It’s occurred to me that I’ve written very little of my day to day life here in Oxford, so I decided to tell you what an average week is like here.
The week starts with a lecture, either at the Warner’s house or at St. Peter’s College. This is the one time during the week when everyone in OOSC comes together (partly because it’s when we’re given our food money for the week). The lecturers are the tutors in our program, and the topics are English history, art, and literature, in an attempt to educate ignorant Americans about English culture. There are no papers due, or tests given, on the lectures, but I generally try to take notes, partially out of respect to the lecturers. Some lectures are more interesting than others, and they range from downright boring to highly engaging.
After lecture, Amy, Sam and I often go out to eat, usually at either the Noodlebar, or the Buttery.
I rarely have anything going on Tuesday. I most likely will go to the store, either Tesco or Sainsbury, and buy groceries for the week. If I have a tutorial Wednesday, then I’ll be writing a paper and working on my translation for the week. On Tuesday evening I sometimes go to a church gathering for Rivers of Life for dinner and Bible study. Again, if I have a tutorial the next day, I will be staying up until about 1:00 AM finishing my paper.
Wednesday is market day. You’ll probably find me at the Warner’s around 10:30 to get any books I need for the week, and to print my paper and translation. After that, I’ll go to the open market at Gloucester Green and stock up on bananas, Clementine oranges, and any other produce I want for the week (I get aubergines pretty regularly).
Last term my Greek tutorial was every week on Wednesday evening. I’d ride my bike out to my tutor’s (Susan) house for our meeting. When she got there (she’s usually late), I’d give her a copy of my paper and keep one for myself. Then I’d read my paper out loud and she’d follow me along, stopping me to correct my pronunciation and to ask any questions that might arise. Then we’d discuss what I had written, and my topic for next week would be assigned.
When we were done discussing my paper, I would give her my translation, again keeping a copy for myself. She would read aloud in English from the Greek (she translates in her head), and then check my translation. Then we would discuss the mistakes I’d made, and I would defend certain decisions I’d made while translating, such as sacrificing a smoother English translation to more accurately reflect the Greek word order, or using an English idiom to capture the expression of a phrase instead of using a literal translation. After that, Susan would talk about the passage I had translated, putting it in its historic context, etc.
Since Amy usually had her German tutorial right after mine, I’d usually go over to her and Sam’s house afterwards and we’d watch a movie.
This term I have my Latin tutorial on Wednesday with Susan. It works the same way, but only meets every fortnight.
Thursday is the craft market. I don’t always go, though I sometimes walk through it if I’m already in town. I’ve never bought anything there, but a lot of the stuff is really cool.
Last term I had my Formal Logic tutorial on Thursday every fortnight. We don’t talk about my Formal Logic tutorial. Let’s just say it often left me demanding of anyone in earshot why logic didn’t make any sense. It also always seemed to rain on Logic days, so I was usually forced to buy a milkshake at Moo-Moos after my tutorial to ward off the rainy day blues. Thursday is also the day that the animal rights protesters gather outside the Psychology and Zoology building, which makes the walk home interesting.
Thursday evenings I go to Focus at St. Ebbe's, a Bible study for Uni students. We have dinner, and then break into small groups. Last term we went through the book of Philippians, and this term we’re doing part of Isaiah.
The end of the week! Usually celebrated with a movie and popcorn. Unfortunately, this term I have a tutorial on Saturday, so I’m most likely going to be spending Fridays finishing my paper.
Saturday mornings often start with a women’s prayer breakfast with some of the people from Rivers of Life. It’s a wonderful way to start the day.
This term I’ll be having my Philosophy tutorials every Saturday. My first one is this week, so I don’t know how they will go.
On Sunday morning I go to St. Ebbe's 11:30 AM service, which is for Uni students. Its an Anglican church, but not high Anglican. Penelope calls St. Ebbes a “happy clappy church”, which I find amusing, since people don’t clap during the music at all. I go to a true “happy clappy” church on Sunday evening when I attend Rivers of Life’s service. The music there is wonderful, and everyone always claps along. It’s a smaller church, and from the moment I first walked in, I felt like family there.
So, that’s my week. The rest of my time is generally spent studying and avoiding studying.