Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Halfway Through Term and Soccer Season Concludes

By Allen Page
Page, far right, with classmates in his backyard in Oxford.

Hi guys! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I know I mentioned this last time, but it is so strange to think that it is summer back home, not only because I am still in school, but also because the weather has remained essentially the same since I’ve been here – between about 55 and 65 most every day. I’ve heard reports that temperatures are beginning to creep up into the 90s back home.

Anyways, we are well into the term here, just past the midway point. It’s fifth week according to Oxford students, who describe each of the eight weeks of term likewise. It actually makes planning much easier – you don’t have to worry about dates when you know you have an engagement Tuesday of sixth week, or Saturday of eighth week, etc. It reminds me a bit of how, at Davidson, we refer to the highway exits not by the name of the road or town, but by the number. Mooresville isn’t Mooresville; it’s 36. Each place has its own idiosyncrasies, I guess.

School here has been moving along as usual – two classes a week, two papers a week. However, I must mention I had an off week this go-around and only had one paper. One would expect that the extra time would enable me to get ahead on work; in reality, of course, I actually procrastinated more than usual for my one paper and condemned myself to doing all the reading and writing in about six hours. I generally do not recommend this approach.

I still haven’t travelled too much, although I am planning to go with a few friends to Paris and the northern coast of France this weekend. We will actually get to see the beaches of Normandy and the American soldier cemetery on D-Day, which I anticipate will be really special and cool. I have been to London a few times in the last month, though. On one of the trips, we went to see a play performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (notice my nifty British spelling), which was very cool. It is an outdoor theatre with a big standing area, where we stood for 3 hours, much of which was in pouring rain, and watched. It was a really unique experience, and nothing like I had ever witnessed before.

Page at Stamford Bridge
The other trip, a few weeks back, was to see Chelsea play their last home game of the season. They were playing Newcastle, and true to Chelsea form (remember I am a United fan), the blues totally underachieved. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, with Newcastle snatching a late goal to pick up the point. I must say though, of the few stadiums I have now been to on this trip and a previous one (Old Trafford, Wembley, The Emirates, Stamford Bridge, Craven Cottage, Loftus Road, and Kassam Stadium), Stamford Bridge might be my favorite. We were crammed underneath an overhang in the end-zone section, but it was still very cool.

As most of you know, the soccer season is now unfortunately over. The Champions League final in London showed that Barcelona is still without comparison. I had hoped to get tickets to the game, but it was nearly impossible, and incredibly expensive too, so I had to content myself to watch in the Dew Drop Inn, a pub near our house where I have watched most of the games so far. All this watching has me itching to play again, and though I am thoroughly enjoying my time here, I’m also looking very much forward to getting back on the field with the boys!

Cheers for now,
Allen

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