Where, oh where, to begin? Tuesday was my first tutorial, during which I got back my paper. Class was lovely; we discussed the definitions of sensibility, and how it was a significant problem (almost a disease) in Austen's culture. There is actually a gravestone in a nearby village citing death by "excessive sensibility" - imagine that! We also talked about the implications Austen's endings have on her stories, and whether or not those endings should be taken lightly. Which is what I wrote my paper on...my grade A (yes, A!) first Oxford paper! Thumbs up to that.
The rest of my Tuesday was spent reading Emma (which I finished 5 minutes ago), finishing my travel arrangements (London! Paris! Dublin! Oh My!), and going out for a Mocha. As a side note, I have become a strong advocate for Morton's; it's a small coffeeshop found only in Oxford (New Hall Inn Street & the Covered Market), with 1.55 vanilla lattes. They know me. However, because they close at 5 (like 90% of everything else!) I was forced to go elsewhere for my Mocha.
Wednesday was my cannon day. At 10:15 am, we saw the first available showing of Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince...and it was AWESOME. For those of you (cough cough...Ben...) who could care less about HP, I will spare you the details.
Other than its being AWESOME.
Moving on. The entire group took an afternoon trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Comapny's performance of Julius Caesar. So much fun! Elizabeth, Kathleen, Courtney & I tried to visit his birthplace/museum, but it was 11 pounds (11 pounds!!) to get in. So, instead, we took a series of photos in front of the birthplace/museum, and opted for some afternoon tea. I highly recommend the Daisy Chain. It looks like a stationary store...well...it is a stationary store...but in the back, there is a tiny garden with lovely English teas. After tea we were lucky enough to stumble upon a public toilet which was, apparently, voted "Loo of the Year" in 2004. I took a picture. Don't worry about that.
A brisk walk to Shakespeare's grave followed, and we ate our packed lunches behind the church, right beside the Avon. The day KEPT getting better, with the grand performance of Julius Caesar. What an amazing cast! And the music...wow! It's one of my least-favorite Shakespeare plays, but their treatment brought it to life. Although she only has a few lines, Portia stole the show for me. We hope to go back and see As You Like It before the program is over.
And, this morning, I woke up and was sick. Sad face. I'm confident I'll feel better in time for the play tonight at Oxford Playhouse - Brief Encounter. It's based on an old movie, and is supposed to be one of the big things to see right now. I'll review it for you in my next blog.