I am now a week into post-term Oxford. I've written my last tutorial essay! Spring break has come and gone, and I've now started the SCIO portion of program, British Landscapes. Four days a week we watch segments of Simon Schama's The History of Britain documentary and listen to lecturers. Sounds fun, right? I have three more papers, two case studies which will hopefully count for a course in the romantics, and my long essay, which will be comparing theories of story-writing between C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien.
Most people left for spring break on Friday, but I stuck around until Sunday night, when I left on an overnight bus for Edinburgh, Scotland! I had a really great time, but before I left on Sunday, I had lunch with my Bible study group and visited C. S. Lewis' grave, which was wonderful. The churchyard is beautiful, and his grave is beneath a tree. Having spent two months getting to know him (through books!), I no longer agree with everything he writes, but he will always be the writer who introduced me to story and fairy tales. Visiting his grave was an emotional experience (not too demonstrative, I promise!), and I may go back by myself (my friend Jen was with me at the time). I still have to tour the Kilns though!
So Sunday night, I went to Gloucester Green, the main bus station in Oxford, and caught a night bus to Edinburgh. I made one switch around 1 AM, and to be honest, the ride wasn't very fun. I couldn't really do more than doze, and that was in a variety of uncomfortable positions. Upon arriving around 7:30 AM, I found my hostel, changed clothes, had breakfast and planned my day. I really wanted to see a play or something while I was there, but no such luck. Everything was either too far away or on the wrong day. Oh well!
That morning, I wandered into a couple bookshops, and of course found some wonderful books! I went to the Elephant House for lunch and stayed for tea, reading That Hideous Strength. I'm sure it sounds really lame to go all the way to Edinburgh just to read, but honestly, it was great. I hadn't read for fun in two months (quite a long time for me), and I just needed to relax. I went to the Writer's Museum after tea and explored the Royal Mile, a long street full of tourist shops, pubs etc. The next day entailed more reading, more tea and more museums (including the castle!)
I loved Edinburgh, but it was really nice to come home to a house full of de-stressed people. I think the next few weeks will let us get to know each other more, and have fun with only a medium level of academic stress :) Plus, my mom gets here in four days and the rest of my family in eleven! I can't wait to show them Oxford!