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Yeah - this came together last minute so I hardly talked about it at all for fear of jinxing it or something - and I literally very nearly missed my flight because of stupid Toronto traffic askajlsjsofj hate Toronto so much. Also, I feel compelled to disclose that the conference isn't hosted by the University, just at it - but still. Anyway, some highlights:
  • Being seated next to this extremely attractive Australian Oxford law PhD student on my flight here. Seriously - dark blond or light brownish hair, Roman nose, fairly tall, light colouring, great blue eyes, and maybe ten years older than I am and and six-seven years ahead of me on a fairly similar career path? We talked legal academia shop half the night and he gave me a bunch of tips about getting around Oxford and the UK in general - even gave me a couple ideas to tweak and strengthen my conference presentation. Also, did I mention how attractive this guy was? It's a good thing I have the BF and he mentioned he's married or I'd have developed such an embarrassing crush. (Seriously, why didn't I have any of him at McGill - you know how many McGill profs have degrees from Oxford? Although I was probably getting them like 30 years later and/or women and 30 years later so I guess some of the effect was lost.)
  • Walking around for like four hours each day. My legs are killing me but this is so healthy and I'm loathe to take any public transit and lose an opportunity to get intense exercise.
  • "Wendy's stealing clothes from Marks and Sparks/And Jimmy's got spots from ripping all the stars off his face, honey..." -  All the Young Dudes coming on the radio literally while I'm in Marks and Spencer (Marks and Sparks) for the first time in my life!
  • Seeing Einstein's blackboard at the Museum of the History of Science.
  • Spotting a fair few Oscar Wilde references and beaming like his mum at every one.
  • Speaking of mums, I swear I've met and asked for directions from half the mums-taking-their-small-kids-to-elite-elementary-schools and half the cute-little-old-ladies living in the northern half of the city of Oxford. I keep getting lost, usually within an embarrassingly small radius of the college I'm staying at where I should know better. But it's lovely and the weather's been amazing and everything's beautiful and really safe here so there'd be worse times and places to get ridiculously lost, and I'm laughing at myself so it's all good.
  • The Bodleian Library, A History - I did a bit of looking around the Bodleian today and am probably going to do a full tour Thursday. I may also well be picking up this book because, you know, Hogwarts, A History.

Other thoughts: 1) I keep mindlessly going into stores and souvenir stores. I caught myself doing that today and had to tell myself "Self, you are literally happier in a museum or a library or a good class than you are even in a store, so stop mindlessly shopping and go do the better things that you want to do here." (You know what my real weakness is though? Museum and library gift stores...)

2) My face literally looks a bit thinner tonight than it did when I left Toronto - and I've been eating really, really well but walking around for minimum four-five hours a day. (Although yesterday I got embarrassingly, hilariously lost and made an hour-ish trek of what should have been a fifteen minute walk between the College I'm staying at and the College this conference was at.)

3) Related to the above, I've a little bit of an interest in heraldry and know a little bit about the subject. Apparently, I've no sense of direction and suck at making landmarks for myself - but I learned right away to recognize the arms of St. Hugh's College, where I'm staying, and now know to run right over to a building with those arms as they'll get me back to my dorm.

4) I hate when people think I'm American - but it's even kinda worse if they think I'm from Toronto...

5) I just want to go back to school and never, ever leave again (but then, I knew that already...)

6) I hate spiders. I don't care if they're British spiders, Oxonian spiders, whatever, I don't care about their nationality or the university they're from, just fuck you, spiders. There are a couple that crawled in the casement of my dorm room and I swear, as soon as either of them walks down close enough to the floor, I am gonna squash them with my sturdy leather walking shoes that I've been walking in for five hours a day so damn fast...

Tomorrow I am doing an Oxford river cruise, a short bus tour, and I really need to get into the Ashmolean Museum and Magdalen College (Oscar Wilde's college). And I've booked a day trip up to London for Saturday because there was no way I was giving up a dormitory in a small city to try to afford a London hotel...)
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