Beaverbrook Vimy Prize Blog – August 09, 2013

What a day!

We were up bright and early for breakfast before heading off to Oxford for the most school-esq day of this adventure. Once we got on the highway Elly, Alice and Maxwell told us about pre-war England, France and Canada respectively, and because traffic was good we made it to Oxford in great time.

And we were in for a great time when we got there! We were taken to a plain brown door in the wall along the High Street, and when we were allowed entry, we stepped into a whole new world: All Souls College. This is one of the oldest of the Oxford colleges, and the only people allowed in at this point are Fellows. We in no way met the academic requirements, but thanks to Gabriela Frei, our UK Education Coordinator, we were able to spend the morning in one of their lecture rooms! We were joined by Matthew Seligmann, a Reader in Pre-History and History at Brunel University, who spoke to us about WWI, in particular intelligence and shipping. We were also joined by Marcus Faulkner, a Teaching Fellow at the Department of War Studies in Kings College, who spoke with us about WWII and how it was different in so many ways from WWI. These gentlemen joined us for lunch at Merton College, where we got to eat in the student lounge. We were treated like royalty, and I am pretty sure a few of these students are adding Oxford to their list of universities to apply to!

The real adventure began when we went punting this afternoon. I was left in charge of the bags so I missed out on seeing Aidan’s dive into the water. As the story goes, he was punting at the front of the boat as he was racing another group, and the pole got caught in the trees and threw him off balance and in he went. I am sure the next several hours in wet clothes were not the most comfortable hours of his life, but he was a real trouper! A few others got a bit dampish from paddling. I pointed out that they’re not supposed to paddle, they’re supposed to punt, but I guess the paddling was what was going to let them win! The rest of the adventure came when Kelly thought she had lost her passport, but it was found in her room and all is right in the world of passports tonight!

After supper the participants held a discussion about Lord Beaverbrook. I am so impressed by their maturity and dedication: in spite of it being a long day they completed the readings and ran the discussion like pros. One of the best parts was that it was nice enough to sit outside to have the discussion!

I can’t believe our first two days are done already! We’ve already done and seen and learned so much, and tomorrow is another full day! Watch for the next blog tomorrow night, after our trip to Parliament, the Imperial War Museum, and the musical We Will Rock You! кредит на карту