Cyle here, fully exhausted after a full day and night of classes, activities, and excitement. Not to mention no small amount of emotion and nostalgia for departing students and the culmination of what has been a truly superb three weeks here in the City of Dreaming Spires. One of our students, India, came to the office this morning to show Lindsey and I her final project for her Oxford Art and Architecture class- a hand-rendered map of Oxford that shares what she feels is special about this lovely city.
Look at that lettering!
Now that we’ve come to the last day, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic myself. Especially as students find me and tell me things like:
“I can’t believe all that we saw and did! It seems like I saw every part of Oxford three or four times over!”
“My Shakespeare class was so interesting! It didn’t even really feel like class- just talking with really smart people and getting to ask questions that I’ve always had.”
“It feels cheesy to say, I know, but I really feel like I met my people- like I made friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life. I can hardly believe it!”
“I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed getting to know the people around me as much as I enjoyed meeting the staff and students at Summerfuel.”
“Cyle! Please don’t make any more puns!”
(Okay, I’m not so nostalgic about that last one…)
Lindsey, the RAs, and I agree that this group of students is truly special, and we feel so fortunate to have gotten to have taken them through castles and churches and gardens and museums and- okay, even a mall or two.
Our last night was, to steal a British phrase, chockablock full of activity. Pizzas were ordered and consumed (turns out teenagers really don’t care for veggie pizzas, so if you’re hungry, I think I’ve still got a few slices left over…), and then we gathered in Talbot Hall for an award ceremony where academic awards were given out, students were recognized by teachers for their contributions, and the RAs gave “Superlatives”- our way of recognizing cultural leaders and getting to tell each student how special they are as individuals.
Then Cameron led a Talent Show and, as if I weren’t already impressed enough by these students, they got up and sang or danced.
I was especially impressed by a student’s choreographed dance to Adele’s “To Make You Feel My Love”. I had no idea that the student was a dancer- nor did many of her peers- but we all did by the time she was through! The applause was thunderous for her.
Students stayed up late into the evening, reminiscing and making promises of adventures to come and we, the staff, took our opportunities to get to hear what students enjoyed about their time and what they were headed home to.
Perhaps the best encapsulation of Oxford 2019 is another sentiment from a student:
“I can’t wait for next summer to come back!”
Neither can I, kid. Neither can I.
Thanks for reading, and thank you for trusting us with the care and education of your students. We truly enjoyed each and every one of them.