The Beginning of the End
I thought my last week at Oxford would be really emotional. I’m the kind of sensitive person that usually has a difficult time with goodbye’s and I couldn’t imagine how saying goodbye to this magical university and all the people within it would work out—especially since I had no idea when I would be able to return to the United Kingdom. But, I had so much fun in the course of this last week that there wasn’t really time for an emotional goodbye.
The week started out pretty serious. I woke up Monday morning and walked down to college in my gown for collections. It’s weird because at Oxford collections can actually mean two different things: 1) exams that take place after each term, usually after the break or 2) a meeting with the college principal and head tutor to go over tutorial reports. Thankfully mine was the later, but it was still a nail-biting experience. It helped that I had met our principal, Will Hutton, a few times before the meeting. He is an interesting guy. If I had read The Guardian before I left, I would have known that he is a famous journalist, but in some ways it was better that I hadn’t because then I didn’t feel like I had to act different around this public figure. As it turned out, I really enjoyed talking with him. The first time I heard him speak it was all about economics and although I knew he was making important points, it was all I could do not to eat the dinner roll sitting in front of me. Giving a speech before formal hall turned out not to be such a good idea. But later in the term he told me a lot about the books in the Hertford Old Library. Apparently they are worth millions of dollars. But most importantly, I loved the conversation we had during collections. We did spend a few minutes talking over my tutor’s reports, both of which gave me great marks and said that I was a promising student, but then the conversation turned to Victorian Literature in general. The best part: I got to bring up the topic of Victorian Adaptations, which is the subject I’m really well-versed at, thanks to that class I took freshman year at Rice. Plus, he tipped me off to a new Charles Dickens biography coming out. After loving David Copperfield, I definitely think I should add that to my reading list.