Term has officially started and the work is already piling up. Trinity term is shaping up to be the most strenuous of my terms here in Oxford. This term, I am continuing to study Egyptology and Assyriology, as well as starting a new series of German tutorials. All together, they add up to 16 tutorials over the next 8 weeks; thankfully, at least I don’t have any exams. I will definitely have to work hard this term and will be pushing my limits.
That is not to say that I will be completely cocooning myself up in my room for the next two months. The weather has taken a turn for the better, with more sunny days and less rain (knock on wood). A few friends and I have decided to try to get in better shape this term by eating better and exercising 6 days a week, particularly by going for lots of runs. We are hoping to take several weekend trips around the UK as well to places such as Blenheim Palace (childhood home of Winston Churchill) and the beaches of Brighton. We’re also planning a day to make it to the Viking exhibit in the British Museum, a huge temporary exhibit that even includes a genuine Viking ship that was shipped (pun intended) piece by piece from Denmark and reassembled in the exhibition space.
We have plenty of plans for frivolity around Oxford as well, of course. Just last week was May Day, which takes place every year on the first day of May. Many stay up all through the night partying til 6am, when they are joined by the less nocturnal crowd (myself among them) at Magdalene Bridge next to Magdalene College to listen to the college choir sing 16th Century madrigals from the college bell tower. From there, the crowds depart for a hearty pub breakfast and some entertainment, particularly by Morris dancers, who dress up in period costume, complete with bells and colored scarves, as they have from at least the 15th Century. May Day originally marked the first day of summer (thus making June 21, the summer solstice, Midsummer’s Day), and continues to mark the start of good weather, with all the picnicking and punting that that entails. Trinity term will be a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. Oxford has truly saved the best for last.