Random Info & Formal Hall

strawberry shortcake for desert = AMAZING!

This blog entry will be loaded with random information. And yes, my new favorite british word (for saying a lot) is “loads.” The last week has been loaded with activities! I shall try to limit this entry to only the most interesting. I got to see my first rugby game and it was just AmAzInG!!! The oxford university team played the London Wasps and once the game started there was never a dull moment. Rugby seems similar to American football but the rules are different- fewer of them I would say- and the strategy of the game seems to be different as well. Needless to say, I already find the game very interesting and can’t wait to attend another one.

Formal Hall occurs every Tuesday evening and is basically a fancy 3 course dinner where students get to opportunity to eat well, dress “smart casual”, and wear their academic robes. I went to my first one and it is quite an affair.  There is no seating order except the high table is reserved for the principle of the school, his wife, and the other important college faculty. Everyone must stand when they enter, the principle says a few word in Latin, he bangs the gavel, and we sit and eat. After dinner we all stand, he dismisses us with a few more Latin words, again bangs the gavel, and he, along with the other college faculty, walk out, dismissing dinner. It was definitely exciting to be a part of and see just how much tradition they keep.

Friday, 25-10-10, I went to the Bodleian library and got to see the Jane Austen exhibit. It was a display of her original “Sense and Sensibility” manuscript along with a collection of her books and the last book she was writing before she died. Unfortunately, she was unable to finish it. At the library, there was also a few letters writing by King George III! It is so fascinating to be able to see history so up close!

Finally, there is a milkshake place here in oxford, moo moos, that everybody raves about. I finally tried it and they were not lying when they said their shakes are amazing! I also tried the well known, Ben’s Cookies, but didn’t find them as fabulous and most students did. The milkshakes are definitely a favorite of mine and with 200 different types I don’t think I will be getting tired of them!

I never realized it before but there are quite a lot of words that American spell differently than the British do. For example, public is spelled publick, behavior is spelled behaviour, color is colour and they do not have Z’s here, it is referred to as Zed. Frisbee’s are disks, they use a 24 hr. clock, and the date is written day, month, and then year.

#5: if you are asked if you keep a diary, chances are they mean a planner not the other kind J

#6: when walking down the street and if you are passing someone, in the USA it is the social norm to move to the right side in order to avoid a collision etc. Here, however, there is no such rule. It is perfectly acceptable to pass or move out of the way either by going to the right or the left

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

Studying abroad opens up a host of opportunities that you could never have imagined possible!!!

Formal Hall

We get to wear gowns to dinner 🙂


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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One Response to Random Info & Formal Hall

  1. Nichole DeWall says:

    It is so wonderful to read your blog, Rory: I’ve been following you! The exhibit at the Bodleian sounds incredible. Keep up the excellent blogging!

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