Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tutorials Commence, the Royal Wedding and Old Trafford

By Allen Page

Hi everyone! It’s been a little while since I last posted. Since then, a lot has happened! The main change is that term has finally started, meaning that all the students have returned to Oxford and that tutorials have commenced. In fact, I had my first one yesterday – and I have the rest of the week off, which is great. Of course, I still have to do a ton of reading (maybe even more reading than…. Davidson? – am I allowed to say that?). It’s so strange for me that my teammates are finishing school so soon, and the seniors are preparing to graduate while I still have half of a semester left!

This past weekend, Britain has been abuzz with the Royal Wedding, the marriage between Price William and Kate Middleton. The wedding took place last Friday, and thousands of spectators flocked to Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Park, and Westminster Abbey in London to try and catch a glimpse of royalty. I tagged along with a number of people in our group and made the early morning trek to London to get a good spot to witness the festivities. It involved a lot of sitting around, but it was pretty cool to see the Queen of England and the other members of the Royal Family, even if for a brief moment. Fortunately, despite the overwhelming presence of the Union Jack, I never forgot my dedication to good ol’ America.

Though I’ve got to visit a number of cool places around Oxford and London, one of the highlights of my trip so far was my recent trip to the Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford, home of the self-proclaimed world’s greatest club, Manchester United. There, I got to see the Red Devils go up against Tim Howard and Everton. Indeed it was a glorious occasion, especially since I am a United fan! As the game played out, it seemed that they were destined not to score, but just when the fans were beginning to lose hope, the young and energetic Javier Hernandez, called “Chicharito”, scored in the 88th minute to go ahead! And my, my, did the stadium erupt. It was unlike anything I had ever witnessed firsthand! By the time the crowd had settled down, my throat and arms were sore from cheering for so long. The goal had huge implications for the rest of the season, as Manchester United is only leading the title race by three points. Getting to see a game at Old Trafford had been something I’d always wanted to do, and the experience did not disappoint!

Besides that game, I got to see Oxford’s local club, Oxford United, play twice. Both games were a lot of fun; both were full of goals. The first one saw Oxford drop a 2-0 lead to one of the top teams in League Two, Wycombe Wanderers, to end in a 2-2 draw. In the second game, which was their last home game, Oxford went down 1-0 to Lincoln but rallied in the second half to win 2-1. The team draws pretty good support from the city – not quite the 75 or so thousand that Manchester United gets, but still a good 7-9 thousand, depending on the game.

To my teammates, good luck on finals. To the seniors, congratulations for a diploma well earned. To the rest, enjoy the summer.

-Allen

P.S. It can’t possibly be better weather at home than it has been here – if anyone tells you that England is cold, wet, and dark, don’t believe them! It’s only rained once for the month I’ve been in Oxford, and the temperature has hovered right around 60 for most of the time!

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