15 December 2007


Welcome, one and all, to my venerable BLOG.

You probably almost didn't find it because it doesn't have a silly Latin name. This isn't one of those.

As you may or may not know, I am a third year student at Biola University who is studying abroad in Oxford for the Spring 2008 semester (Hilary term 2008). The program is called SCIO (check it here) and I will be studying at Wycliffe Hall. My primary (6-unit) tutorial will be "Studies in Special Authors: John Donne" and my secondary (3-unit) tutorial will be in early Christian theology. I can't remember if I signed up for "Theology through 451" or "Byzantine Theology: 500-1000 AD." I think it's the first, but I hope it is the latter, because then I get to study Maximus.

I have been thinking lately of all the pros and cons of studying abroad. Not like there are that many negative points, but they are worth considering. So here is the list:

+ People with British accents
+ Studying in OXFORD!
+ Walking the land where St. Frideswide and all the British saints have lived. It's the other Holy Land.
+ Weather. Real, actual weather.
+ Visiting the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, where Fr. Sophrony lived.
+ Tesco.
+ Proximity to Switzerland (land of my heart! land of my ancestors!).
+ Hairspray is playing in London. So is Billy Elliot: The Musical and Mary Poppins. West End, here I come!
+ Getting to live with the best roommate ever.
+ It's not really like Wee Britain at all.
+ I won't have to drive! For four months! Oh rapture!
+ Guinness. It smells great.
+ Flying British Airways. They know what's up.
+ Evensong at Christchurch.

- No mountains covered in snow visible from my living room window.
- No mountains at all.
- Bad teeth. I hope it isn't contagious.
- Being away from my family, dearest friends, spiritual father, and home parish.
- Not having a dog.
- What kind of shampoo will I use? What kind of soap? DO THEY HAVE TOFU?!?!?!?
- The conspicuous lack of Mexican food and In'n'Out, tenaciously replaced by such delightful sounding dishes as Bangers and Mash and Haggis.
- World's ugliest electrical outlets.
- You mean Disneyland isn't 15 minutes away?

Okay, so you get the point. There are few real downsides. Mostly the lack of mountains and the lack of Mexican food. Lent without burritos? That is spiritual discipline indeed!

So basically, the rundown is this: I depart on January 3rd for the Holy Land/Old Country/Land of my heart and arrive on January 4th. Study until April 12th. Travel for a week. Spend Holy Week at St. John the Baptist Monastery. Come home on April 28th (Bright Monday).

I hope to use this space wisely, to post updates which have been approved for public consumption, as well as equally approved photographs.

So. That is that I suppose. The countdown is 19 days. I am trying to make a packing list, chose a raincoat, and figure life out.

I'm peacin' out.


Anonymous said...

wahooo!!! blogs, blogs, blogs! oxford, oxford, oxford!!! wahoooo!!!

p.s. I LOVE the yellow!

Anonymous said...

sad news for you Ms. Erin, but Mary Poppins ends January 12th - so get down to London towne QUICK and see it - SO worth it.

Can't wait to hear your adventures!

Erin Bernard said...

Thanks! I love yellow. It's great. I hope that my feeble and meager attempt at writing doesn't disappoint.

I knew it was leaving soon, but I didn't realize it was THAT soon. Do they have Student Rush tickets available?

Anonymous said...

ach, I cannot possibly imagine that your writing will disappoint... particularly if you post lots of pictures! ;) (hint, hint)vvz

Sydney Anne said...

not sure, my guess would be no since it's closing up. We went to the Tkts Booth in Leicester Square and got ours there - they were something around £23 each, in the stalls but in the back and slightly blocked, but it works. That'll probably be the cheapest way to go.