It’s nearly the end of the semester, and thanks are in order to the small things, which kept me going for the past weeks.
Shout out to milk chocolate orange digestive biscuits. You kept me real, at 1 AM, in the throes of an essay on Petruccio’s heinous abuse of Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew.
Shout out to my earbuds. You poured upbeat Christmas music into my brain when I wanted to crawl into a hole and pretend that speech act theory doesn’t exist BECAUSE IT WAS SO CONFUSING, until “Just for Now” came on and suddenly IT ALL MADE SENSE.
Shout out to Jazz apples. Your tangy sugar-flesh was sunshine on a cloudy morning and an embrace at the end of the day.
Shout out to my bicycle. On you, I rode up Headington Hill, in the rain, in a skirt, with heavy books in my backpack, with grocery bags on my handlebars, while managing to remain alive. Bless you, Number 03.
Shout out to my blue leather gloves. You know how important you are to my would-be-cold fingers. May you live forever.
Shout out to my Sharpie pens. You never failed to give me a tiny rush of delight every time I had to sit through yet another lecture, sermon, talk, meeting, or session. When I took notes in that shade of deep blue, which was born of ocean and sky, my day glowed.
Shout out to my Nalgene. I wasn’t supposed to drink from you in that one library, or keep you out on the desk in the other library, but I did, because you became my closest companion. Without your innumerable tally of the ounces I sipped this semester, I would be lost, shriveled and dry, contemplating why living in a land of swampish humidity made me as thirsty as living in a desert.
Shout out to my plaid blanket scarf. You are closer than a brother and my dearest friend. Praise Dame Fashion for dictating that wearing a BLANKET is not only acceptable, but also à la mode. Without you, those essays on regular sound change and Othello would have remained unwritten.
Shout out to eye makeup. You shrouded me in an illusion of alertness, and for that gentle deception I thank you.
Shout out to apple-scented shampoo and conditioner. Many scents have done excellently, but you surpass them all. My olfactory senses rise up and call you blessed.
Shout out to my watches. Without you, I am nothing. Once I forgot to put you on and promptly forgot my name and where I was. Maybe our connection is a little too close. But who can despair when one listens to the steady beat of your heart?
Shout out to George Herbert. I didn’t know whom you were a year ago, and I couldn’t have cared less before the beginning of the term. Now, I know that we share a soul and your poetry has become my mantra. Bless your heart.
Shout out to cafes and coffee shops. Your warm tea and scones and cold butter and jam fueled me through many a long week. Cream tea > all other teas.
Shout out to the Number 8 bus line. On rainy days when my tutorial was (seemingly) very late in the day, you sheltered me under your metaphorical wing and flew me to the Language and Brain Institute, and I bless you for your service.
Shout out to that opera singer on Broad Street. You are amazing. Never stop. You are what street music should be.
Shout out to John Donne. You are forever my favorite author and I will never forget your jeweled words. You live in my heart.
Shout out to Desk 122 in the Lower Reading Room of the Bodleian Library. With you, I puzzled over Bonhoeffer’s theory of conscience, cried when reading his letters to his parents, and pondered the meaning of telling the truth. With you, I stared longingly at the gloriously enormous collection of Barth while confining myself to the blue-backed Bonhoeffer Works. With you, I read linguistics every Sunday afternoon and Bonhoeffer every other day in the week. With you, I glared uncomfortably at the portraits of various old white men judging my Herculean efforts to write essays. With you, I treasured and pondered every moment of my Oxford experience. Now, when I think of learning, living, and loving, I think of you. You held my hopes and dreams of understanding life. Everything I learned to love in England is summed in you, and you are what I will miss the most. Desk 122, you are the love of my life, and I hope to return to you soon and long and well.