Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First Day at Oxford

Yesterday was a very long, packed day.

For me, the day started at 3 am, when I woke up. I lay in bed until 4 am, at which point I gave up trying to fall back asleep. Instead, I finished writing the previous two posts and dealt with other things on the internet. At around 7 am, I went out for a walk around the neighborhood, taking pictures along the way.

The photo of the college with the green is Christ College, if I remember correctly. The last one is of punts on the river (the Thames I think) flowing underneath Magdalen Bridge. 

Later in the day, we had a series of logistical orientation meetings dealing with academics and living in the Stanford House. It is still unclear as to which classes I will be taking, since the two I signed up for, History and Architecture of Oxford and History of London, are both over-enrolled. I am guaranteed to get at least one, probably History of London. I am also definitely in my tutorial, Atomic Physics. I already have my first assignment. It looks daunting, but I have not started it yet. 

Later in the afternoon, we went on a guided tour of the area around the Stanford House. 

This is in the quadrangle of Corpus Christi, the college I will be going to for meals and socializing.

This is a decorative cake, illustrating the royal wedding. It may be hard to see, but Prince William is on the floor next to Kate with a bottle of champagne. Everyone else is also doing ridiculous things. 

This is the quadrangle, I think, of Wodham College.

Above is the Radcliffe Camera, which houses part of the Bodleian Library and is possibly the most iconic building in Oxford. 

After the tour, I did some shopping with other people for the program. They all had to get stuff for the potluck dinner I was (sadly) missing for my Passover seder.

Since the seder wasn't starting until 8:30, I meant to at least hang out at the potluck, even if I wasn't eating, but I slept straight through it. Again, Victor saved me by waking me up around 8 pm. I had set an alarm, but it didn't wake me. All the other guys went to a pub, but I took a long walk out to Rabbi Daniel's house for the seder. 

The seder was wonderful. There were a dozen or so people there, the majority of whom I think were graduate students. It was a pretty traditional Passover seder and had a lot of great discussion. I really liked the people I met there, so I hope to see them again at Shabbats or other events in the Jewish community. The seder went until 1:30 in the morning, and I didn't get back to the Stanford House until after 2. And then I went almost straight to sleep. 

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