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.