The program itself had clear objectives including equipping professors for S&R research and training them for interdisciplinary work. This objective was played out by the weekly structure.
Three days a week, we had lectures, Q&As, book discussions, and workshops broken up with coffee breaks and meals. Though I was mentally exhausted by the end of the day, there was something invigorating listening to topics and ideas that I'm mostly passionate about ("mostly" because 1) some days I was pretty tired, especially the first week when I had jet lag, or was sick during the third week, and 2) some topics did not catch my interest or was way over my head). Every once in awhile, I'd realize I was in the presence of a great scholar in science & religion. Such a treat.
|I had coffee and a pastry probably twice a day during our lecture days. I tell friends that England was a magical place. I could eat pastries and never gain weight (thankyouwalkingeverywhereandrunning).|
|Reading in the Bodelein. Without gum chewing. The librarian at the entrance made me spit out my gum. Across from the library "because there are no receptacles here...because you aren't supposed to have food or drink!"|
|Got to walk through the countryside to find this jewel. Pretty view. Good food. Great conversation.|
When I told Pam the gist of all this, I remember her telling me that it makes sense I loved my time in Oxford. I was the type of person that liked to focus in on one task at a time and get it done. Then move on to the next thing. It's true. One of my struggles in graduate school was having to take care of multiple big projects at the same time: research for my dissertation, writing my proposal, and teaching. I just wanted to focus on one thing at a time.
So the focus in Oxford was part of my experience. Having a month to just focus on my work (and myself) was pretty awesome. I highly recommend it if you ever get the opportunity.