Oxford & London…

Time is flying, and yet somehow every day feels incredibly long.

I am adjusting better with a schedule, and I am hoping my sleep will come along with it soon.

A recap of what I’ve been up to:

Saturday (July 5)

Our group ventured into London, splitting into three separate groups with different activities; a bus tour, high tea, and a play in West End.

I chose to go to the play, and we saw “Dirty Rotten Scoundrel”, which was hilarious. It was originally an American movie/TV show that they adapted for British purposes, which was quite humorous as they made fun of Americans a lot in it. It was very enjoyable. We saw it at the Savoy Theater, which was beautiful.

photo1Mary Beth and I at the play.

After the play, Mary Beth and I walked around for a while. We saw the London Eye, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, and a few other sites. Then we took the underground up to Camden Lock to shop around for a bit. It was a day full of walking, and more awesome things than my eyes could enjoy.

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Big Ben…. and the Tube…. 

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The London Eye…

Once we took the tube and then the train back to Oxford, we decided to go out, even though it was 11:30 already. We are only here a few Saturdays, and this next one will require a lot of work. We wanted to have some fun before course work started.

Mary Beth and I met up with a group of the undergrads (who are awesome) at Whig and Pen and we talked for a bit. Then we started wandering to find somewhere else that was still open, and ended up bumping into Lauren and Joanna from our cohort who joined us.

We ended up at Wahoos, which is a dance club, where they were playing crazy old songs such as the Macarena, the YMCA, and songs from Grease. It was a lot of fun. We ended up with a few straggler/creeper guys following us, and then are some questionable food from a food truck… But it was all great fun. The four of us Grad school students ended up together and were talking in fake accents while wandering around for food. It was a lot of fun.

Sunday (July 6)

On Sunday I slept in, which felt amazing. Then that afternoon we split into four groups and went on tours around Oxford.

It’s really the most charming city! All the details of everything are beautiful. There are so many gorgeous historical buildings, expansive gardens, and beautiful stone work in unexpected places.

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Once we finished up the tour, I attended the Mass that Father David from St. Bonaventure was leading. It was really a lovely service, even though I’ve never been to a Franciscan service, and I haven’t been to a Mass since I was about 8 for my cousins christening.

After that, the school had an outdoor barbecue for us to enjoy. There are 3 other schools here, and so the meal times are a fun opportunity to mingle. U MASS, Georgetown, and Univ. of Georgia are the other schools represented.

Once dinner was over, I did some reading and took notes that we had to do for class.

After we were done, Mary Beth suggested a walk, which  was really enjoyable. It had finished raining and we saw a brilliant rainbow over campus.

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Rainbow over Trinity College…

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Monday (July 7)

Classes started on Monday!!! I was so excited I hardly slept on Sunday night. (Nerd problems.) We met our Professor, or “tutor”. Her name is Julie and she is incredibly intelligent. She is an entrepreneur and has done a lot of different types of business.

Our class was incredibly exhausting. It was a lot to adjust to. We have some students that our cohort has never interacted with before who are taking courses on a different campus or are online students normally, so our group interactions were a bit hectic.

We have five clients whom we are meeting with this week, and then going to develop a marketing plan for in the week and a half remaining. We will be split into pairs of two, which of course causes my anxiety. (Undergrad group project flashbacks!) I keep trying to trust the process and remind myself that no matter who I am teamed with I can learn from them and grow through this experience. But the worrier in me has stressed a bit about this, I’ll be honest.

After class, Mary Beth and I wandered into some shops to decompress. We found this darling eclectic shop, full of books, ink wells, leather journals, maps, globes, and quotes of famous Oxford attendees in literature. It was amazing, and made me miss my brother Nate — who would have loved everything in there.

We walked back for dinner, and ran in to Lauren and Torii who suggested a pre-dinner drink, as the line for dinner was long. We walked to a little pub the White Horse and talked for a bit. I am really appreciating getting to know my cohort in this setting, rather than just on Friday nights and Saturday mornings when we are all so exhausted from our jobs and then class.

After dinner we went to the “beer cellar” here on campus, which is a full service bar that has a nice area to hang out. I played darts for a while, and then got into an intense game of Jenga (yes, the stacking block game) with the girls of my cohort and some guys from Georgetown. It was a lot of fun!

After that Lauren and I went and met up with a lot of other Bonas students at a Shisha bar to smoke. I hadn’t ever done that or hookah before, and it was really enjoyable. We ended up talking and hanging out for a while, and then Becca, Torii, Lauren and I left to find food and head to bed.

Tuesday (July 8)

Our class Tuesday morning was very interesting. I’m learning so many cultural difference between the UK and the US.

After lunch we met our first client. They were really darling, and I would like the opportunity for them to be my clients for my project. I am excited to see how the rest of them go.

After class Mary Beth and I walked into some shops trying to find a book written by our guest speaker for Wednesday, our “high table” dinner.

Then we had dinner, and met up with Becca, Lauren, Torii, Joanna and Emily to go to a figure drawing class at a local shop. I am not at all an artist, but I thought it would force me out of my comfort zone and I intentionally enjoy placing myself there sometimes. It was really enjoyable and calming, which I was surprised by — despite the fact that the figure was a 70+ year old man. Nothing like seeing an old man, entirely naked contorted into strange positions for an hour and a half while you stare intently. It was really enjoyable though, and I’m glad I went.

Tuesday evening I just read some and researched our clients for the next day’s briefings.

Wednesday (July 9)

Today was another completely exhausting day, but very nice at the same time. We had client briefings all morning, which transitioned into debriefings this afternoon.

Then we all got ready for our “high table” dinners, which start with our guest speaker Daniel Priestly. He is a super genius entrepreneur, who had so many fascinating things to say. I definitely want to get his book(s) to learn more about his methods and theories on entrepreneurial spirit and becoming a key person of influence. The most memorable part for me was when he was talking about partnerships and he said that often people are scared to make partnerships… some people think that 1 and 1 equals 2, but really 1 and 1 can equal 11. I love that.

While we were waiting for him to arrive, we took some pictures of our group, which I thought was fun.

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Mary Beth and I…

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Our whole group at St. Bonaventure, complete with tutors and our guest speaker, Daniel Priestly. 

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The members of our cohort who are here. Me, Torii, Emily, Joanna, Mary Beth, Joe across, and Lauren down below. 

After the speaker, we moved into a quick Pimm’s reception and then on to our high table dinner.

I got to sit at the high table this evening, which was really nice. I sat next to Simon the Shakespeare class tutor, who was completely lovely.

After dinner, we all moved down to the beer cellar where Foosball and darts commenced, and the World Cup game was on.

After that Mary Beth, Lauren, Becca and I walked around Oxford for a bit.

I’ve been writing a bit every day, but the internet connection has not always been sustainable enough to post this… so I’ve been adding to it. Sorry for the length of it all!

XoXo

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