Sunday, November 10, 2013

Oxford and Oxford University

We went on a trip to Oxford with all the senior missionaries. We drove to a park-and-ride and parked the car then took the bus into town. Oxford is crazy to drive in!  We walked from the bus stop to the Sorensens' home.  They had prepared really good food for us. Great salads and sandwiches. It was nice to be with the other senior missionaries that we don't see so often. 

Elder Sorensen gave us a presentation about Oxford and the university. He told us that their education system is different. Oxford University has different colleges, but all colleges are exactly the same and teach the same classes. So, it does not really matter which college you go to.  They don’t teach classes in a lecture format, but the students meet with the teacher who gives them ‘assignments’ and tells them which books to read then they go and research and write essays and come back and talk about them to the instructor. They don’t have tests except at the end of the 1st and 3rd years (the Bachelor degree is 3 years).  The students live in the college they go to and eat there. Dinner is a formal event and students wear their 'graduation' robes to go to that every day. They wear their robes often, not just at graduation. That is strange to me.  Dinner is a 3-course meal for only 2.10 pounds! Wow…

Elder Sorensen gave us a tour of Oxford before we went to Oxford University.  Here is the original old wall of the city:

We went to Christ Church college and took a tour. 
Below are some pictures of the outside of the college:

Near there was where the writer of Alice in Wonderland was buried (in this grave yard):

They showed us the library at the college which had some of the oldest books in the world. The lady at the library said that they had the oldest written version of the Arabian nights. الف ليلة وليلة and after they read it they found out that it contains a story that is not in all the other Arabian nights books. So, it actually may have been 1002 nights, not 1001 only! Cool…This is a picture of the old books in the library:

 All the old books had an alarm on them and you are not supposed to touch them because they are really old and they don’t want people touching them all the time.  But, you can request a book in advance and they will get it for you. The librarian showed us what they think is the oldest hat in the world. It is made of red cloth that survived from the 14th century.

In that college is where the famous Harry Potter hall is (see below):

After the tour we went to the Harry Potter hall and they served us scones and hot chocolate. That was perfect after a long cold day. They had a fire place there and it was nice and warm. The hall is beautiful, but surely looks much nicer in the harry potter movie.  The tables were set so perfectly and beautifully.

Sister Cates and I enjoying the hot chocolate...

We walked to the bus stop after that and went home. We wanted to stop to get something to eat. But, we kept missing our turn and so ended up going back and forth on the highway like 3 times and there was an accident there so it was not much fun.  But, we finally found this really small old restaurant and had the most amazing meal. Really good food.

I told everyone that there must be a reason we are there because it surely took us forever to end up at this place...we said we would try to give a pass-along card to someone. Sister Adams went over to the table next to us and started talking to the people there. They said ‘no’ and that they are not interested. They were very kind and sweet though. Oh well, we tried.

The day was rainy and cold. It rained ALL day, by the end of the day we were so sick of rain.  We walked for 4 hours in the rain. But, it was all worth it. It was an amazing day. My muscles are still soar from all the walking.

PS. Sister Mecham told me that I was in Shari Dew's latest book. She showed me what Sister Dew wrote about me. Cool, I didn't know I was so famous =)


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