The most important thing for me about Oxford was not what I learnt there in terms of set texts and set books we had to read, but in terms of a respect for the best in human civilisation.
And the best in human civilisation comes from all parts of the world. It is not limited to Oxford; it is not limited to Burma; it is not limited to any other country. But the fact that in Oxford I had learned to respect all that is the best in human civilisation helped me to cope with what was not quite the best.
Because what is not yet quite the best may still, one day, become the best; it may be improved. It gave me a confidence in humankind. It gave me a confidence in the innate wisdom of human beings – not given to all of us, but given to enough of us for the rest of the world to share, and to make use of it for others.
And I think every Oxonian, or most every, knows that in Lost Horizon Shangri-La was described as “something a little like Oxford”.
Every Oxonian knows.
Perhaps this was why, after my year at Oxford, I had recovered enough distance from the “brutally practical” career options to re-discover my desire to pursue something in the arts, in the entertainment industries. Oxford re-convicted me that at its very best, culture and creativity can move, question, develop, change, decry the worst and celebrate the worthy in life and society. That it can and does remain through the centuries. I definitely needed this precious reminder.
(Thanks Bims, for sharing!)
This post is in celebration of Pembroke’s M1 being Head of the River for Torpids.
YES. GO PEMBROKE!
Dr. Tuck of Pembroke College, Oxford, raises an important point about the use and abuse of Rev. Dr. MLK Jr’s image and legacy.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an international as well as an American icon. But his legacy was used to serve a range of purposes.
and died a little inside when I saw the familiar sights of Oxford. The dreaming spires, spilling out of the Tavern onto the street with Hertford’s bridge, striding out of the Sheldonian - if only I -could- teleport.
Also, someone needs to explain to me why James Mcavoy is so mesmerising.
When Elisha announced this to our house, Eric and I were both aghast. We both really like the Oxford comma!
"Oxford, you can’t do that," said I. "It’s like… a child. You’ve already birthed it; you can’t take it back!"
I then asked Elisha how he felt about the Oxford comma. He said he likes it too.
So yes, dear Oxford Comma: we’re sorry you were disowned, but take heart - you are welcome at our house. We will adopt you.
Tom Waters, on having to be up early the next day.
Needless to say, as a fellow non-morning person/morning-person-in-training novice, I sympathize. Tom and I have had multiple conversations about this…