It’s been over a year since I returned from England — for that matter, it’s been more than a year since I last posted about it — but there has still always been that one last post to write. I delayed for several reasons, including schoolwork, my focus on sports blogging, and my uncertainty about how to illuminate an overarching theme of the trip, until every time I thought about writing a conclusion it seemed too troublesome to pull off and completely trivial to delay another week.
Now, though, I have to come to terms with the reality of how long it’s been since I last discussed the trip and how long the story has spent without an ending. So I thought I would do in this post what I’ve done best in the whole blog — simply describe the remaining events of Oxford as they happened, and post a few photos. Perhaps that’s what this adventure needs for a denouement: not an ending at all, but a final exhaustion of stories to tell.
Tolkien’s old neighborhood.
As Week 2 opens, the Summer Abroad session is now in full swing and each day is punctuated by either an intense class section, a tour, or some new group bonding activity. Soon after this blog last left off, the UC Davis students were treated to a guided literary tour of Oxford that covered Exeter College (Phillip Pullman’s college and the unsubtle inspiration for Jordan College in his books), the former neighborhood of J.R.R. Tolkien, the Radcliffe Camera, and the corridors and dining hall of Christ Church College (which look very familiar to fans of the first Harry Potter film).
A lot has happened quickly in the last few days, but after a flurry of activity things have finally settled down, classes have started, and the realization has finally dawned on me that I’m in Oxford, England.
My journey actually began a few days ago, when almost half of the students in the program boarded the same flight from California direct to London. For many of us, it was our first time flying alone. For some, like me, it was the first time traveling internationally as well. After an uneventful trip, we were greeted in the most traditionally English way: with rain.
The group gets ready to depart.