Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Last Days

Well hello there. I've just finished a term at Oxford.

In a strange turn of events, I finished my last essay, my 'long essay,' a full two days before the due date. And almost 600 words above the maximum word count. That's never happened to me before! I didn't procrastinate. And I found I had more to say than they wanted to hear. Of course, I didn't cut anything out. That essay was crafted out of ...something creepy but not cliched. Fortunately, there was neither blood, sweat nor tears. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis' ghosts did drop by to see if they could offer any help.

Yesterday I was feeling very reluctant to go home, as you could probably tell by my last post, but well...then Iceland exploded.

Really! A volcano erupted, and now the sky over England is full of volcanic ash, making the airspace very dangerous, and all the flights have been cancelled! This could go on for days, depending on the weather, and even if the flights continue tomorrow or the next day, my flight (Monday) could be delayed. So I may not be going home as soon as I planned. And even if I do, all my friends who were leaving days earlier will be keeping me company. Isn't it wonderful?!

I've only got one thing between me and a four and 1/2 month summer. My long essay. I turned it in on Wednesday, but I have to edit it down from 16 pages to 10 for a contest I'm entering. If I win (which I probably won't), I get $500 and free registration/room/board for a literature conference at Taylor University in June! I really probably don't have a chance, but I figured someone other than my advisor should get to read this masterpiece.

Tomorrow: debriefing for SCIO and Addison's Walk. I'll tell you tomorrow what that is, because now I need to sleep.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bittersweet moments

Hello! It's my last week in England, and work on my long essay has commenced. I will be buried in the library for two days, then writing for hours on Wednesday, and then I will be done! I have very mixed feelings about this. Here's something I wrote in my journal a couple weeks ago when my mom and her friend were visiting:

I'm on my way to Dover with Mom and Donna. Being with newly arrived Americans really highlights how much I've taken to heart the English culture. Driving past the green fields and rolling hills makes me long to just finda cottage somewhere and stay there, taking pictures and reading. Most people assume that I'm in love with Oxford, and I am really fond of the town, but not really the university. I much prefer the Headington (a small town east of Oxford) part of things, the getting to know people and actually living (rather than researching). I said on the flight over that on this trip I was looking for an old friend I've only met in stories before. I've found my friend, but not where I expected. Instead of in the libraries, England is in the fields and the trees, in the perpetually green grass instead of the crumbling buildings, and instead of a highbrow academic life, the slowness and sweetness of developing friendships.

Anyways, that's how I'm feeling right about now. I am looking forward to spending possibly my last summer at home and seeing my friends again. But I am dreading leaving this beautiful country.