Archive for September, 2011

Playing Tetris with my belongings (packing for oxford)

Friday, September 30th, 2011

One last post before I leave this afternoon to drive to Logan airport- It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours of packing, running out at 10PM to the nearest Target for a webcam, and randomly waking up in the middle of the night remembering that I hadn’t packed my socks. However, the good news is that this mess of stuff:has now found it’s way into two suitcases and a carry-on (mostly though my mom’s incredible packing skill, which I definitely did not inherit).  I’ll be arriving in Oxford tomorrow morning around 9, and after a ‘Fresher’s Week’ orientation of fun and festivities my classes begin! I’ve already been contacted by my tutors for my primary (Shakespeare) and my secondary (a history class on Elizabethan England). I already have an essay due for my Shakespeare Primary next week; it shows exactly how long I’ve been on summer vacation (almost 5 months!) that I’m actually excited to have homework again. I’ll be living in a duplex that’s about a 30 minutes walk from campus, so I’m a little nervous to be ‘off campus’ (purely in the Holy Cross context, since last year I lived literally 25 feet from Hogan Center) but the independence will also be exciting.

I keep glancing at the clock to make sure I’m not losing track of time- I still have a million little things to do before I go- but I’m on my way!

“Shouldn’t You Be in School?”

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten that question in the last two weeks. Now that it’s halfway into September, I’ve said goodbye to all of my friends as they leave for Leon, Galway, Scotland and other programs and jealously followed their Facebook pictures through traveling and Orientation…I’m itching for it to be my turn! However, since I didn’t get back from my Summer Research at HC until early August, Oxford late academic calendar is giving me some time to spend with my family and work a LOT to compensate for that painful dollar/pound conversion.

I drove up to HC last weekend for the Summer Research Symposium to present CINEGLOS. I had never made a full-on research poster before, like the giant printed ones hanging about in the science complex; usually I rely on glitter markers and construction paper to get me by, but with some help from Prof. Franco and the lovely crew of West Hartford’s Staples, I’m very proud of the attractive-but professional result. Prof. Franco has it hanging in her office right now.

The Symposium was held in Hogan Ballroom- there was a maze of huge corkboards for visitors to navigate their way through, and each of us had our own corkboard space to display posters (and in my case, a computer so that people could mess around on the actual website). Each abstract was printed in a booklet so that people could navigate the 100+ projects that we there! I was sandwiched between two chemistry projects on some sort of protein splicing (at least I think that’s what they were about) so it was interesting to see the huge variety of project topics. Visitors (a combination of students, faculty and trustees) were free to drift about and ask questions- I was happy to see some of the freshman that I had been in the Passport class I presented to come and ask more about the project.

Prof. Franco told me that since she’s started tracking CINEGLOS’ use, it’s already been added to a number of resource lists for Latin American Studies syllabi and websites across the country, which is so exciting!

While I was on campus I also finally snagged a copy of last spring’s Criterion, HC’s critical journal, which had published one of my sophomore essays on Chaucer. I’ve never had anything published before, and it was definitely the best paper I’ve ever written, so it was a confidence-booster for me to have the journal  in my hand before I leave for Oxford. I can only imagine how much I’ll criticize my writing in a year after I’ve been through the tutorial system, but for now I know I can be proud of my ‘pre-oxford’ writing.