Oxford, June 26, 2012

Today is a short post.  I have pictures but the SD card is giving me problems.  I'll post a long one tomorrow.  Night.


Oxford, June 25, 2012

First day of classes and they are going to be so much fun.  But first....

English breakfast in a dining hall that reminds me of Hogwarts!!!!!!!  And dining under the watchful eyes of....

... the Queen! It is a very beautiful dining hall and these pictures are kinda crappy.  I will endeavor to do better.  Breakfast was yummy.  Had eggs sunny side up for the first time.  Was weird, but yummy.
Then went off to my first class, Shakespeare.  I now understand the beauty of iambic pentameter.  I am going to learn so much in this class.  I am giddy with excitement.  Scavenger hunt and Taming of the Shrew on Wednesday.
      After class I wandered around the city for a while, got postcards and stamps (if you want one let me know!), and found a castle...well remnants of Oxford Castle.  Will be taking a tour later in the week.  :)
      Before my second class I hung out in the "pub" that we can use as our on-campus common room, it is convenient, but kinda gross.  The floor is so sticky and it smells of stale beer AND the horrible part about it is that they removed all the alcohol from it because there is a high school group on campus the same time as us.  :(  If I have to smell stale beer I would like to at least be drinking, thank you very much.  It is a cool space though.

My second class was Medieval Literature.  Interesting but not quite as dynamic as Shakespeare.  Although, we did wander around the city and look at examples of medieval and early modern architecture.  Below (the white building) is the oldest building on Oriel's campus, built in the 16th century.  The college itself was created in the early 14th century, but all the buildings from that time have been torn down.  The Quad seen here is known as the student's quad, and you are allowed to walk on the grass or play croquet. 

Another building (early 20th century) on the same Quad. 

This is an example of how medieval houses were built: right on the street, and the street floor is the smallest footprint in order to allow carts to move by with out disturbing the shop space on the ground floor.  Yes, shop keepers lived above (or next to) their shops.  It was also very common for the upper floors to be rented out to boarders.  Also, few homes had kitchens.  It was expensive to house the wood and fireplaces for cooking and without refrigeration it was not economically sensible to cook meat for a single family.  Many simply went to the local pub to get their meals.  

St. Mary's cathedral is right across the street from Oriel and is in the High Gothic style.  I am unsure of the date it was built.  When I tour the inside, I will have that information.  :)

 The  below buildings are originally medieval and their interior room layouts and construction are medieval.  Their  street levels have obviously been refaced for modern commerce.  It is really cool to see how the old buildings are adapted to serve modern society and needs.  It is also interesting to see how many buildings are actually fairly modern buildings built to look medieval.

14th Century                                                                                            

15th Century
The Saxon tower of St. Mark's Church, over 1000 years old.  Its a bad picture and again, when I tour the church I will have better pictures and more information.  :)

I am off to bed now.  Possibly going into London tomorrow!


June 24th, 2012- Oxford, UK

Jet lag hasn't been too bad so far.  It will probably hit me tomorrow.  My flight was fine, nothing too traumatic happened.  The dorms are dorms.  Sadly we're not in one of the historically old buildings, but the facilities are nice and we have bathrooms en suite.  Although the wi-fi does leave much to be desired, slooooowwww upload speeds.

After we made it to the dorms I went out with some classmates for toiletries and lunch.  Amazing how much is closed on Sunday.  I knew it would be bad, but food options were limited.  Duly noted for remaining Sundays.  My spicy chicken sandwich was in no way spicy.  As you can see in the picture I successfully unpacked and then took a snooze.

At 6 pm we left for Oriel College for a lovely reception and dinner.

So normally you are not allowed to walk on the grass, but for special events this rule is ignored. And so we....partied on the grass.

After our sparkling wine on the quad we went into one of the private dining rooms in Oriel for a sit down dinner.  Food was ok, actually my ravioli were terrible, but I should have gone with the chicken. I didn't get a picture of the room before we ate. 

After dinner we took a quick tour of the Oriel to find out where the dining hall is and how to get to our classroom.  The buildings are so cool.  I will find out more about the age of the buildings later, but I believe many parts of the main college building (including the dining hall) are from the high Middle Ages. 

Our classroom is not all that fancy. 

But the view is pretty cool.  

I found the Starbucks, so hopefully I can upload faster and share more pictures. 

I have arrived

I have arrived in jolly olde England. Very excited to start exploring, but the jet lag is beginning to set in.     Once I get unpacked, cleaned up, and rested I will post pictures!



7 Days to Go!!!

Leave for Oxford, UK in one week!


Wait, what? Crayons do melt, what are you talking about.  

Yeah, I know that what a lot of people said when I told them what I wanted to name my blog. So if crayons do actually melt, then why name your blog to the contrary?  

Well, it all goes back to when I was about three years old.  My family always went on car trips.  My parents owned this little Nissan hatchback, and I of course dominated the back seat.  The backseat has these awesome little compartments in the armrest on the door.  They were SO deep!  I loved to store stuff in them.  

On this particular trip to Glaicier National Park in Montana I was coloring in the backseat.  Now, I loved my crayons. I loved them ALMOST as much as I loved my Duplos...and I adored those blocks. We got to wherever we were going; a trailhead probably, knowing my dad.  Well, I didn't want anyone to steal my crayons, so I hid them in my secret compartment.  My dad said to me " don't put those crayons in there, they'll melt."  To which I proudly responded, "crayons don't melt!"

  Well, you can probably guess what happened when we got back to the car.  I buckled myself in, flipped open the lid to my storage spot, and gasped "crayons DO melt!" to my dismay I no longer had separate, pretty little crayons, but one giant, globular hunk of crazy colors.  I would like to say I took that giant block of wax and went on coloring, but alas I was an emotional child and so I cried.

I looked back on the occasion as one of my first memories, but also one of my first experiences with artistic creation...albiet, an unintentional creation. So when it came to naming my blog, a blog about personal creativity and artistic creations, I wanted something that was fun but, also personally meaningful.