Oh, All the Events You’ll Say You’re Going To

Anna Alden
November 24, 2015

Besides all the studying and reading and writing and contemplating when would be a good time to get my eyesight checked out again (reading can apparently become a painful activity, proceed with caution), there is always approximately five thousand and one things happening in Oxford, all the time. Not a single day goes by that I am not tempted to dramatically push all of my books off my desk (read: bed) and go out into the world to explore the amazing places and brains that Oxford has to offer. Be it a talk, poetry readings, live music, or, in accordance with the upcoming season, Christmas tree lightings, you’ll be able to find my name on every “Interested” list of every Facebook event page. 

Most recently, my friends and I have been going to a series of events put on by the Oxford Book Club. A pretty large crowd, we’ve even had to get there a little early for actual seats, but the show will last for at least three hours every time, so we’re never bored. Plus, the poetry and spoken word is always first— the poets are award-winning and internationally recognized— and that’s half the reason we go at all! 

I’d have to say the coolest part of attending these events is that moment when you look up and realize you’re probably listening to the work of someone great, before they’ve even become great. If I could go back in time and attend a poetry reading with Percy Shelley, Matthew Arnold, or Oscar Wilde as the main event (to name a few Oxford grads) for just five pounds at a bar that, out of respect, doesn’t even serve drinks during the actual recitations, I’d be there four hours early just to make sure I get in at all. The experience itself is priceless; but don’t tell the Oxford Book Club, I’m still a pretty big fan of the price they’ve set!

A lot of events happening right about now are also gift-related, with private vendors selling handmade pieces. Though it is considered a city, Oxford is surprisingly small, and feels like a sort of town, complete with small businesses and familiar faces. My favorite restaurant/cafe has also started holding book sales in one of their upstairs rooms, but of course the first one sold out so fast, they already have to plan another before the end of the term!

Truly, I think this is one of the aspects of Oxford I’ll miss the most. Never again (or at least in the near future) will I have so much access to so many places and brains and events to show them off to me. Though my Facebook event calendar is deceivingly booked, I’m still wishing I could be in two to three places at once, because just one of me is never quite enough for all of Oxford.

Anna Alden

<p>I am a Literature major at the University of Rochester and am attending Oxford through IES Direct Enrollment in the fall semester of 2015. As an aspiring academic, I am far too invested in the contents of my bookshelf and can often be caught printing an extra copy of completed papers for my own safekeeping. I am fully prepared to take on a completely new and exciting abroad experience both in and out of the classroom, and my love for writing makes each experience even more exciting to share.</p>

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