Remember Remember the 5th of November

After it was lit

Remember remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason Should ever be forgot…What’s the significance of the 5th of November (or sometimes referred to as Bonfire Night)??? Well, it just so happens that in 1605 Guy Fawkes, a Catholic, tried to blow up Parliament and kill King James I, a Protestant. Guy Fawkes apparently sought to replace the Protestant leader with a Catholic one. To this day, differing opinions on the celebration remain. Some students love the celebration while others are less excited because they recognize that there was religious persecution on the part of the Catholics, though no one agrees with how Guy Fawkes went about his protest. There is a very interesting and longer version of the story, I suggest reading up on it!!!! (http://guy-fawkes.com/) Hence, every 5th of November Great Britain celebrates foiling his plans by having carnival rides, fireworks, bonfires, and sometimes burning a sort of likeness of Guy Fawkes. Over the weekend I had the opportunity to partake in experiencing a 5th of November celebration. The park not too far from my flat had all sorts of carnival rides, lots of food venues, and loads of people out to see the fireworks. Then afterward we all watched a large wooden effigy of Guy Fawkes being burned. It was kind of a weird experience. Not only was it different having fireworks when it wasn’t the 4th of July or New Years but I can’t say that I have ever been to a place where the burning of an effigy was so celebrated. Nevertheless, it was an experience I was grateful to have had.

Other random interesting events, I have started volunteering at a school in Oxford. I get to help out in the 6th level (9-11 yr. olds) class with reading or any other subject they are working on at the time! Teddy Hall’s football (soccer) team beat New College’s team (which is two levels above ours) 3-0! And, though it may seem silly, a Sainsbury’s opened about a minute walk from where I live!! That’s only exciting to me because now I don’t have to walk ten minutes one way to buy food! It’s an adjustment not only walking to buy groceries but then having to carry them back.

Some things I get to look forward to in the coming weeks: Formal Hall is tonight again (it’s optional to attend every Tuesday evening), Teddy Hall is having a Feast next week! Not really sure what all that’s going to entail but it sounds like a lot of food and fun! And the other visiting (American) students and I are planning our Thanksgiving meal!!!! Can’t wait to eat some Turkey!

Things I’ve learned:

#7: there is no such thing as “Z” here, it’s ZED. Interestingly, that is the only letter of the alphabet that gets special attention.

#8:  When giving a score such as 3-0 the “0” is Nil.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

Nov the 5th

Fireworks!

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About rkscher

Hello Everyone! I am a senior at McKendree University studying abroad this fall semester at Oxford University, St. Edmund Hall. My major is Psychology and I have a minor in Spanish. I strongly believe studying abroad at Oxford University will serve to transform my thinking and challenge me to further grow as an individual because of the cultural and academic differences. As St. Augustine so intuitively stated, “the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
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2 Responses to Remember Remember the 5th of November

  1. John Calliott says:

    I’m really enjoying your blog posts. I celebrated Guy Fawkes by watching V For Vendetta this year. When I was an undergrad night student at McKendree, I spent a semester doing Study Abroad at Harlaxton College, near Grantham. They made us have classes on Thanksgiving, which seemed wrong, but it was so we could have a different long weekend for a Paris trip. We did have a formal Thanksgiving dinner. Our Pricipal made a great effort to get Harrod’s to import some pumpkin pie filling so we could each have a small slice. I was at the table with some older adult Meet A Family guests who had never tasted pumpkin pie before. It took half an hour to realize that the little round balls on my plate were meant to be dressing. Enjoy the rest of your time at Oxford.

  2. Bethany says:

    Hi there! I stumbled across your blog when I was looking for blogs on studying abroad. I am curious if it is a requirement for you to post on this blog or to even blog at all? Do you know of any other blogs?

    I am working on a pitch for social media marketing plan for my schools study abroad department…and was just curious. Please, feel free to email me at your earliest convenience!

    Oh, and have fun!!!!!

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