This is the first of likely several posts that are written to take a break from the larger task of essay-writing. What today looked like:
I got up around eight, which is the time my internal clock is starting to favor. Cleaned my room, sent some emails, had yogurt and a banana, taped event cards to the only wall that isn’t already well covered. You know, general leisurely futzing around.
Around noon I saddled up and headed for the Social Science Library to do my last bit of reading before starting to write the essay that is currently underway. I haven’t been to the Social Science Library before and almost had a nasty incident with a curb while I was busy trying to read a sign. Thank goodness I have a pretty sturdy bike and reasonable balance! Anyhow, I found the library and was pleased that my Bod card (library card for the Bodleian, pictured in a previous post) worked. As an “associate” student I have somewhat restricted access and am somewhat unclear as to how the whole system works (I don’t think anyone understands all of it, really) but it seems the Social Science Library is part of the larger network of the “Bodleian Library.”
Anyhow, I get in, find a computer, and search for my book: A Very Short Introduction to International Migration by Khalid Koser. Note: The “Very Short Introduction” title is a series that contains introductions to pretty much any topic you could imagine. And yes, they are actually short and not just a stab at irony. (Would that be irony?) The search system was not being very accommodating, though I did manage to figure it out and discover that someone had checked out my book. Tragedy! I had to locate an available copy in a library I could access, which was easy enough. Then I was off to the Radcliff Science Library and lo and behold there was a copy on the shelves.
I read the whole thing and was somewhat surprised when I emerged from the bowels of the basement that it was already dark out. It does get dark early here (Oxford is farther north than anywhere in the continental US) so that should really be expected.
On the way home I took an alley that seemed to be headed the right direction and ended up at the Lamb and Flag, a pub that was frequented by JRR Tolkien and other famous names and is one of the must-visit stops here. So stop I did! Not a bad reward for five hours of nonstop reading and note-taking. I scribbled out some postcards and made my way home, where I have been since. Dinner, shower, and back to it for another four hours. The essay is superbly outlined (if I may say so myself) and all that is to be done is finish writing it. Then do the same thing next week! And the next and the next and the next… You get the idea. But it is past 1 a.m. now and body clock says time for sleep.
Overall: a happy First Week for the students of Oxford. What really gets me is that it is already time for midterms back at UT. Which also means… the course catalog for the spring is available! I saw that earlier this week and have my schedule planned out as well as I can. Good news: no Friday classes. Better news: my classes will continue in the vein of fun, interesting, and contributing towards my graduation. What more could a student ask for?