[Inside of Corpus Christi College.]
Well, friends, I made it! I am now in the beautiful city of Oxford. My mom and I arrived here Monday afternoon, travelworn after a few uncomfortable hours on trains and taxis. But we were happy to arrive at our destination.
[Obligatory selfie in the cloisters.]
My mom had to leave for the airport the next morning, so I did a lot of exploring myself. (And now I feel badly that my mom wasn't able to see all the things I have discovered . . . because there is so much more to Oxford than train stations and a long walk down High Street--even though that walk is lovely in its own right.)
But exploring the nooks, crannies, and secrets of Oxford is one of my new favorite things to do. And I do a lot of it as I figure out the city and my place in it.
For example. Remember how this is the first thing I see every morning?
And how the Radcliffe Camera is just a seven-minute jog away from my flat?
And how morning runs are the perfect time to get pictures of the Bridge of Sighs sans tourists?
Speaking of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, I decided to play the tourist on Wednesday, which meant that I climbed to the top of the clock tower and took a bunch of pictures from the vantage point. Because that's what you do when you are a tourist.
[I am not posting this picture because I absolutely love it. Because I don't. My hair is all sca-wampous (the different climate is doing weird things to my hair, but that's another story), and I just don't absolutely love the picture. I mean. It's fine. Really, it's fine. But I don't love it. But I'm posting it because of the story behind it. Just before a nice Filipino man took this picture for me, he asked me to be in a selfie with him. He was taking a selfie of himself and he motioned me to join him. And it was so funny because I didn't know where to look and I know that I looked like a dork. It was just really funny.]
[This. This is my home for the next nine months.]
[No, I am not engaged. It is not even the correct finger. But I am wearing a lucky lion ring. Because sometimes you just need a little bit of extra courage. Especially when you climb up a very tall tower. And when you are starting a masters program at Oxford. That too.]
[Another selfie. Artsy? Annoying? Angled?]
It's been a busy week getting myself situated--meeting people in my program, talking with my dissertation advisor and other mentors in my college, getting to know flat mates (one girl is from Sydney, Australia, and the other girl is from Nanjing, China--they are both lovely girls), making friends from around the world, finding free food at random events (okay, but really--this is important here because everything is so expensive), etc., etc. We had orientation today for graduate students and next week is "freshers' week." Fresher than what? No idea. But I am a fresher.
In short, Oxford is beautiful. I'm lucky to study here for a time. I'm ready to embrace it with all my soul--with eyes and heart wide open.