Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Vines

This is The Vines, a house built in 1889 by  Howard Vines, a professor of botany. The program I'm with in Oxford bought and renovated it to use as a dorm. Forty students live here, from colleges all over the US. Besides bedrooms, there are laundry facilities, an IT room, and a kitchen and breakfast room. 

There's also a large common room with one wall of built-in bookshelves filled with books (several complete sets of Narnia, several complete works of Shakespeare, travel books, philosophy, poetry, six copies of Jane Eyre, and other miscellaneous well-chosen volumes). The common room also has an electric piano, which I am elated about. I even threw a few books of music into my luggage, since I found out about the piano just before I left home. 

This is one of the first photos I took of my room when I got here on Friday morning. It's quite spacious, and even with three roommates I have plenty of room to myself. I especially appreciate that I ended up on a top bunk, so I can work on my bed, which I really appreciate. 

My roommates are all English majors - two lit and one writing. It looks like we will get along well, and I'm already anticipating spending a lot of time with Katherine (whom I keep wanting to call Elizabeth, for some reason) and Paige. Katherine and I have a mutual friend at Wheaton, and Paige shares my love of the Inklings (as do many students here). The program encourages the students to form food groups to share meal-cooking duties, and Katherine and Paige and I joined one with a few of other girls.

I'm really looking forward to becoming part of the community here. Already I've had a few good discussions. It seems that the students in the SCIO program come from much more diverse religious backgrounds (though all profess Christ) than those at Wheaton. I'm glad of that, because it means I will be exposed to other branches of Christianity and be able to engage with ideas in new ways. 

{The three windows on the top right are my bedroom windows.}

Because the Vines is about a forty minutes' walk from the city center, all the students received bikes yesterday, which cuts the commute to ten minutes. I ventured to church on my bike, which I am already quite enjoying, and managed to stay on the left side of the road, not get hit by a car, and not get {too} lost. I considered that a very successful first outing.

1 comment:

  1. oh, i am indeed glad your first excursion with left-lane biking was successful!
    how did you chose your church, and did you like it?

    it had not occurred to me that you would be responsible for your own meals!

    i did not know you like to work on your bed. (O:

    the vines is beautiful! and, yes, historic!