What is Oggsford man
I'm at Oggsford Man.
So I know you've all been waiting with bated breath for my first update from Oxford. So terribly sorry to keep you waiting so long.
So I'm here! You can actually see my room on pretty much every postcard of Oxford I discovered today. (I like really close to this iconic building - the Radcliffe Camera.) But my room is really not that great except for having its own bathroom.
I can't even begin to describe all the things I've been observing the past couple days (of course, I'm about to). Probably the most descriptive thing is that it feels just like freshman orientation all over again. All the stupid dancing and drinking and all that. But there are also a lot of key differences:
1. The drinking starts at 3:00 pm in a pub, continues through dinner and into the whole night at the pub / club.
2. remember all those frantic conversations we all had freshman year where you were desperate to show how exciting and fun you were? The general idea of those conversations is present, but they are manifested extremely differently. Replace all the awkward enthusiasm with lots of awkward foot shifting and looking down and "erm" s.
3. Meals are 20-30 minutes long (and you have to swipe a card!). and Kevin the butler comes around to take your tray away. and we had one formal meal complete with capes (“gowns”) and all our professors (“tutors”) and deans and wine and a latin prayer and ceremonies and shit. o, and you have to sign up hours in advance to go to a meal.
4. I have never appreciate the pleasures of “riding the panther” so much as I do now. the things you can steal at Midd that I wasn't even aware I was stealing is just baffling. like an ethernet cord? 3 pounds. on top of that kind of small stuff, I've had to spend an outrageous amount of money just on getting the right clothes. dress pants. a full suit. a white bow tie. mortar board. black shoes. a cape. i mean, I should have already had some of that stuff, but I didn’t know I would need it. In addition the monetary ease of Midd, I am also appreciating the informality and openness of it. like you can't bring anything but water in a totally clear water bottle into the library. you can't even bring that into the main university library. You can't write in library books (not like you're supposed to at Midd, but everyone does. right?). Actually, you can't even take the books out of the library. you can't hang stuff on your walls. you can't have fridges etc. you have to lock your door. I'm not at all complaining, though. all these things have a lot to do with the physical limitations of the place (and the fact that the library is essentially the vatican of books). There are so so so so many more perks to being here that all these silly thins don’t matter at all. But would everyone just take an extra banana out of the dining hall and into the library for me? thanks.
5. You have to say “thank you” and “im sorry” a lot more. like, an absurd amount.
The most fun part, of course, has been talking to people about America and England and all that fun shit. The most common response I get to telling people I'm an American is "Spring Break '08 dude!" and "Omg Prom!" Apparently those are distinctly and preposterously American institutions. And pants = underwear. thats made for a few awkward moments.
Right, so, that's it for now. Incredibly, I am already feeling the urge to write in a British style. Like saying “quite” and “straight away” and stuff like that. We'll see how long I hold out. But really what I've discovered is that you have to use terms like this (and you have to say “zed” instead of “zee”). I feel so silly doing those things, but no one else notices that it's weird, of course, and just saying it the first time saves me a minute of having to explain what I meant.
pictures soon! and more funny cultural clashes!
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