Wednesday, 23 May 2012

May 23: Tutorials

A list:
1. This place is super clean. Today I saw a man sweep the street and gutters. Another man was vacuuming outside his store. Strange
2. Yes, teeth are as bad as they say they are.
3. No one is fat here.
4. Bikers are more dangerous than cars.
5. The people are so so so nice and helpful.

Today we had to go to orientation in the Offices. It has been the most perfect weather, and its almost hot. Unfortunately, no one has air conditioning. You would think that being the founders of the Industrial Revolution these people could have thought of a ceiling fan, but no. So we sweltered and listened to the President of this program, who seems like a pretty cool guy. He spent time working for Reagan in the Defense Department, being an Oxford professor etc etc. My favorite thing he said is that the British are the best at "effortless superiority." You can go to Oxford but its totally middle class to act like you're actually trying hard. Gentlemanly C's is perfectly accpetable in this upper class playground. I think I need to adopt this attitude.Then a librarian came to talk to us, making it all even more daunting. The library is a serious deal here, and if you come here just tour but dont actually plan on studying there!

We got a little lunch at a pub. The best part is how everything is so proper. This was by no means a nice restaurant, but a man was told to take off his hat when he came in the door. The line they give is, "that isn't done here..." which makes you feel so stupid.

After all that, we got inducted into the Bodleian library. Actually I can go to my College library, in Trinity College, but everyone can go to the Bodleian Library. Trinity is older, but the Bod is gigantic, 11 million texts. Anyways we got to go to the Convocation hall, and had a ceremony. This place was like a mini parliament room, like you would see on BBC. We had to swear an oath to get our library cards. Now I'm a member, yay! So all that means is I am completely overwhelmed with how to actually get a book, because you can't borrow them only look at them. Lots of history with all that, kind of boring so I won't bore you.

Trinity College                                   
 Radcliff Camera at Bodleian Library- My new study place!

Then, while everyone else gets to go on a walking tour, I have to go find my tutor. Mind you, Oxford has 170,000 residents and I've only seen one little street prior to 5 pm. There are over 40 colleges and they are spread out all over the place. Also, this lovely town doesn't like to mark streets properly. There are street signs on buildings sometimes but they don't seem too concerned. Anyways so I know my guy is in St. Cross College. So I find that on the map, make it there 5 minutes early, and I'm in the wrong place... He is in the annex building like blocks and blocks away and I only have 5 minutes, no phone, and no idea where I am. So the porter gives me a sense of direction, and I run down the street because obviously I missed yesterday and can't miss again. The lovely gate guard at Trinity calls the college for me to check where he is, then tells me to keep heading in the direction I'm going in. On the way I have to start asking people, and finally after I'm profusely sweating I find this place. I go to the front desk, and the lady at "inquiries" doesn't know who this guy is. Finalllyyyy after more help, I find my tutor Jure Vidmar from Slovenia (google him--I did). He is literally down in a tiny hole in a maze of hallways in a building miles away. But he seems super nice, and a little quiet. Good thing, because I don't know if anyone else has ever had to just write papers, and then go before your teacher and read it out loud to him then discuss it... It isn't going to be fun. So I have to read 1/4 of a textbook and write a paper by next Thursday! But tutor meeting is finally over with and I can stop stressing about that, now to get the books...

After all that we went to Turf Tavern. One of the oldest taverns in all of Britain and Oxford. It is literally in tiny tiny alleys, and you have to know how to get there. It was good food again, and lots of fun people. More pictures to come, but my camera isn't uploading at this time (help!) That's most of the fun stuff from today!

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