La Vida at Oxford

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Our summer intern, Jayme Kusyk, also known as our oldest daughter, is about a month in to being a freshman (or “Fresher” as they say “up there”) at Oxford in England. She’s majoring in English (or as they say, “reading” English). She’s always loved English and turned down admissions to Yale and Brown because, as she explained to me, “Mommy, Oxford is where English was invented.” In addition to excelling in the standard American college requirements, she had to fulfill Oxford’s own requirements, taking a special exam, etc. She’s always wanted to go to Oxford and now she’s there, studying with the best of the best. And in her ample time (because it doesn’t seem like she’s sleeping much), she’s playing for Oxford’s Varsity Lacrosse Team, wearing exclusively, of course, her OESH La Vida’s. Above, she is with her little sister, Zoe, who flew out with Bob to see the first big Oxford-Cambridge game today. Oxford lost, but no worries, Jayme is just a Fresher.

We’re so happy for Jayme but we also miss her hugely. It helps, I suppose, that we’re super busy and that she’s busy too. From the sounds of it, she’s turning in a paper about every ten seconds. But in between her assignments, she’s gotten in a few emails to the family, which, in my completely biased opinion, are priceless:

(1) Upon arrival, I (1) walked into my room (2) screwed the head onto my lacrosse stick (3) noticed a door in the wall that looked like a closet (4) opened the door and (5) almost screamed aloud because this tiny room contains a shower AND a toilet AND a sink. Yeah, I know.  
(2) I literally feel as though I’m at Hogwarts right now. Last night, we had our Freshers’ Formal – it was, to a tee, that scene towards the beginning of Chariots of Fire where all the bloody tabs are eating in that hall, and Aubrey describes it in the voiceover as “a sumptuous affair”. Everyone was in their best clothes, and there were four courses; it lasted almost two and a half hours. The food was all really, really good – it’s supposed to be the best meal of the year – and there was so much silverware on either side of my plate(s) that things became pretty confusing. Luckily, I was sitting across from an Eton boy; naturally, he was very familiar with all the utensils, so I just copied him. Afterwards, I felt like Harry does after his first night at the Hogwarts feast: but instead of reeling away from Great Hall happy, completely stuffed, and exhausted to Gryffindor Tower, all the freshers were herded down into the bar to meet their college parents… 
(3) In response to some of your questions and comments…Yes, the shower is nice, and it is delightful to not have to regularly remove hair from it. No, I have not yet (unnecessarily) sat on my sink. I am loving my bathrobe nevertheless; I wear it around my room and it will definitely come in handy if there is a fire or something. Yes, the lacrosse team is nice, VERY nice. England is great! Yes, I am safe.  
(4) Yes, the November 12th game with Cambridge is an absolute certainty, and, again, it’s at home – reserve away, and I’ll see you soon on Pitch #8 in University Parks. On an incidental but unrelated note, would it be possible to make approximately three dozen pairs of white and navy-blue La Vida with “OULC” written on the tongue? Approximately three dozen individuals are currently clamoring for just such an enterprise.

We respond that indeed, we’ll get those special OESH La Vida colors made for the team. But in the meantime, everyone’s pretty happy with the White Sands.

I know she’ll continue to rip it up and have a great time but that doesn’t keep me from always being worried. Last week as we were talking on Skype and she was telling us about that fantabulous lecture, my mind wandered…what if she chokes on that apple she’s eating while talking to us? She’s so excited, that COULD happen. I wouldn’t be able to do anything but watch…how horrible would that be? I relay that fear to her and she says “no worries, if that happens, I’ll shut off my computer.”

Viva La Vida

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