Hello beautiful people!
Know that if you are reading this post, I truly miss you. People often are surprised when I talk about how much I miss home but quite honestly I don’t really miss home as a place all that much, but I really, really miss home as a community. But I suppose the two aren’t quite as extricable as that, but moving on!
I’ve been here for two days short of a month now and am just starting the fourth week of classes! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Oxford system for school, let me fill you in, it’s quite a strange thing: A term only lasts 8 weeks here and in a term you take two tutorials, one being your primary and one your secondary tutorial. Your primary tutorial meets once a week for an hour but it is a one-on-one with a tutor that has expertise and the exact subject area you are studying. For instance, my primary is Victorian Literature (mid-late 19th century in Britain) and my tutor has read nearly everything from that time period and is just in general really knowledgeable about all things Victorian. Then your secondary tutorial meets every other week in the same fashion. Mine is Philosophical Theology. For each of these tutorials it is expected that you write an essay that is roughly 2000-2500 words longs on a given topic. So far, I’ve written on the agency of fate in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the guilt of Dr. Jekyll in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the role of identity and art in The Picture of Dorian Gray, and if it is possible to have a faith that is at once rational and meritorious. I’m also working on an essay that attempts to determine how we should understand the Incarnation of God the Son in the person of Jesus Christ. All of these topics are incredibly interesting to me and, while I do get bogged down doing all the reading, I love the process of working through what I can add to the conversation.
And although course-work does take up a huge chunk of my time, those of you who know me know that I’m not content to just sit and work throughout the day! I’ve joined the Queen’s College Football (soccer) team which is one of the colleges affiliated with Oxford (there’s a total off 44 colleges and halls that are a part of Oxford University), spent lots of time biking around the city and discovering lots of cool places, cooked my own dinners (woah!), gone for a day trip to London, seen a play, and so many other fun things! Oxford is a truly incredibly beautiful city and it’s so easy to get around in. The city is very small in terms of geographic size despite the amount of people that live here. I have a bike for the semester and can get anywhere in the city on my bike which is fantastic!
I’ve also meant a lot of really cool people here! There are 22 of us plus our Junior Directors that are living in an old Victorian house that’s about a 15 minute bike ride from the center of Oxford. We’ve all grown really close together and a group of 10 of us make dinner together and eat together 5 days a week! Having this core group of people has really helped me to adjust to life here as we all take in the new experiences together (shout out to Casey, Rebecca, Chris, Emily, Kelly, Jewel, Karin, Jenn, and Ryan!). They’ve all been a true blessing in my life.
Sara and I are able to Skype about 5 days a week and stay in contact through WhatsApp throughout the day which has been a real blessing! Our time apart sucks but it’s going to make being back together that much better!
I’d love to hear from all of you! What are you all up to? Facebook me, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or WhatsApp me to get in contact! I love you all!