This weekend was magnificent. Friday evening began with chapel, having a theme this term of "the city," which was a really neat mix of the traditional: lots of older people, piano & acoustic guitar & hand drums, everyone dressed to the nines for formal hall, and the unique: joint poetry readings, space to draw reflections of the city on the back wall, contemporary music. After chapel everyone traipsed downstairs for formal hall.
Formal hall = wicked awesome.
Formal hall is so cool at Regent's Park, I can't even imagine what it's like at somewhere really majestic like Christ Church. Every Friday evening we have an incredibly fancy dinner in the candlelit great hall, everyone wearing their academic gowns (not as cool as Hogwarts gowns, they're more like frilly black vests, but still...) and wearing posh clothes underneath. I couldn't bring myself to take photos of it, because that would have just been uncouth, but here's a surreptitious picture Melody took to demonstrate the elaborateness of the situation:
Yep, that's the butter.
So then after formal hall the JCR always has an event, and this week it was a bop, which is just a cheesy but delightful school dance that brought back nostalgia of Jewell dances. The theme was "When I grow up..." and here's Joe and Annie (who came and crashed our bop) and I as a professor, a secret agent, and a rock star:
Saturday I spent three hours exploring the University Parks again, and I didn't even make it all the way to the end of ONE of the bazillion gorgeous trails there. I meandered along...
...found a great tree to climb...
... and then had to track my way back.
Saturday afternoon Eric and I hung out at The Nosebag. I know it's referring to the sack that horses eat out of, but it's still kind of a gross name for a restaurant, don't you think? Melody and I make fun of it every time we walk by, but it's really precious on the inside, and a great place for a mug of coffee and a good talk and some British people-watching.
All of the new and visiting students are supposed to have a "college parent." Kind of like a mentor back at Jewell, just an upperclassman to take care of you and answer your questions. It actually reminds me (with only the slightest bit of revulsion... sorry my sorority friends!) even more of a sorority mom-dot relationship, the way they talk about "your dad" and "your grandmum" and "your aunt." Anyway, everyone was supposed to have dinner with their college parents on Saturday night, but we began to realize as it got near the end of the week that none of the American students had been contacted by their parents. In other words, our parents apparently didn't want us. We were as abandoned orphans, lonely waifs in the world.
Sounds like an excuse for a partay!!!
Melody and I had a grand Orphan Night pizza party at our house and ten of us probably demolished four large pizzas in under ten minutes. It was fantastic. And the best part is that we had 50% off coupons from the Fresher's Fair, so we only had to chip in three quid each. How much better does it get?
I visited Wesley Memorial Methodist for the 10:30 service on Sunday, which was fine, but not exactly inspiring, then went back to Ebbes for the 11:45 service and student lunch, which was PACKED (as in every single seat in the church was taken for the service, standing room only if you were late) and wonderful. I like that church a lot, and even though I'd like to visit a few other places, I'll probably start going there regularly.
Yesterday I worked on finishing my first paper that was due at 8 am this morning, but I also had my first comparative government lecture, my first rowing practice, and my first choir rehearsal (scads of fun). After dinner, I think the entire college crowded into the JCR to watch our very own Regent's Park team compete against Emmanuel College from Cambridge on University Challenge, a tv quizzing show. Seriously, even though Regent's Park has less than 200 students, I think they got more people to come watch a quiz competition than Jewell can get at a football game! There was some intense school spirit in the room, with cheers for our team and boos for Emmanuel and lots of laughter. Our team won, of course ;)
Well, I'm off to my first tutorial in five minutes, so wish me luck!
"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil- this is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
Can we be good without God?
2 years ago