My first week…

August 16th, 2009

So far so good…although this has been a pretty strange week.  It’s still hard for me to believe I’m here in Oxford.  Some things about it feel so comfortable, while others are taking a bit of getting used to…basically, it’s Bizarro Harvard.  I work at a hospital, in a similar center, with really smart people.  The cafeteria is even the same distance away…and I go to the pub after work with a great group of people…The only caveats being that, unlike the Seinfeld episode, in this bizarro world, the people are interesting, just like all of you at home!  And, I’m sad to say, the pub is better than our home away from home, Conley’s.  Check it out:  http://www.headington.org.uk/history/pubs/white_hart.htm.  

Just like at home, I worked every day this week, then spent most of the evenings at the aforementioned pub.  Work here is really exciting, at least for now…Not only am I working with a great group, I have my own Oxford email address now and my very own wiki page!  The one huge adjustment at work was that I have to share an office with 5 other people!  Fortunately, everyone is so nice that I’m already adjusted.  As far as I can tell, the only two people with their own offices are the Director and the Asst Director (the person I work with).  I haven’t quite figured out who can see this blog (any ideas Thomas?), so I won’t mention any names – at some point, I’ll probably have to send those of you who should know a secret decoder list.  Just a side note, if you do a google search of bizarro harvard oxford, you get a link to MC Frontalot – Bizarro Genius Baby lyrics:

I had a dream that I fathered a bizarro genius baby. She’s out the womb like, “ Dood,  Oxford, Stanford, Harvard called, she didn’t call them back.”

Hmm…true talent there…Anyway, I started my flat hunt yesterday.  I went to the City Centre, which is where Oxford is located, to go to various “letting agents” to check out their listings.  I was sort of blown away by it all.  I’ve always loved the Harvard campus and, compared with all the other schools I’ve been at or cities I’ve lived in, Harvard and Boston are the best (you all know how much I love Boston).  I have to say though, Oxford sort of makes Harvard pale in comparison.  It really does come from another time.  Unfortunately, I’m not eloquent enough to give it the description it deserves.  Thomas told me to post lots of pics because a blog without pics is boring, but I can’t figure out how to get them from my Blackberry to my mac.  I took some yesterday, and will post them as soon as I figure it out.   

I’ll also get my Oxford ID this week, so next weekend I’ll be able to go round to all the colleges and actually “see” the university and take more pics.  The City Centre itself was jammed with people/tourists, much like HSq, but there was so much more there to see and to do.  Great shopping, a large covered market with stalls selling produce, meat, clothing, and everything else, all pretty reasonably priced (Kim you would love it!), lots of really old pubs, trendy restaurants and coffee shops…  

Oh yeah, after a visit with about ten different letting agents, it looks like I may be living in the courtyard at work or with 8 Oxford students in shared housing…super competitive here and they don’t want to let for six months – because they don’t have to and turning over every year in September is ideal.  On the plus, someone I work with has offered me a tent 🙂