Hello dear friends, it is now time for Harold’s Oxford tales once again. I know that it may seem that I am here to do other things, but the education is the primary reason. It is not that I have been consumed by the other attractions that this lovely little town brings, I just want to report something that is worthy of you all. So uh, here it is.
Yesterday and today, I had my first classes and must admit that the wheels have been turning. Monday was the first session of “History of the English Language” and while it is a bit dry at times, it is very interesting. For instance, I did not know that English belonged to a sub-catergory of the Indo-European language family that is….anybody, anybody at all…GERMANIC. Along with this newly discovered fun fact, I was also introduced to several ideas of the shifts that occur in language and the relations between some of the obvious ones with answers that are not as obvious. Be prepared for me to be even a bigger ass when it comes to correcting grammar, spelling, verb usage, tenses and all that other jazz. (Sidethought: my kids are probably going to have either really low or high self-esteem because these corrections are a little more than natural. God bless whoever he sends to me because they are going to surely need it OR they are going to be some of the most precocious and obnoxious children around. Either way, we are going to have to vacation often because they probably aren’t going to have many friends, and much like me, they will be content and assume the problems lie with everyone else.)
Today in “British Perspectives on the American Revolution” my middle and high school learning was turned on its head. It didn’t totally diverge from what I had known before BUT like the course title said, it introduced a new perspective to it.
These are only introductory sessions but they set me up for a great summer. I like the directions in which these classes are headedand must admit that summer school is GREAT.
Aside from all the book learning I’m doing, my social and critical thinking has become so much more acute in the past couple of days. I have noticed a great number of things that bear difference between here and home and have also noticed some similarities. This is to say that my perception of what it was before to be in England or English has reached a new level of understanding. People aren’t as PROPER as one would assume, they are mannerable and polite but out of formalities not genuine kindness. For me, if you are going to say something polite like “excuse me” or “pardon”, do it because one of us is in another’s way, not because you have to walk past me, but, I’m only an American so what do I know ;-).
Another thing: everything is so much smaller; cars, rooms, bathrooms, toilets, proportions, shops and a number of other items that one must come into contact with daily. I have to do some more thinking than the obvious reasons as to why this is the case but it is something that hit me as soon as I stepped foot into the country. It would not be so blatant and obvious if our English mates didn’t make it so. Any and everytime that I’ve asked for something to eat (smallest but most relevant example) my plate is the size of fat albert’s. It’s like, I can’t eat that all now. First of all, I’m too damned skinny. Secondly, let me just tell you ALL that England is not an attraction because of it’s cuisine; however, I refuse to eat any American fast-food.
Until next time my friends, oh yea, I may be hitting up Paris and Spain in the near future so uh, be on the look out for those posts.
Oh yea, the waiting is a story for the ages and will soon get to them.