Where has the term gone? I’m inexplicably heading into 8th week… and then I’m off to Italy for a week, and then I’m home for Christmas! Didn’t I just get here? I’m definitely looking forward to a break, but I’m so glad I get to come back to this place afterwards.
This past week was an absolute whirlwind, mostly revolving around the RAG ball on Thursday night. I spent my days reading Hamlet and King Lear furiously, trying to get my work done ahead of time so it wouldn’t be hanging over my head during the ball. I also spent too much time looking for a new dress, and decided in the end to wear the one I brought with me. So in the end, I only paid £11.50 to get my dress cleaned and to buy new tights, a headband, and a bracelet. Much better decision.
Thursday itself was a great day, even through all the stress of essay-writing. Since our rowing outing got canceled, we had a little team breakfast in the JCR, comprised only of CRUMPETS. Crumpets are a British phenomenon, whose closest American comparison would be an English muffin. Rosie and Fran were kind enough to buy them and toast them and teach us how to drench them in butter and smear them with jam… glorious. Perfect start to the day.
Thursday night the Americans gathered for Thanksgiving dinner at the Spencer House, where the Columbus State kids live. FOOD. EVERYWHERE. I haven’t eaten that much since… well, probably last Thanksgiving. Everything was so delicious—even the corn casserole Megan and I concocted. We had a Paula Deen recipe, but creamed corn and cornbread mix don’t exist in the UK, so we had to improvise. We used all regular corn and something called Rock Cake mix and some interesting kind of cheese and an oven that has its temperatures listed in Celsius. In spite of all this, Liz, the corn casserole aficionado, gave us an A+.
After stuffing myself, I had to get myself into my dress, put on some makeup, and Julia and I went down to the Town Hall for the RAG ball. RAG stands for Raise and Give—they’re an Oxford organization that raises and distributes money to different charities, and the ball was one of their big fundraisers. There were a TON of Regent’s kids there, and everybody looked gorgeous—girls in pretty dresses, boys in tuxedos.
As we walked up the giant staircase, a female a capella group called In the Pink serenaded us, and as we entered the Hall, we were greeted with a free glass of champagne. There were jugglers, musicians, ballroom dancers, and free food as far as the eye could see—Krispy Kremes, cookies, G&D’s ice cream, waiters circulating trays of sausages and quiche. Sadly, I was SO FULL that I couldn’t eat ANY of it! I was so disappointed, but I really felt like curling in the fetal position in the corner as it was.
A University jazz group played, and they were fantastic—definitely the highlight of the night. Two other bands played later in the night—the first was okay, the second I only stayed for a couple of songs, but they were good.
Here's the album for the night.
Friday morning came way too early, and I still had an essay to finish for my tutorial at noon. I have yet to write a paper I’m satisfied with, and this week was no exception. My tutor is absolutely fantastic, though, and we spent our hour working through a close reading of Hamlet, so I could get more of an idea of the approach I should be taking in my papers. Hopefully this week will be better.
Friday afternoon we had a tank session with our delightful rowing coach, and get this—it was almost enjoyable. It was surprisingly helpful, and we even got a compliment! After rowing for a bit, he said, “Easy there. Hm. That was actually pretty good.” Then the world ended. I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it, and the season is over. Figures.
Last night the Regent’s Park gospel choir, of which I am a member, sang at Formal Hall and it was SO MUCH FUN. We sang two African spirituals from the balcony, and then after the starter we sang “Down to the River to Pray” and “Salve Regina” from Sister Act.
Once I got my food, I had to scarf it down, because we had Cuppers! It’s a theater festival featuring thirty-minute performances from all the colleges. It’s been going on since Tuesday, and ours was the last to perform. It went so well, and we had a packed house of Regent’s supporters. It was fantastic.
Saturday was so low-key. Slept til noon and felt like a new woman, then went to the Ashmolean Museum with Megan and Annie, and after two hours we hadn’t even seen half of it. I’m excited to go back eventually. Italy planning followed the museum, and we have almost all of the details nailed down! I can’t believe this is my life. I’ll be in ROME in a WEEK!
Today I cleaned, and as I left my house for our football game, I got a text saying it was canceled due to a waterlogged pitch. We rescheduled for a kickabout in the parks, and we ended up playing four-on-four in the mud and rain. It was awesome. My trainers are absolutely disgusting, and I spent my fair share of time sliding to the ground. Oh, vocabulary lesson time! Forget sweatpants—they’re called tracky-bums. The spelling is questionable. But work that into your next conversation.
After we played, we went to the Turf Tavern for lunch, since they agreed to sponsor us! They’re donating a bunch of money to help fund warm-up suits and the like. And they hinted that if we hold enough socials there, they’ll start giving us details.
By the time I got home, I was in the throes of hypothermia. I was soaking wet and freezing cold, and only a hot shower saved my life. I went to college for tea time, intending to do work, and instead watched Love Actually, which was fabulous, and ate pizza and sat around.
I’ve done ZERO work this weekend… and I have two essays still ahead. Oh dear.