Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Freedom and Colleges

Finally free from the culling crush of exams, I've been spending the last few days sleeping in and being fairly useless. I somehow managed to forgo the completion of any non-BUPC-related to-dos (namely preparing to move), and am probably going to be looking forward to a pretty stressful week starting friday. Yay.

But until then, it's relaxation time. I took a train to Oxford yesterday (monday), where I will be spending a few days relaxing and enjoying the company of people smarter than I. So far it's been a nice change of pace from exams: last night, I went out for drinks with a few students from Magdalen College School, and greatly enjoyed the impressive knowledge of all subjects (including my own) they had to display. Then today I took a stroll around Jericho (not the one on the West Bank), had lunch with Yorick at Balliol College, where I am considering applying for postgraduate studies (well technically one really only applies to the department, and college applications are a pastoral matter). It was a bit more "modern" than I expected, having been considerably rebuilt at the end of the 19th, and during the 20th centuries (think Princeton-type architecture... it's not bad), but still quite pleasing (although not as quaint as some other genuinely older buildings, like those of Christ Church or Magdalen, which are absolutely gorgeous). I also got a quick-ish visit of the Oxford Internet Institute, which served as a convenient backdoor into Balliol.

On top of that, there was must discussion on Language and potential PhD (or hopefully DPhil) topics going around. I got to read through a rather quirky yet not uninteresting draft of a paper discussing (or perhaps just postulating) philosophical musings on matters of computational linguistics. Just two days ago, I doubt I would have ever predicted I would be keen on doing so so soon after the exams, but I admit it was quite an enjoyable experience.

Oxford is indeed a beautiful place, perhaps the most beautiful city I've visited anywhere. This statement could, of course, be linked to the good company and glorious weather (perhaps a bit hot on monday, but brief rainshowers today really brought it back down to a tolerable level). But then again, old buildings, canals, people in weird robes, loads of pedestrian streets, good schools, good colleges, bizarre shops, loads of public lectures and concerts, and all this only 45 minutes away from London... I think such statements are not entirely unfounded. I truly hope I get a place here for postgraduate studies. Time to start bribi...errr preparing applications.

No comments: