12 January 2008

Another Sunny Day

Today was the first day that it has not rained in Oxford since I have been here. I awoke last of all the residents of Room 11, to the joyously gentle beckoning of the sun coming through our windows. It was 10:30. After brushing my teeth and snuggling back into bed for a half hour, I dragged myself out of bed and eventually made my way OUT of the house and over to the city centre, in hopes of finding the Botanic Gardens. I stopped by WHSmith on the way, which was overpriced and daunting. I also looked in a number of clothing stores and shoe shops, trying to get a handle on how much a pair of boots or trainers might cost, because I packed shoes which were so aptly described by Scot as "pretty things." Mom, please send me my Pumas.

After walking in and out of stores like a doofus, I went over to the Botanic Gardens. Everything is dead now, but I want to watch it grow and develop over the next few months. Besides, it is a great place to go and walk around. The other night, Holly, myself, and the two non-Torrey Biola guys, Luke and Josh, went walking along the River Isis, singing Sweeney Todd and retelling creepy La Mirada park stories, after which we went to the Turf Tavern (one of the coolest pubs in Oxford) for some "grubbage," as Josh would say. Walking along the river is one of my new favorite activities.

At the Botanic Gardens, I read on the bench for a while, and when the church tower struck two, I walked over to the Radcliffe Camera to check it out before it closed at four. It's pretty amazing. Only students and other qualified persons are allowed to go in there. I got a little thrill when I walked through the gate, past the sign forbidding visitors. I am not a visitor here. I am a student of Oxford University. How freaking cool is that?

This evening consisted mostly in watching movies and hanging out at the pub. Scot said, "Hey, you guys want to go to the pub?" Holly, being the diligent student she is, declined. I accepted, however. I wasn't sure who was going, but my philosophy is usually the more, the merrier. It ended up being myself, Scot, Michael/Thomas, William, and two girls from the Vines (the other SCIO house in Oxford). These girls were over at Crick the other night, and there was a strange little moment in which I made a sarcastic comment and one thought that I was seriously proclaiming the virtues of a particularly repulsive outfit someone in the movie was wearing, informing me by a snide little comment. They are really good friends, and really pretty, and really stylish. I really needed to wash my hair and had neglected to put on makeup this morning. I was feeling seriously insecure. We walked to the pub, and I mostly just talked to Scot as they chatted up Michael/Thomas and William. When we got there, we didn't talk at all. Our interaction was next to nothing. Same thing on the way back. After a little while, I was less self-conscious, but they were still mostly ignoring me. I was really hoping for a breakthrough, because I have found that besides Holly, most of my social interaction has been with the guys in our house. I would really like to widen my painfully small social circle to include more girls, but have yet been unsuccessful in doing so. If Holly weren't here, though, I am not sure what kind of disaster would ensue. I would probably be pretty miserable. But I am not, so thank God and thank Holly!

There is always so much to write. I think that I am going to make a "Guide to People and Places in Oxford" post, so that maybe there is a frame of reference for the people of whom I speak. For now, it is late, so farewell dear reader(s).


Martin said...

Perhaps you too should be a little more of a diligent student my dear. Also, a pint at the pub can get you sent home, in which you would be required to remberse your kind loving father. Most importantly be yourself

Zeno said...

(This is Brett, Micheal's bud)

Sounds like a pretty fun day, and it is easy to imagine that excitment: "I am not just vising this place." So, I mean, is the architecture just mind-boggling there or what?

Erin Bernard said...

Brett - Yeah, it's amazing. This whole city is older than America! There are actually some pretty atrocious 1970's architecture, which kind of surprised me, but they are usually just like libraries and stuff, which is kind of like being back at Biola. All the churches and colleges are old school. You would probably love it here.