Hilary Term, the second of Oxford's three terms, just finished on Friday. I still have an essay to complete, and a catch-up German Reading class (ugh!), but other than that my load is considerably lighter. That is, it's lighter in that I don't have classes to attend or prepare for, but I still have a lot to do. I'll spend a good chunk of time actually trying to learn to read academic German (since I can no longer run from this eventuality), and the pile of Greek and Syriac texts that I need to work through for exams next year appears to be bottomless. I'll also be spending a lot of time in one of the many other buildings that belong to the Oxford University Library system. (Pictured here: the Radcliffe Camera, home to the general theology section, among other diverse topics. It's lovely, but a bit cavernous.)
Here's my big goal for the break: I have 6 weeks in which I intend to hunt down and take captive the elusive prey of every graduate student - the thesis topic! It's not that I don't have ideas for topics or interests. It's that I have too many of them, and most of them are too nebulous or possible dead ends. It's possible that this sounds like a rather drab task to undertake during a break from classes. So, I'll reframe it a bit: I get to take a 6 week romp through one of the world's best libraries exploring whatever topics strike my fancy. (And that, my friends, is a nerdy dream come true!)
So, I'm hoping that at some point in this wild, bibliographical (bibliophilical?) spree through the Bodleian, things will just magically click in place, and I'll at least have a clear enough vision to write a research proposal and start digging in. I'll probably have to completely rework the research proposal at a later date, but it'll be nice to have a place to start! (I'd like for it to be something like the first part of this comic, without so much of the second part!)
But that's not all: I'm going to do fun, normal-human-being things during this break, too. Tomorrow I'm meeting up with friends from California for lunch. (Shout-out to the Wilsons and co.!) I also get to take a little trip to Belfast for Easter weekend with my friend Amy. I'm hoping to actually visit some of the free museums that I pass every day on the way to classes. I'd really like to continue learning to make bread (maybe I'll post about my experiments?). And I'd like to take a couple of long walks in the nearby countryside. Perhaps I'll even take a short trip to London. I also have some budding friendships to invest in. All in all, I think it'll be a nice 'break'!