Graduation Hall at Oxford University
I really liked the hospice. I wasn't sure what to expect, but their facility really promoted community and living, rather than focusing on the death part of end-of-life care. The building itself was in a circular donut shape, with an outdoor garden in the middle and each of the patient rooms has access to the inner garden, promoting a relaxing and comfortable living environment for in-patients. One of the patients called the hospice a place to live, not to die. This statement really resonated with me. It tugged at my heart, as my preconception of a hospice was to facilitate comfortable end-of-life care, and preparation for death.
The next day, we visited the CLEAR Unit at Oxford Brookes University. I was the most intrigued by the experience of the service user - he identified himself as a service user, and not a patient. He mentioned that he was in hospital for a few years, and was wheelchair bound for 5 years. At that point, he was told that he would never walk again. However, when he came to the CLEAR unit, he was asked to identify his goals and was told that they would work toward it together. Our group asked him to demonstrate his walk, and it was very impressive to see the progress that he had made. Though his walk was not perfect, it was very functional and he could walk in a straight path, getting from point A to point B. Overall, I was very impressed.
On the less school side of things, I also really enjoyed having the chance to walk around the Ashmolean museum. There were lots of old artifacts or replications that explored many different ancient civilizations and world religions. I do not know much about either, and I would definitely be interested in learning so much more!! Mostly, I was reminded of something my dad pointed out last time he was in the UK - these museums clearly depict the power dynamics of British rule and imperialism. It is both exciting to see all these cool things in one place, and it is also such a tragedy that cultures have lost them to the British.
We also went on a walking tour of Oxford which was lots of fun. I love walking, and I love Oxford!! It was always my dream to go there. When I didn't get my Hogwarts letter, I was convinced I'd go to Oxford instead. It's almost the same. Both the architecture and the history of the place was super interesting. I love that they keep so much tradition and still have oral exams and write exams in fancy robes. Sometimes it is the little things that count!
This hall was used as the Hospital Wing among other things in the filming of Harry Potter
I was also eagerly anticipating finally having some british pub food. We finally got a chance to do that in Oxford. We went to a place called the Three Goats Head Pub. The bartender there was really friendly and helpful. What a fun guy. He had to help me count my money.. tourist problems!! I had mushroom and chicken pie and a pint of cider (which I did not finish). I should really know better and order smaller drinks, haha! But both the food and the drink were delicious!! I'm just the slowest drinker of life.. don't worry about me. I also discovered that I really like Pimms though. It reminds me of sangria, which I love.
My pub food!
Anyway, we weren't in Oxford for long, but it was a fun trip. I would love to go back and explore some more Harry Potter sites, but other than that it was just a lovely university town that would be so charming to live in. I still wish I went to school there!! Oh well, in another life. Jks. I love my school.