Okay, so I have many more than just one, like they make movies, have a dance, reply all to every email, and are phenomenal rowers and friends, but the one I want to highlight:

They gave me chocolate and Origami birds…so sweet and totally random. It is the essential whimsy that I love about these women! Ladies, you are now ready to fly. I am so proud of you all! Good luck!

Lights, fairs, and markets, oh my!!!

What: University of Oxford’s Novice regatta, you have to be a newbie to row

When: 23-26 November 2011

Where: The Isis

Who: The always amazing and fabulous Green Templeton College Women Novices

Results: Day 1 – Win, Day 2 – Lose

Pictures:

At the very beginning of October (yes, I’m quite behind on posting photos!), I ventured to Northern Ireland to see a dear friend of mine and celebrate her grand 28th birthday! Belfast was a new city and country, so it was a treat to learn about this little country with a huge heart and rich heritage!

Some fun bits of Oxford…

A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for this when I was passing through London. Funny, that years later it is still touring and happens to be in the city I live.

The Ghost Forest Art Project ‘is a major art installation of 10 primary rainforest tree stumps which were brought to Europe from a commercially logged forest in Western Africa by the artist Angela Palmer. The work is intended to highlight the alarming depletion of the world’s natural resources, and in particular the continued rate of deforestation. Today, a tropical forest the size of a football pitch is destroyed every four seconds, impacting on climate, biodiversity and the livelihoods of indigenous people. The trees in Ghost Forest – most of which fell naturally in storms – are intended to represent rainforest trees worldwide; the absence of their trunks is presented as a metaphor for the removal of the world’s lungs caused through the loss of our forests…The trees are intended as “ambassadors” for rainforest trees throughout the world’.

So I have been seeing colleges for my grand tour of colleges, I just have been a bad blogger. Bad, Suz, BAD! Sorry. Anyway, I resume this week with Regent’s Park College. Regent’s is one of the private halls, aka generally religiously affiliated and usually training ministers for those traditions. Regent’s has around 200 students, 120 undergraduates and around 50 graduates with about 20-25 preparing for ordination. Their grad courses vary quite a bit, but they offers degrees for undergrads in English, Geography, History, History and Politics, Law, Philosophy and Theology, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Theology, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Classics, Classics and English. Sounds like my kind of people!

Oh, but wait. They are more ‘my kind of people’ than I let on. Regent’s is the one college most people asked me if I was joining before I came here. Why? Because Regent’s is the Baptist house. Yep, they began as the London Baptist Educational Society in 1752, then moved to East London, then into Regent’s Park where it acquired its name. They finally moved to Oxford in 1927 and became an official Private Permanent Hall in 1957. The founders wanted non-Anglicans to have a place to study theology and prepare for the ministry and alas, they still do. Today Regent’s accepts Baptists and non-Baptists and houses the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture and Oxford Centre for Baptist History and Heritage.

This was an interesting college for me to visit. Most college have the looming portraits on the walls of strangers and bookshelves filled with titles I have never seen. I walked into Regent’s and saw old friends frozen in frames and memorialized in building names. Books lined the shelves that I have read or had conversations with the authors. Maybe with a moment of nostalgia I can say, “Baptists, you loved me, baptized me, educated me, trained me, and ordained me. I will never forget you even if I must distance myself from you now. You have been a beautifully tragic aspect of my life. You have stood for the rights of people in the past, reclaim that heritage and choose the right choice, even if it is the hardest one. Choose what is good and not what is politically savvy or financially economical. Choose people over polity and love over theology. Say your sorry. Be brave. You only have this moment. Be what I know you can be. Live into that hope.”

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