Unfortunately, I’m still working out some things with my new camera (acquired late June 2011) so whereas I’d been taking beautiful photos that were too large to upload to this site, now I’ve swung in the other direction where the quality is suffering. Hopefully by tomorrow the problem will be fixed and I can start sharing more of these action shots with you!
What a great day. Started out with Trey being late for breakfast (he was then mercilessly teased about it taking hours to fix that mop top of his). I gave a brief devotional on “Why are you here?” and then we walked as a group to class. The day started out overcast but then the clouds broke through and it turned out to be absolutely gorgeous.
At the top of St. Aldate’s street, we divided into the “coffee” and “no coffee” groups: coffee headed off to the Starbucks on Cornmarket and the rest went directly to class. Since our group is rather small this year, we have the privilege of being on the main Hertford College site — something we’ve been desirous of for about seven years now — and in the President’s Lodgings, no less. The classroom looks like a museum, and actually they’ve just added tables and chairs to the president’s beautifully-appointed sitting room. There are original pine floors, Regency furniture, framed antique prints, and windows that give onto Catte Street and the world’s most celebrated library, the Bodleian.
We’re definitely in the heart of Oxford this year. Last year was nice, we at least made it to Oxford’s liver or kidney, but it feels really great to be in the heart and hub.
This afternoon we had the Welcome Tea with scones, clotted cream, pastries and sandwiches and we actually had an Oxford don join us and give us the Hertford College greeting. Again, such a great experience to be able to talk with him and find out more about what goes on here. This year — I think because the HC staff got tired of having to handle dozens of cameras! — they’ve hired a professional photographer to take a picture of the group sitting on benches, with the Bridge of Sighs in behind. That was probably a good idea.
And then this evening the chef, his staff, and the HC RAs threw a July 4th party for us. It’s so cute because they did most of their research online, having no idea how we Americans celebrate the holiday. They did a fantastic job! They even made by hand red, white, and blue garlands to hang all around the dining hall! There was grilled chicken, hamburgers, foot-long hot dogs, sweet potato fries, potato salad, lots of pies and a carrot carrot, and so on and so forth. We had a great time and the Chinese students — though I suppose all of this is VERY foreign to them, I mean imagining being Chinese and celebrating an American holiday in England!! — seemed to enjoy the party, and especially the sparklers at the end.
This day was definitely a thumbs up. A ten on a scale of one to ten. Can’t wait for tomorrow when we go punting!!