Saturday, February 02, 2013 have four eyes.

Yep, I'm still alive. Sorry for the absence. It's been a fast-paced couple of weeks, with a few first-in-my-lifes sprinkled in.

Every once in a while, I have to utter David's sentiment, just to keep everything in perspective [the cute, "is this real life?" part, not the rage-filled-outburst part, don't worry]. Turns out this is real life, and turns out, life is pretty...interesting.

Last Friday marked the birth of Scotland's Robert Burns, a famous poet and honoured figure. Each year there is a Burns Night Dinner to celebrate his life and works, and I was able to attend my college's installment of this occasion. The meal has an interesting agenda, part of which includes the main dish being paraded around the room with a bagpipe escort. We happened to have a Fellow (basically, an esteemed professor...I think??) who delivered absolutely fabulous renditions of Burns' poems throughout the evening, including the all-important Address, as well as in incredibly entertaining delivery of Tam O'Shanter. What's neat about these poems is their phonetic verse--it adds a true Scottish flavor, as well as rendering them completely incomprehensible to someone like me, unfamiliar with the accent. No bother. 'Twas entertaining nonetheless. Hard not to be when there's a man, in a kilt, standing on a chair,  yammering off unintelligible balladry:

(I have a thirteen-minute-long video that accompanies this photo; it was quite the poem!)
Here's a photo taken at the actual meal. And yes, I went for the full experience-- You can spot the esteemed Scottish specialty on my plate in front of me. It wasn't bad, but it probably won't become a staple in my diet anytime soon...

Then this week, I went to Hogwarts. Like, for real.

Our college had an "Exchange Dinner" with some students from Christ Church College, whose grand dining hall happens to be the set of the Great Hall in Harry Potter. Our experience didn't involve any floating candles (or jack-o-lanterns, or snow, etc.), but it was pretty neat nonetheless.
[this is a photo from my camera, not the internet, fyi]
Fellow Hatter! Floridians in Oxford, woot!
It was a fun evening, and next week the Christ Church students will venture over to schmancy ol' Green Templeton to indulge in what is arguably the best cooking in Oxford. (Or so we're told.)

((While I was digging around for those pics, I stumbled upon some from last term-- 
more proof that my life is fake.))
the Hogwarts infirmary (aka the old Divinity School)

Hogwarts' Restricted Section. (aka Duke Humphrey's Library)

Annnnnyway, there's a little something to keep you pacified.

Until next time, cheers.

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