I did it!
Or, didn't do it.
We'll find out at 5:00 tomorrow evening. Just a few minutes ago, I turned in my first Oxford paper. I have to admit, I feel like it's pretty legit; my argument essentially turns the Austen novel on its head, suggesting her "happy endings" are actually sad commentaries on the nightmarish restraints of women's imagination in Regency Britain. He will either love it or hate it. For one hour tomorrow, I will be discussing it with him and one other student. That's plenty of time for me to 1) cry, or 2) bubble over with intelligent thought, or 3) be a quiet, intimidated American girl. Fingers crossed!
Over the course of my first full weekend here, I spent approximately twelve-to-fifteen hours writing this paper. I did, however, find time for fun. We went to the Pitt-Rivers Museum, where I saw my first shrunken heads. It was awesome. So, so awesome. They remove all of the innards from your head, then heat up the skin, shrinking it while somehow retaining its shape. Warriors wore them like necklaces, symbols of the men they had killed. Again I say, awesome.
I also got my first Pimm's at The Eagle & Child, one of the most famous pubs in England. (Pimm's, if you don't know, is the official drink of Oxford students. It's very fruity and delicious.) The next night I had my first experience with Lebanese food (delicious hummus!), after which Elizabeth and I watched Shakespeare and Love while eating sweet girly things, like cookies. And white chocolate shortbread. Mmmm. Last night I even had time for a Skype date with my dad, Nancy, and brother Alex in Washington state! It was great to talk to them and see some of their new house.
Overall, the weekend was fairly uneventful, but it gave me a chance to experience Oxford in a non-touristy, student kind of way. I had a great time cozying up at the library, researching an author I love. Big plans this week for plays in Stratford AND one at the Oxford Playhouse, so I'll have much more to say in a few days!