Oxford Record: Oxford’s six week winter break

Some of the best parts of studying in Oxford are the two six-week long breaks separating Oxford’s three academic terms in the winter and the spring. Though they are officially called “reading periods,” most Williams students in Oxford trade their academic books for their travel books as they meet up with other friends and explore the rest of Europe during those extended vacations.

This year is certainly no exception, and many students are in the midst of planning extensive trips during our upcoming break. As this issue of the Record is the last issue before our tutorials end on Dec. 6, this week’s column is a look at some of the many trips being planned.

Erin Garrow ’04 has planned a very adventurous month-long bike trip through Italy. “I’ll be stopping off in Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome for sure,” he said, on a trip that he describes as “pretty free-form.”

Along the way, Garrow hopes to meet up with other Williams friends. “I’m hoping to see some alumni who are there now,” Garrow said. To ring in the New Year, Garrow plans to be in Rome in order to celebrate the start of 2003 with other Williams-Oxford students.

Along with many others, Andrew Thomison ’04 plans to join this New Year’s in Rome group. But before he makes it to Italy, Thomison is planning an extensive trek through Europe.

He plans to start his trip by meeting Jennifer Ferri ’04 and Nate Winstanley ’04 in Paris for a few days after the term ends. He will also be visiting Kristen Adams ’04 and attempting to visit some of the famous Parisian museums. He said, “I swear, if I get locked out of the Louvre again because of some stupid museum strike, I’m going to throw things.”

During his travels, Thomison expects to meet up with two other juniors abroad, Kelsey Peterson ’04 and Yosuke Nishibayashi ’04 in Florence, Italy. “[I’ll be] eating good Italian food, drinking good wine and trying not to be a stupid American,” he said.

Next, he’ll be visiting Kaveri Vaid ‘04 and a high school friend in Dublin, Ireland before flying home for Christmas, with a possible two day stopover in Reykjavik, Iceland. “Iceland in the dead of winter? I don’t see why not,” he said.

After New Year’s in Rome, Ariel Zeitlin-Jones ’04 and Thomison, who are starters on the University of Oxford Men’s Ice Hockey team, will be joining their team mates for the “Oxford Blues Eurotour 2003.” During this tour, they will go head to head on the ice with German and Swiss hockey teams, before heading back to Oxford in time to begin our winter term.

However, Williams students will not be the only ones travelling over our extended winter break. Our resident director, Professor Chris Waters, will be travelling as well. But unlike most students, he’ll be heading back to America during this vacation.

“I’m off to NYC on the 18th of December,” said Waters, who added that he will be visiting two former Williams students, Gerrard Khan ’93, who now works in Zagreb, Croatia, and Andrew Miller, who wrote his thesis with Waters as a history major.

After attending performances of Handel’s Messiah and the Mark Morris Dance Company’s production of “The Nut” at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Waters will fly cross country.

For the holidays, Waters will be in Los Angeles visiting friends and family. While students are visiting friends while travelling abroad, Waters will be visiting with another Williams professor. “I’ll get together with my colleague from the Williams history department, Regina Kunzel, in La Jolla, as I do each year,” he said.

To ring in the New Year, Waters will be heading south of the border to the Baja Peninsula in Mexico before jetting back to England to start the second term.

Personally, I don’t expect to be as adventurous as some of my classmates. While I do plan on travelling somewhere around Europe the first and last week of our six week break, I will be back in America with my family for the holidays and plan on spending New Year’s on a warm, sunny Florida beach. Then, it will be off to Williams for a quick, three day visit at the start of Winter Study before flying back here to England.

On behalf of all of us from Williams here in Oxford, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays and have a great New Year!