Ok, I realize that I didn’t really even talk about Oxford at all in my last literary endeavor. I will try to do less rambling/making the world a better place by telling you how to blend in, and do more flowery prose descriptively describing the gloriousness of England.
Oxford. There is so much history there that you could bullet-point facts for days, and never run out of amazing factoids about the incredible things that have happened within city limits. Between harboring the inspirational attributes for some of the most incredible literature ever created (The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, etc.), horrifyingly acts of violence, and jaw dropping museum exhibits (the chalkboard that Albert Einstein used for this Theory of Relativity) you could go on for lifetimes. AND, it’s beautiful. And full of pubs. So basically, it has most of my favorite things.
Instead of giving you a miserable attempt at a Wikipedia page, I’ll let you just go to Wikipedia if you are wanting more information on Oxford as a tourist destination. Or, you know, if you feel that Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source of information then you can do your own search on the World Wide Web…I can only provide you with so much.
What I WILL do is give you several anecdotes on why I fell in love with the city. Apart from the above/overarching reasons, it passes my “test.” This kind of comes from “How I Met Your Mother”, where Lily applies the Front Porch Test to Ted’s girlfriends to see if they can go the distance. Except in my version, there is no other person involved, and it’s more a gut feeling than a vision. Essentially, it boils down to: can I see myself living here. Not “would this be a good place to raise a family” err whatever (because, as most of you know-I’m going to die alone), but “could I see myself walking down the street with my bags of groceries?” Or, “is there enough here to keep me entertained in whatever mood I happen to be in?” And, most importantly, “does it give me butterflies when I think about these questions as I gaze at the sights?” And the answer to all of these questions is: Yes*. I encourage you all to break out of the mold that is sometimes forced around us, and devise your own “Front Porch Test.” Maybe it will be to find a better-half and raise a family, maybe it will be joining a cult that drinks poisonous Koolaid; either way-find the “porch” that makes you most happy, and then embrace it fully. If you’re truly happy with your life’s path, then nothing can get it your way.
I’ve posted quite a few photos on FB, but (as I’ve already told you a thousand times) I’m a bit narcissistic. And, because I jokingly posted pictures of ridiculous pubs in my last post (the Opium Den is actually a Chinese restaurant…not even a bar. Or an Opium den. If I was addicted to opium, I would probably sue them for emotional distress). So here are just a few photos of one of my new favorite places (and there was a request for a picture of the tour guide…I was trying to be smooth, so it’s not the best):
*After I am tired of a large city, and am ready for the next step. Because, obviously, it will take me forever and a day to become tired of London and be ready for the next step. But when I am, the quaintness of Oxford would be a welcome change of pace!
P.S. I left for London one month ago! And since then, fate has knocked me around a little more than normal. I have literally gone to 2 classes, and was supposed to start my graduate seminar today. But, it got moved. To when you ask? Well, I was told in person Friday, but have an email saying to show up on Wednesday. My next attempt at being the next Rick Steves is going to be: “How to Teach a Graduate Class”. Step 1: actually have class. Step 2: make it MORE than obvious when you would like your students to show up. (I have been having my own classes at the Costa Coffee on Tottenham Court Road…for those of you who would like to attend, I have decided that I am going to also be writing AND grading my own tests. Therefore, if you would like a grad school education [like I do], come join!).
P.P.S. I was told that I was one of THREE grad students in the MA for Holocaust Studies. You know…no pressure…