Today started hours and hours ago. We walked into college and saw Wadham for the first time this morning. we met our librarians and our College Chaplain, and took a tour of Oxford with the exchange students who came to our US school last year. It feels like a hundred years ago already, but it was only a few hours ago.
Christ Church Meadow has cows in it. Real cows, with their horns mercifully left intact. Then again, later in the day, when I passed by the Zoology Department on my way to meet my very first tutor, I saw a protest going on across the street, with signs reading things like “Oxford Tortures Animals!” and “Stop Oxford University’s Cruel Acts!” and similar messages.
The evening was spent at a formal get-together with drinks served – gowns were worn by the faculty and tutors who attended, creating a bizarre air, as if they were graduating high school and we, the well-dressed students, were officiating – followed by a formal dinner at Wadham’s hall, which looked very similar to every image of Harry Potter’s Great Hall that most people have ever had. It was surreal, especially as there was a man whose job it is to bang a gavel three times, very loudly, to get everyone’s attention and steer them to the door out or in. He seemed to enjoy his job.
We proceeded to a pub after dinner, of course, as is done. I learned that English humor is cruel and that I’ll get used to it, had fascinating conversations with drunk and sober people alike, and witnessed first-hand the truth of tutors going out to drinks with a bunch of students.
I should be going to bed. But the sound of voices is, inevitably, drawing me away from my room and my inviting duvet.