It is not enough to be busy.... The question is: what are we busy about?
–Henry David Thoreau
Good question, Henry. I’ve realized that a lot of my business here doesn’t so much pertain to my actual studies as it does to a learning of experience. There is so much that I would like to do, but then I find that I might as well not have paid my tuition and used that to come out here and just get involved in things, because I won’t have any time left for homework. I don’t want to just spend my time studying *in* Oxford, this semester- I want to immerse myself in it, and get involved. I want to be able to say to people who go, the choir at Magdalen is fantastic, but the welcome at Christ church is phenomenal, and even though most of the students at Regent’s Park already have their own circles of friends, if you sort through them, you’ll always find the ones who would just love to sit down and have tea with you, and explain the strange names that Britains have for things....
The reading list thus far has been fairly extensive.... Since the beginning of the semester a month ago, this is what we’ve been expected to read and know well: “Way of the World,” “School for Scandal,” “The Beggar’s Opera,” “Hamlet,” “Othello,” “Julius Caesar,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” “Coriolanus,” and “Dr Faustes,” (the A and B scripts of that). A fair amount of reading, considering the fact that we have been given secondary readings to do for each of the plays and also have to be researching our essays in the evening, writing papers at night, and somehow doing readings for our Independent Studies at some point. Suffice it to say that we’ve done some partial readings of some of the texts, such as reading Acts 1, 3, and 5 in a group of 4 or so, and then reading a summary of the rest- we haven’t quite mastered the art of speed reading that would be required otherwise.
Heidi and the farm girls have flown the coop this weekend, they left for Venice on Thursday morning and plan on returning late Saturday night. I’m so jealous! I really do hope that everything’s going well for them, though, and that they’re having a fantastic time.... They were all sooo excited about it.
On Friday afternoon, a group of us went to the trainstation to get on the 3:53 train into Oxford for the Chapel service at Regent’s park again. Surprise surprise, the train was delayed by 20 min. And then 40. And then it was cancelled so we had to wait for the next train. It was really great fun though, sitting at the on the bench with everyone... singing little diddies such as “Rain drops keep falling on my head” or “Let the sun shine in, and face it with a grin”... Sam was in a very pesky mood, if it were still in fashion for girls to slap guys then I think he’d have a sore cheek from all the smart alec comments he made about the five of us girls that were there. I think that that hour of waiting was one of the best times that I’ve had, just relaxed, hanging out with people, it really felt like a good Friday afternoon. After the chapel service we went to a Taize service at the Wesleyan church, it really was an interesting service, I’m glad that I went. It was a really good time for quiet contemplation and praise... more of the humble aspect of worship, getting down on your knees rather than a high-paced worship with clapping and a lot of movement and noise. Not that I don’t like up beat worship, but it was a really nice change of pace.
For those of you that haven’t been able to access the pictures from the link and would like to see them, copy this link and paste it in the address bar, it should take you there then. http://community.webshots.com/user/jennvb
A wonderful quotation that is to be found absolutely everywhere around Oxford:
The more I study, the more I know.
The more I know, the more I forget.
The more I forget, the less I know....
So why study??
“Man can only signify in words what God can signify in things.” –Augustine