3rd and 4th Week

Week 4 is well underway. It is crazy to think that we are almost halfway done with Michaelmas term.

I just had my second secondary tutorial on Monday. In this course, I start by reading the paper that I have prepared out loud while the tutor listens and takes notes. (When preparing for the tutorial, It is good practice to read the paper to yourself to see if it sounds fluid.) After I finish reading, the tutor usually addresses places in the paper where I could have been more clear, and then we talk about the topic as a whole. A lot is squeezed into that one hour of the tutorial. It is a fun, yet slightly intimidating setting.

The work is exciting and time consuming, but I have found time to do some interesting things in my spare time.

A few blogs ago, I mentioned that I would take up chess in my free time. And in my last blog I mentioned my fondness of a local pub. Well, it turns out that this pub has a chess set, so I’ve been killing two birds with one stone recently.

Playing chess at Angel and Greyhound. I beat Tim 4 times.

Also, at the end of week 2 there was this event at Mansfield where we dressed up and drank champagne and ate chocolates. The formal events here have been very fun. I always enjoy an excuse to dress up and take pictures.

And last Saturday, I went to my first Oxford United football game. My season tickets are in the very top row, but it is such a small stadium that the view from the seats is still pretty remarkable. I am very excited for future home games.

An exciting game of lower league English football.

At some point I would love to join either a club sport or university team. At the end of the summer I picked up a slight injury, so I decided to give myself a few weeks to recover. I miss playing tennis, so hopefully I will be able to play soon.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!


1st and 2nd Week

I have just completed my first 2 weeks of tutorials, and I think it is safe to say that Oxford is pretty challenging.

The process of studying and reading on your own and then preparing a 2500-3000 word essay to be critiqued in front of you for an hour once or twice a week is something that is both daunting and fun, to be honest.

At Oxford, we take part in the tutorial system, which consists of a weekly primary and secondary that meets every other week. My primary consists of just myself and one other student with the tutor, and for my secondary it is just me and the tutor. And as someone who is often very reserved when it comes to talking in class, in this intimate setting it is very easy to engage with the material and ask questions.

While things seem to be going well for the most part since I’ve arrived, I think that I am definitely still getting the hang of things. 3 all-nighters in 9 days probably isn’t healthy.

But on a more positive note, here are some important personal updates: I’ve been to Nandos 4 times in the last week; the bartender at the local pub already knows me by name and order; and I met J.J. Abrams at an Oxford Union event! 

I will have a picture of me and a few other students with Mr. Abrams at some point soon. Joining the Oxford Union is a must if you end up studying at Oxford. The lineup of famous speakers is truly remarkable. Just the other day, my fellow Holy Cross visiting student and friend Matt met Scaramucci, or “the Mooch”, and got an Instagram picture with him. Pretty cool stuff.

I also ran into a friend of mine from high school randomly at a pub. Turns out that he is also studying abroad at Oxford for the year. Incredibly small world.

Regis at Oxford. Drinking some water after a long day of writing.


Tonight, I am going to a chocolate and champagne party, and then tomorrow I am going to my first Oxford United football (soccer) game of the year. I should have more pictures to come after these events.

Looking forward to more adventures and learning. Wish me luck.


Fresher’s Week

I’ve finally settled in, and orientation week is up and running. Oxford is even more beautiful than I had imagined.

The walk to Mansfield is spectacular.  I live on Cowley road, which is about a 30 minute walk from Mansfield. That sounds kind of bad, but honestly it’s a lovely walk. Some of the other visiting students are buying bikes, which isn’t a bad idea. I enjoy a nice, peaceful walk, and I’m not terribly confident in my biking ability, so I don’t think I’ll get one.

I bring my camera pretty much everywhere I go. I get quite a few glances when I stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take a picture of a brick wall or a cloud. I’ve looked like quite the tourist. I took some pretty pictures though, so definitely worth it.

Colorful townhouses on my walk to Mansfield

Last night, the freshers and visiting students went to the Turf Tavern with their “parents”, who are basically just upperclassmen who will help us adjust throughout the year. It was nice to finally meet my new mom and dad, and it was even nicer when my mom bought me a “very potent” drink. It was definitely one of the most eventual Monday nights of my life, for sure.

What’s really cool is that the Turf is one of the oldest pubs in Oxford, apparently dating back to 1381. Perusing the wikipedia article as I write this I just learned that “local legend also has it that former U.S. president Bill Clinton, while attending Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, infamously ‘did not inhale’ during an evening of carousing at the pub.” Also, “the Turf Tavern is also where former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a Guinness World Record for consuming a yard glass of ale in 11 seconds in 1963.” Pretty neat. Also, the ceilings were so low at the entrance of the bar that I couldn’t even stand up straight without hitting my head. My guess is that there were not many 6’5″ people in the 14th century.

But with all that being said, what I love the most are the libraries. So much can be said about them, but I’ll save that for a future blog.

I love libraries

Before my next entry I’m going to buy a chess set. I think that would be a cool Oxford student thing to do.

Anyway, back to my reading!


A blurry picture with some of my new Friends!
Amazing night at Mansfield