So I had this whole plan that seemed like such a good idea at the time. My night flight, sleeping on the plane, getting into Heathrow in the morning ready to go. It all fell apart when the sleeping on the plane did not go well. Not well at all. I don't even really have a good sense of how much I was able to sleep. But it was not much. When I got into London at 9:00 in the morning I was exhausted with a whole day in front of me before the chance of sweet, sweet sleep.
Customs was not problem at all, I got through in like five minutes, but another person I was talking to today said it took her two hours! Horror! I found the bus to Oxford without too much trouble and off I went. The bus driver was fabulous. He sang, and was dropping people off places that weren't even bus stops. It was like a taxi. He stopped the bus to show me a map so I could walk from the final bus stop to Mansfield College. It was only about ten minutes away.
Oxford is really cute. All cobblestones and trees and churches and colleges. And bicycles. More bicycles than cars. Very few people wear helmets and a lot of people don't seem to lock their bikes to anything. There's a really nice vibe here.
Those of us who were there by the late afternoon went to a garden party. We weren't the only program there. There were also people from The Oxford Prep Experience and The Oxford Tradition. One of them, I think Prep, that would make sense, was for high school kids, and I'm not sure about the other one, but I think it's also for teachers. I got to talk to some of the other Oxbridge Seminar participants. There are four study groups going on. The fantasy literature one, Shakespeare, The Library and the Academy and U.S. History. There are about 12 people in the fantasy and Shakespeare groups, and five or six in the other two. Some people have come back for the second summer in a row because they loved it so much! That's a good sign. Most people are from the U.S., but there's a women from Brazil, and one from Barcelona, and a few other countries are represented. Only two men, but I'm told it was unusually skewed this year.
After the garden party was dinner, which is a series affair. It's a sit down, three course meal, and apparently it wasn't just a welcome thing, it's like this every night! It was really good too.
After dinner we walked around Oxford for a bit, not really a tour, more of a "here's the post office, you can get a good sandwich here" but we saw some sights, like The
Eagle and Child, where Tolkien and C.S. Lewis hung out:
and The Randolph were C.S. Lewis would meet his lady friend. We ended in a pub around the corner from the college. Then I collapsed. It was 10:00 Oxford time. Seriously, I deserve a medal for staying up that long.