Friday, November 19, 2010

A Horsey Post

I miss this. Who wouldn't?

But the good news is I made it out to play polo again today. The weather actually warmed up a bit, and I felt more confident with whacking balls than I have before - which, believe me, still doesn't mean I'm good! We got to play a bit, three-on-three, and the action of sweeping across an arena surrounded by other pounding horses and riders, eyes fixed on the small orange ball, did get quite thrilling. This was only my third time playing polo, or indeed getting on a horse, since arriving in the UK - something that I find a bit disappointing, but that doesn't seem all that unusual for student life here. I've found that sports and hobbies aren't as all-consuming in the UK as they are in America, even at the university (varsity) level. Athletic clubs and teams aren't nearly as well-organized, and I haven't found them that physically grueling, even rowing. Other Stanford students here have echoed similar sentiments. For Oxford students, "sport" isn't as central to life (you won't find anyone here cheering "Beat Cambridge!" like Stanford students do "Beat Cal!"). For one thing, there's too much schoolwork to worry about. And in general, these students seem to have different goals and a different work-life balance. I've enjoyed striking this new balance through travel, and with some upcoming day trips and time running short, I likely won't be able to make it out to play polo again. Still, I'm glad to have had the opportunity.

That said, in two weeks I will be done with schoolwork and the Oxford term - then in three weeks I'll be on my way home! Yikes, time to start cramming in some last-minute adventures!

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