Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Christmas Already?

All right. So I'm sure some of you are already confused by my title, but have no fear, I shall promptly explain. One thing you may not think of as an American is the fact that we have so many (commercialized) holidays. In almost 2 months we have 3 holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And of course there are decorations you MUST buy for each one. Here there aren't that many holidays. Sure, the candy stores are sort of playing up the whole "Halloween" deal, but that's it. Well except for the masses of Christmas gift sets that are pushing their way to the front of the shelves. When you walk down High Street or Broad Street you see signs in the windows of restaurants saying "Don't forget to book your Christmas party here!" Even Pizza Hut has that in its window. It is a bit confusing. Does no one have a family Christmas dinner like the good old days? Or is it just "a British thing"? Yet another oddity of the English people.

One thing that was very exciting was that my OOSC group went on an excursion to Blenheim Palace last Saturday, which is just north of Oxford. It began the trip raining, which befitted the graveyard of Winston Churchill and the Dukes of Marlborough. Thankfully by the mid-afternoon the clouds dissipated and the sun shone through. The palace is beautiful and its grounds were reminiscent of Versailles. That was a very fun excursion to go on.

I wrote a paper on Monday for my Tuesday tutorial with Dr. Kreitzer on the New Testament. That was enjoyable but sometimes I feel like a big idiot during our discussions because I'm not super familiar with the Bible. I just know bits and pieces. I'm going to have to Sparknote it. However, he seemed to enjoy my paper, so that was nice. Now I am working on a paper for my Tudors tutorial with Dr. John Jackson on Henry VIII. It is very interesting; however, I am never very motivated to write. It is due on Friday, so thankfully I have some time.

Speaking of Friday, my mother is coming to Oxford on Friday!! I am super super pumped for that. It will be nice to see a face from the States, especially one I love so much. I feel bad for my father for having to stay at home and bring in the bacon. Thankfully, I will be seeing him in less than 2 months. Today we cleaned up the house for her stay. The place was a wreck. But after Chris cleans the den and Brent cleans the guest bedroom, it all should look decent. And hopefully it stays that way. Below is a picture of the pots and pans in the kitchen before being washed and after being consolidated to the sink by your's truly.

Yesterday was very fun because I hung out with melody and we got to have some good girl time. I also met some cool British people that go to Regent's Park. Then after I went to the Oxford union and had drinks and dialogue with Dr. Michael Oppenheimer! It's a bit of a long story of the circumstances, but I really enjoyed it. Dr. Oppenheimer is a leading environmentalist, teaches at Princeton, and was on Obama's council on the environment during his campaign. He was a fascinating and likeable man.

Well that's all for now. I shall write soonish - as in next week. Have a happy Halloween!

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