The last hurrah

Oxford Travel Blog

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group 1 picture
    It's hard to believe that this amazing summer has come to a close. Right now, I'm in my room packing up all of my stuff (there seems to be a lot more than I came over with). It's kind of sad really, but I'm looking forward to getting home. This last week, although stressful because of finals, has been a very fun one. On Tuesday night, the Provost (president of the College) invited everyone into his private gardens (which we've never been able to see before!) for a champagne reception. It was a ton of fun, as everyone dressed up and got to ship on basically unlimited champagne for an hour and a half. They even had the red kind, and it's pretty damn tasty.
    Wednesday afternoon was the big game against UGA. I know what you're wondering.
champagne reception
What kind of game is it and why the heck is it in Oxford? There is a traditional grudge match between Tech and UGA stuents studying in Oxford every summer, played out on Worcester's soccer pitch. I'm not sure what kind of practice they get, but generally our guys, including myself, go out almost every day and kick around a little bit. The atmosphere was ripe for a great match. Although we only had small goals, the groundstaff painted us a medium-sized field. We were going to play 8 vs. 8 and goalies with no hands. Zach, a kid on our team who organized it, even found a licensed referee for the game (it just so happened to be the same guy who runs trivia at the pub every other week).
nice steal
To make things even better, each team had about 30 fans on the sidelines to cheer us on. This game was shaping up to be epic.
    I'm not one of the better 7 or 8 players on the team, but definitely expected to contribute as a sub. Fortunately, the way the positioning worked out, we had very few forwards, so I decided to step up in that role (even though I've been a defender my whole life). I ended up playing over half of the game! Our first goal came shortly after I entered, when me and Peter (a professor's son a year older than Aaron) made a run to the goal, and he slotted it in nicely. But I was there for backup if he needed it. Much to our delight, the crowd erupted with the "Ramblin Reck" song and much taunting and trash talking ensued.
air ball
It was great. About five minutes later, Peter found me on a nice throughball, and I juked the keeper and slammed it home! But the ref called it offsides. Bullshit. We scored another before halftime (I was in the action again, athough it was Sean who scored it) and felt pretty good about the first 45 minutes (yes, we played a full 90 minute game!).
    UGA scored not too long into the second half after a mistake by our keeper. We got a little scared until Philip, our best player, converted a great unassisted goal to make it 3-1. I'll just let it be known that I was in on the action during that goal too. Another chorus of our fight song and "To HELL with Georgia" ensued, and we were feeling pretty good. The game soon ended, and our crowd began to sing the "Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" song as their players walked away.
footrace
It was pretty damn funny. But we were good sports and shook their hands. I'm glad that we were able to avenge last year's loss.
    Finals on Friday sucked, but I got through them. Statics was harder than expected, and medieval history was 3 hours of continuous writing, but I did pretty good I think. My teachers really like me anyway. Professor Volovoi plays soccer with us every day, and I made sure he saw me at his wife's harp concert that was Wednesday night. After doing well on my first test, I think Professor Moore liked me too. She really liked my recorder playing on Thursday too. It's all about brownie points. Friday night's dinner in the Hall was good too. As it was our last one, the made us steak; although nothing compared to american beef, it was pretty good.
the crowd
Of course we had potatoes with it.
    This morning (Saturday), a lot of people, including myself, decided to go "punting" on the river. Punting is basically just a boat that you push and steer with a long pole (much like a gondola). We had five people in our boat, and it was a beautiful daly out. It's harder than it looks! We faced some difficulties turning, and hit the sides a couple of times, but nobody fell in. I got a workout, as we got turned around coming up the home stretch upstream. Since I was basically using the pole from the front, it was double the work. But I had a good time, and it was great to just relax and see the city for one last time today. Tonight, me and a bunch of friends are going to eat out at the Trout, which is a cool place on the river.
victory!
There's also karaoke at the pub tonight. Should be a fun time! Tomorrow morning, our bus for the airport leaves at 4am, and from there it's back to the good ol' US of A.
    This pretty much wraps up my European adventures from the summer. I loved it here in Oxford; it's definitely one of the coolest cities in the world. I think I've seen and experienced more this summer than most people do in a lifetime. Props to my parents and Randy McDow for funding it. Well, we've come to the end. It's both a sad and happy time. But good news! It looks like there's going to be a sequel next summer, with different and all new places and crazy escapades! Preliminary title is "Yellow Fever," but nothing's set in stone at this point. It's already in pre-production, so stay tuned for more details. Until next time friends, take care and safe travels!
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group 1 picture
group 1 picture
champagne reception
champagne reception
nice steal
nice steal
air ball
air ball
footrace
footrace
the crowd
the crowd
victory!
victory!
me in the background
me in the background
on the sideline
on the sideline
action shot
action shot
playing forward
playing forward
me, Kristi, & Andy
me, Kristi, & Andy
Oxford
photo by: petit_gooroo