Sunday, 8 February 2009

Road Trip, among other things

Today is February 8th and officially marks one month of my being overseas. I have to say some days it feels like I have been here for ages; other times I find it hard to believe how quickly the days and weeks have passed. There are still five more weeks left in the term, so I'm not quite half-way yet, but it will be here before I know it, I'm sure.

It feels good to know that time passes in England just as it does at home. I haven't starting marking days off my calendar, which is definitely a good sign. I've only cried twice in a month as well - another good sign.

This week has been quite eventful and really should be about three blogs rather than one, but it's been too eventful for me to have time to sit and record. (I actually wrote about half of this blog on the way back from Cambridge because I had nothing else to do). First, I woke up Thursday morning to snow - and lots of it! It came down in enormous flakes and had already accumulated a couple of inches by the time I rolled out of bed. I had to turn in an essay for my Holocaust tutorial, which meant I had to walk to town - in the snow.

Back at Jewell, we get big snows all the time, and the great facilities management team is up before the sun with their little snow plows clearing the side for us to have a hazard-free walk to class. Such was not the case in Oxford - or anywhere in England for that matter! Apparently, they have not seen so much snow in 20 years! As a result, my 1.2 mile walk into town was not one on grated and salted sidewalks. Rather, it was a bumpy, slushy trek that felt much like I was hiking in sand. Needless to say, I have a newfound appreciation for facilities management.

Friday I woke up to...more snow...making my walk to tutorial another slushy, messy journey. I was really not loving the snow at this point. However, my tutorial went very well, which put an extra spring in my step as I made the hike home. I also found out that Christian, my tutor, lhas a house in Bavaria that is 20 minutes away from the Pope's brother's house, and they have a lot of the same friends! Pretty awesome, right? He also assigned me to go to the movies before our next meeting. I have to see "Defiance" and "Valkyrie." Unfortunately, he forgot to give me the money to go see them...

Friday was also a day of waiting. I applied to be an RA at Jewell before I left and knew I was supposed to find out Friday. I checked my email over and over and over - hoping I would get good news but also trying not to get my hopes up too high. I felt I was at a disadvantage by being gone, but I just knew it had to work out because I wanted it SO bad. Thinking about it made me miss my "sheep" at Jewell, which made me miss everyone at Jewell, which made me want to go home, which is no bueno. I was talking to Caitlin on Facebook as the clock ticked toward 5 p.m. CT, and I was beginning to wonder if I was going to find out at all. Then she said, "Check your email. I hear girls screaming down the hall." (A pretty clear sign that I had some kind of news) So I click over to my Microsoft Outlook Web Access as fast as I can and read the message from Ernie Stufflebean...congratulating me on being part of the 2009-2010 Residence Life Staff!!! I was so excited! It was definitely the best thing that had happened all day, and I immediately wanted to come back to Jewell and start planning all my hall events for next year. I haven't stopped thinking about all the things I want to do; it's going to be so great! So Friday was a good day, despite the snow.

Saturday morning started with my Political Philosophy tutorial. I didn't sleep well the night before, partly because I was still excited about getting to be an RA and partly because I was nervous because this tutorial is scary! Anyway, I got up early and made the long hike to his house, thankfully, without snow. I was thrilled that it was probably my best tutorial yet, and I treated myself to a pastry for breakfast when I got back to City Centre. Then I hopped on a bus to go to Cambridge to see one of my favorite people in the whole world, Cody Johnson! It was SO great to see him, and Jessie Newman and Laurel Harrold came from Harlaxton to visit too - an added bonus. We spent the weekend wandering around Cambridge, meeting some real British people, and spending some quality time together. This morning we went to King's College for a traditional Anglican Church service. The chapel itself is beautiful! It has the highest vaulted ceilings in the world (according to tour guide Cody), and the service was really cool too. They had an all-boys choir, and we even go to take communion. It was quite the treat. I was sad to say goodbye at the end of the day, but I know I'll come back again soon. It was wonderful to spend time with him; we definitely needed hugs from best friends!

So that's what has been going on with me. More to come! I'll post some pictures tomorrow, but for now I'm spent. And so to bed!

1 comment:

  1. Such a great post!!! Glad you got to the bus station ok (I assume you got there ok since you made it back to Oxford :) It was a great weekend!!! Loved seeing you!