Saturday, July 17, 2010

Work Hard, Play Hard

After literally days upon days of working 9-10 hours on school work each day, I have finally completed rough drafts of both my papers!  YAY!  I'll try to post them somehow once they're completed, in case anyone is interested.  Most of  my work has been done at the Social Sciences Library (part of the Bodleian) or in the JCR (Junior Common Room) on campus.  Here's a pic of Amanda and Brad doing homework in the JCR:

This has pretty much been the status quo all week...laptops in hand, sitting on the sofa, with an occasional indulgence at the vending machine.  

This morning I was awoken to a startling "knock, knock, knock" at my door.  It was housekeeping.  Exeter has maid services in their dorms.  Awesome, right?  Yes, unless you're trying to sleep in!  It's not like a hotel where I can just say "Please come back later."  When they arrive to service your room, they mean business.  So I hesitantly dragged my tail out of bed and went for a run.  I ran from campus to and around the University Parks.  It was tough because I haven't run in a while, but definitely worth it.  The park is gorgeous, and I felt great when I finished!

Since I've finished my rough drafts, I gave myself a "free day" today after lecture, and did some more exploring and shopping around Oxford.  I went to the main Bodleian library.  (Which, by the way, if you want a book from the stacks there, you have to request it and it is delivered to a designated reading room -- you can't just go browse and find it yourself.  Now that's service!)  I also visited Blackwell's Book Shop.  It's, I believe, the largest bookshop in all of the UK, and it is Blackwell's first and original flagship store.  It is HUGE -- 5 stories!  Here's a pic from inside:

(Mom, you would think this place was heaven!)  I could have stayed and browsed around all day.  They had huge sections devoted to Oxford writers, like CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein.  But, alas, I wanted to see more.... and so I did.  I walked up and down Turl St, Cornmarket St, George St, High St, and other random streets that I don't recall.  I visited a lot of souvenir shops, as well as clothing and accessories stores.  Most of the stores were very similar to those in the US.  Almost every women's clothing shop I visited reminded me of H&M in the cost and quality of the clothing.  And yet, I did not buy a single item!  Shocking considering that I spent about 4  hours shopping.  

I came back to campus for dinner.  It was fish 'n' chips, with tiramisu for dessert.  Surprisingly delicious!  I also read from some of my travel books about both Oxford and London.  Here are the ones I am using, both of which were given to me by the summer school program:

Tonight, I decided to chill out and relax, and I went to the Odeon movie theater and saw "Get Him to the Greek."  Hilariously vulgar.  I recommend.  :)  The movie theater was a bit different than those I've been to in the US.  You get to choose between "standard" and "premier" seating.  The premier seating costs more, but has bigger seats with more leg room.  I opted for the standard.  The other difference was that all the seats were assigned seats.  My ticket was 8.80 pounds (about $13.50).  All-in-all, a fun-filled day in Oxford!

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