Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 1 at Oxford

I arrived at Oxford yesterday around noon, got checked in and unpacked.  Here are a few photos of my room.  (I took a video tour of my dorm, but blogger won't let me upload it right now.  I'll try to post later!)

View from my dorm room of a courtyard and chapel

My dorm room (desk, bookshelf, closet... please
also take note of the tea maker and teacup - love it!)

My room is simple and a bit rustic.  I have a desk, bookshelf, dresser, closet, bed, and sink.  

After getting settled in, we had a brief Orientation with everyone from the summer school.  There are about 100 or so students here with the International Summer School.  This includes two programs:  English Literature and History, Politics, and Society (my program).  There are, I believe, 16 students from GMU.

After Orientation, we had some time to change into our dress clothes, then convened in the Fellows Garden for group photos.  After the photos, they served us champagne in the garden and this was my first real chance to mix and mingle.  There are people here from all over the world!  I met students from Spain, Croatia, Australia, Venezuela, England, Canada, and of course the US.  What an amazing experience -- how often in life are you able to study with people from across the world?

After our champagne in the garden, we went to the dining hall (which they call "Hall") for dinner.  It was just as I had imagined!  Very Hogwarts-y.  They served us a five course meal -- salad, sorbet, chicken and vegetables, rhubarb dessert, and coffee and chocolate.  It was very good, although I'm told that the first and last meals here are always good, and they get a little worse in the middle of the program.  We'll see!  Here is a picture of Hall:

Not sure if you can tell from this photo, but there is a head table at the far wall where all the tutors (what we we call professors) sit.  They all wear black robes and we are required to stand when they enter the room.  It's very formal and respectful.

OK, time to get ready for my first plenary session and lecture!

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