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A Rainy Day in Oxford Town

Not much to report today. The rain came — can you believe it hasn’t rained the whole time we’ve been here? — and washed away our plans of a leisurely afternoon spent on the water. It’s such a shame, too: our RA Dan had reserved two of Hertford College’s punts (long boats) that they were going to let us use.

Even though this is my fifth year in Oxford, somehow I’ve managed to avoid the town’s favorite sport — punting. It’s quite fun to watch the tourists clumsily navigating their punts in the river, colliding with each other and with the river banks, but I’ve always preferred to be the one watching and taking photos from a safe distance rather than to be in the boat. But this year I was going to finally do it! And fate intervened. Well, there’s always next week, I guess.

This year’s course — Politics & Families in Immigration Law — has been absolutely fascinating to me (and I believe it has been to the students as well, based on their participation). I wanted to be an International Relations major so I’m soaking up as much as I can. Since it’s such a small group and we’ve had so few problems, I’ve been able to attend two full classes so far, which is a record for me. Ordinarily I’d have a long list of things to do and problems to solve while the students are in class.

Chef Mark made us some pasta with a bolognese meat sauce and some mozzarella tomato bread (with yesterday’s leftover hamburger buns). It was delicious. I ate quite a bit before at that point it was still sunny and I thought I’d need extra strength for four hours of punting. 🙂

Dr. Manjikian and Prof. Kohm are doing a great job of tag-team teaching. Dr. M. talks about the policy and international side which she knows so well and Prof. Kohm brings it back to the family. They’re the Dynamic Duo! Dr. M’s two girls are with us again this year and are so intelligent and well-behaved. Very impressive.

Tomorrow we are off to London! I’m hoping for good weather, but the forecast is for rain at least part of the day. Our main reason for going is to visit Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum there, but we’re also going to take a two-hour bus tour of the city (one of those open top hop-on hop-off buses) to give the students an overview of London, and we’ll take a cruise on the Thames. A group of us are hoping to go to the theater in the evening. So excited.

And, in closing, here’s a picture of me sitting on a sofa (I’m sure there’s a more technical term than “sofa”) in our classroom and wishing I were wearing one of those empire-waisted dresses from Pride and Prejudice. 🙂

England, Travel

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