1st and 2nd Week

Two weeks into Hilary term and I finally have some time to sit back and reflect. My tutorials have been going well, and the quality of my writing is improving significantly, but I can certainly still work on time management. I am very sleepy.

My original plan for the year was to take all philosophy courses, but I changed a few things around this term. I am now taking history and a Buddhism tutorial. I still have a few remaining common-area requirements for Holy Cross, so I am hoping that my Buddhism will count for my cross-cultural requirement. Apparently I was taking too many philosophy courses to begin with, so, in order to graduate, I need to take more non-major courses.

Early in each term we need to submit course acceptance forms with a detailed description of each tutorial in order to get credit for the work that we are doing while abroad. I sent mine in a few days late, but I have not received an email yelling at me yet, so that is a good sign.

My primary is on the Wars of the Roses in 15th century England. It is an incredibly interesting time in history. The different primary sources that have existed are remarkable as well. The chronicles, parliamentary rolls, and manifestos still exist and are readable.

My Wars of the Roses tutorial is at Corpus Christi college.

My secondary is Buddhism. I have never studied eastern philosophy before, and it is quite different. My first paper topic was defending the buddhist arguments for anātman, which is the concept of not-self. It is hard from a western, Christian background to be able to consider the lack of existence of a self, or soul, but it is facinating nonetheless. I am looking forward to doing more background reading.

Outside of my classes, I went to a Premier League football match at Crystal Palace a few weekends ago. There is a bus stop directly outside the Ablethorpe dorm that has busses to London.

In the “queue”.
Crystal Palace’s mascot: a real eagle.

It has also been nice to watch some of the Australian Open tennis matches that are on at 4am while I am up revising my papers. And speaking of tennis, I tried out for the Oxford tennis club, but have yet to hear back. I will follow up with them soon.

I now have two weeks off from of my tutorials, and I am looking forward to having some free time.


0th Week – Hilary Term

The 1st week of Hilary term starts this Sunday. It has been a nice and relaxing winter vacation, but I am ready to get back to my old routine.

I travelled a decent amount in the last 2 weeks. I spent New Year’s Eve in Munich, and then spent 2 days in Paris. I think that I overestimated the amount of travel that I would do this break; I did not account for how exhausting it is.

The Hofbräuhaus is my idea of heaven on Earth.
In front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Paris is lovely at night.

I also managed to visit a few more pubs in Oxford that I have not been to before, including the King’s Arms, Lamb and Flag, and the Eagle and Child. J.R.R Tolkien apparently used to frequent the Eagle and Child. The pub culture here is a wonderful thing. There is such amazing history to all of these places, and I always enjoy seeing professorial types drinking their Guinness while reading interesting textbooks.

I went to the top of University Church again because I wanted a picture of myself where I looked both smart and mysterious.


It is a new year and a new term, so naturally I have been reflecting, and making a list of goals for myself. Matt and I have decided that we want to cook more of our meals in order to save some money and eat healthier.

This was surprisingly edible. I cooked the pasta. Matt did everything else.

I have also been saying for a while that I want to join a sport team here, so I have decided to try out for Oxford’s Lawn Tennis Club on Sunday. I needed some time away from the sport, hence the whole study abroad thing, but 4 months without it has been tougher than I expected it would be. Hopefully this will be a good way to meet people and not get too out-of-shape while I am here.

I learned a lot during Michaelmas term, so hopefully this will be a successful and fulfilling second term in Oxford. Once again, wish me luck!