this is much longer than i anticipated, so enjoy!

sorry that i am not updating very frequently, but things are very busy here.  we have our british landscapes course five days a week in the mornings, with frequent field trips.  then the afternoons are spent researching and writing for our case studies.  we anticipate it actually being a relief when the oxford term starts and our schedules aren’t so busy, even if the material will be more difficult (wow, i actually just contemplated if “difficulter” is a word – for a split second…don’t judge, please!).

thursday the 10th was when we visited salisbury cathedral and old sarum, and what many of you don’t know is that i also went to stonehenge that day.  i just have not had time to put up pictures from that yet, sorry!  but that puts into perspective how behind i am.  i also have pictures from london on the 12th and hampton court on the 17th that need to be organized and uploaded!  however, we did go somewhere where i forgot to bring my camera: christ church, one of the largest, oldest, most beautiful oxford colleges.  i will try to go back with my camera, or steal some from my friends so that you all can see where the harry potter great hall is, and the place that inspired charles dodgson (lewis carroll – alice in wonderland!), and portraits of their many significant graduates.  it is an absolutely breathtaking college, grounds and buildings – it’s what typically springs to mind when one tries to visualize oxford.

so i thought i should put a quick update on here so that you all know i am thinking of you and will take the time to put pictures up when i can.  life here consists of lots of reading so that i can do lots writing.  i have finally realized how helpful and productive sitting in a library for 5 hours can be.  however, these papers are all essentially history research papers, which is different from what most of us are used to.  i am quickly being forced into efficient time management skills.  it is an interesting way to learn though, because we choose our case study and a more specific question.  but we are essentially teaching ourselves by delving into these topics and then showing what we’ve learned with a paper – it is similar to how the tutorial style of learning functions.  i just wish i had more time because it’s all so interesting!  (i really shouldn’t be spending time doing this right now, but oh well…)  my first case study that i passed in yesterday was on “the honourable” robert boyle, and the one i’m working on now is on bertrand russell.  the one complaint i have about russell is that he was extremely prolific (we’re talking writing an average of 3000 words a day in some form or another – according to one biographer’s estimation) .  so i simply want to read all the books, essays, and letters he wrote, on top of all the biographies and criticism and analysis.  so i should probably get on that…

final update: a few friends and i decided a while ago where we’re travelling for our mid-term break at the beginning of october: malaga, spain!  it’s so much cheaper to travel within europe once you’re here, and we are seizing the opportunity.  so, even though you might not see pictures til christmastime, i promise they’ll be up eventually!

i will end with a quote from russell: “philosophy is a reluctant mistress – one can only reach her heart with the cold steel in the hand of passion.”  see what i’ve gotten myself into?  an incredibly taxing balance of dedication, attention, and passion, with payoff that makes me tick.