Let me start out by saying that it’s been a long day. Sleeping on a plane is next to impossible so I’ve been awake since Monday March 17th starting at 3:30 am. Thanks to some pre-flight turbulence.
My plane landed in London Heathrow airport at noon (7:00am on Minnesota time) on March 18th. During the flight I was like a five year old: looking out the window, pushing buttons on the tv screen on the back of the seat in front of me. I also watched two movies: The Desolation of Smaug and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. When the plane landed I raised my hands like I was at a foot ball game and said “touch down!” If that doesn’t sound like a five year old I don’t know what dose.
After taking a series of trains to get to the street from the terminal we waited for a bus to take us to Oxford. Most, if not all my classmates had their bus tickets already and English pounds in their pockets. I and my roommate didn’t. Luckily we were able to purchase a ticket from the driver using American money. At that time the exchange rate was about 2 American dollars to 1 English pound. (Rates change constantly, if you are planning a trip to another country make sure you check the rates daily and go with a little of the country’s coin in your pocket.) Later today my roommate and I will find a bank to exchange our money at, then we’re going shopping for a few forgotten items.
On the bus I managed to get a little sleep, but I kept waking up every time my mouth fell open. The bus ride took about an hour. From the central bus station in Oxford we walked 15- 20 minutes to Wycliffe Hall. Carrying a back pack and pulling two suitcases over cobel stone sidewalks wasn’t easy. On the way we came across three of our classmates who had arraived eariler in the week, we stopped trying to find our way and just followed them.
So, dead tired, a little hungry and a lot thirsty, and with sore arms and back we finally get to Wycliffe Hall. Crowed in the entry way we got our room assignments. I was one of the last and after watching others drag their suitcases up the stairs I was happy when the lady pointed me down a hall way with no stairs. I thought I was on the first floor. Not. But that’s ok. I’m in the tower, which is on the other side of the library, seperated from the gist of the students. In the tower, on the third floor there are four rooms with two girls/room. Not too bad at all.
Our whole class had just enough time to get their things up to their rooms before Dr. Allen Chapman‘s welcoming speech. Try as I might to stay awake, I found my head bobbing on it’s own accord. I hope I wasn’t the only one and that Dr. Chapman didn’t notice. After the Welcoming speech, he took us on a 2.5 mile walk around the city of Oxford. Most of it we had trudged past on our way to Wycliffe, but there were other places he pointed out that we hadn’t noticed.
These two colleges, Trinity College and Balliol College I believe, disliked each other so much that when the students would come back from a night at the pubs they would stand on their side of the separating wall, toss bottles and the like back and forth, and sing the following words to the tune of “Oh, my darling Clementine.” * Americans take no offence, there is swearing in this song. Dr. Chapman pointed out that the English love to swear.
“I’m a bastard, I’m a bastard. I’m a bastard, yes I am. But I’d rather be a bastard than a …” finishing that ditty off with the name of the opposing college.
We continued our walk around the city. Passing other colleges, pubs, shops and houses. Christ Church College was another place where Dr. Chapman stopped to tell stories. Chirst Church is the college Dr. Chapman is apart of. He told us that members of this college don’t call it Christ Church but rather “The house.” They do this as a play on the Latin name, which is the house of Christ, hence The house. There is a lawn at The house where they have their summer garden parties. This lawn is also the model for the crochet scene in Alice in wonderland written by Lewis Carroll. Dr. Chapman also shared the fun fact about Lewis Carroll’s name. His real name is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He took his name in Latin to get his pen name.
After Christ Church we started to head back to Wycliffe Hall. Our last street that we walked down was the outdoor mall. For weeks now we had been hearing about this street from our teacher, where there is a Burger King at one end and a McDonald on the other. It’s not just american food on this street, there are shops for clothes, books, posters and just about anything else… except a craft shop. I didn’t see one of those. What will my crafty hands do for a month without yarn and crochet hook?
Dinner that night was a slap of ham with pineapple, french fries, and what I think was cooked cabbage. Yes Mom, I ate the greens, you’ll be proud of me. After dinner I unpacked, learned how to work the shower and shared my knowledge with another, then… I crashed.
I was so tired that I didn’t post last night. The stuff that I do today will be in another post, which will be written tonight.
In case you missed the Links
London Heathrow Airport: http://www.heathrow-airport-guide.co.uk/
Rotten Tomatoes, The Desolation of Smaug: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_hobbit_the_desolation_of_smaug/
Rotten Tomatoes, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/percy_jackson_sea_of_monsters/
Exchange Rate Checker: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
Wycliffe Hall: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wycliffe_Hall,_Oxford
Dr. Allen Chapman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Chapman_(historian)
Eagle and Child: http://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/theeagleandchildoxford/
Bird and Baby: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eagle_and_Child
The Inklings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inklings
C.S. Lewis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis
J.R.R Tolkien: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien
Charles Williams: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Williams_(British_writer)
Christ Church College: http://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/visiting/timesandprices
Alice and Lewis Carroll: http://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/visiting/alice