Saturday, January 31, 2015

Photo Spam #1

chocolate bar and salad selfies from a convo with my favorite sister:

I'm a serial eavesdropper #1

Things I heard outside my window on a Friday night #1 

A group of boys are arguing about whether or not a scarf is "cool" to wear on a night out. It's getting very heated...

Aussie boy told British boy his scarf looked "gay" and British boy responded - "Shut up I was born here! I can wear a scarf if I want!"

They moved out of earshot before I could hear the end of this gripping saga.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fun Stress

    Recently a phenomenon has come to my attention,  which I've labeled "Fun Stress".

    Since settling into my home away from home and getting my schedule sorted the stress of this endeavor has melted away leaving me very content and happy in my new environment. But I've discovered that for some on exchange this is not the case.

     Through conversations with other people on exchange and people back home, there is a social phenomenon that i've discovered..........."Fun Stress"

Fun Stress - (noun) A social phenomenon that occurs when a person feels so much social pressure to enjoy oneself that they end up making poor choices and or making themselves unhappy. 

Some people (thankfully not too many)  feel like they are on exchange and therefore they MUST have the time of their lives every waking moment and walk around with a crazed look in their eye, a painful smile on their face and a very rabid brand of excitement that makes everyone around them bit frightened.

Basically it's a struggle to live up to an unrealistic expectation of what fun is supposed to look like in order to impress those around you.

I have not fallen prey to this particular problem whatsoever because I am an extremely stubborn person who is determined to do things her own way. As a result this "way" of mine is often full of setbacks but I struggle on in the name of independence :)

This trait also makes me very bluntly dismissive of the suggestions and expectations of others which is mean and so I should try to improve on that.  


I think my roommates have discovered that while I may come from a cool place like California I am the least cool person to ever exist.

They are getting dressed up and ready for a night out at the Pub and or Club and I have already changed into my pajamas and am eating a potato I cooked in the microwave and it's only 6:30.

So sorry California. I have disgraced your reputation.

My roommates are the best though because they don't seem to care that I am not a party girl and just let  me do my own thing.

Some of the girls like to cook and are basically master chefs, and today THEY were impressed with ME because they had never seen anyone cook a potato in the microwave before. So out of all the American culture and coolness I could have shown legacy will be a microwave potato.

All that being said, I am extremely lucky to be living with this awesome group of girls, they have been amazingly welcoming and sweet despite my quirks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Old New Things

One of the things that struck me about Oxford when I first arrived was the way the past and the present meet. Just about every other building here is history. Some of it older than my country! And  people still live in it, work in it and study in it. 

In Sacramento we do a "living history" thing in the fourth grade where we go to Sutter's Fort, dress up as pioneers, try our hand at candle making and eat jerky we pretend didn't come from the grocery store. And hear that lovely story about the infamous Donner Party cannibalism. 

Here in Oxford, surrounded by history, no one is dressed up or making candles but I think they achieve a "living history" by simply living their 2015 lives surrounded by the buildings, monuments and artifacts of the past. 

That being said, I loved Sutter's fort, it was some of the best fun of my elementary school life and I would happily do it again! 


Arriving in Oxford

     When I was in Junior High, I had a big map of the world on my wall, and on that map I'd circled Oxford University with one of my beloved sharpies and declared that that was where I was going to college.
    At thirteen when they tell you in school to research colleges you don't look for the one you think you can get into, you look for the best school you can find. And I had decided Oxford was the best. And with the blind optimism of a thirteen year old who has never seen an SAT score, I decided that was where I was headed.

And eight years later here I am!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Hair


1.) Easy to style 

2.) very few bad hair days 

3.) makes me look tough when i'm actually a wimp who has trouble opening heavy doors


1.) Some very grouchy senior citizens have looked at me like i'm going to spit in their eye 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Great Perhaps

      One of my favorite books is Looking For Alaska by John Green, and in this book when Miles is about to go off to boarding school in Alabama he quotes the poet Francois Rabelais' last words "I go to seek a Great Perhaps" and that explains my trip to Oxford perfectly. I'm going to seek my own Great Perhaps.

      While most of the perhaps' in my head are worst case scenarios involving death or humiliation, some of them are nice though, like museums, libraries, and London.

      However, if i'm still comparing myself to Miles in Looking For Alaska, his 'Great Perhaps' turned out to be (Spoiler alert!) the tragic death of the friend he had a massive crush on. So that isn't helping with the worst case scenarios i've got going. Watching the Hobbit trilogy wasn't all that helpful either since I identify with Bilbo, as a person who usually stays at home going on a crazy adventure, and his story ends with death and a lonely trip home.

Literary discouragement aside, I'm really looking forward to this trip! I'm excited to go to a country I have admired since childhood and getting to take some new classes and see lots of two of my favorite things


2. libraries

However this trip will also involve two of my least favorite things

1. social situations where i'm under pressure to appear friendly and likable

2. navigating places i've never been before

However, I think I will be able to overcome these grave difficulties to have a really good time. And if someone does die in the fashion of literary best sellers, at least I will be able to write about it.