--and xerox pages from optional books on topics that might apply to your paper. Look carefully at paper topics, because that will be uppermost on your mind starting week 2.
    It will be cold and rainy sometimes--so be prepared. Almost no one wears shorts, but casual shirts and pants are typical for classes and just hanging out. You can buy a sweatshirt when you get there (an Oxford one!) to keep you warm.
    You'll need all your own toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner,  medicine etc. There are drug stores nearby, if you forget anything.  An
d you can buy a cell phone (quite reasonably) as soon as you get  there. That will be less expensive than bringing your own phone and  paying the extra charges for England.
     Let me know if you have questions. This is going to be fun!
Erica (normally Dr. Jacobs, but in Oxford we're pretty informal!)"
 So, so, SO EXCITED!