Studied at Oxford: Politics
Home University: Duke University
Studied at home: Politics
I was dropped in front of the Porter’s Lodge on the morning of October 7th, the beginning of Freshers week 2013, and almost immediately handed a freshers t-shirt that reads on the back, “If found please return to LMH.” Despite the fact that I was not a first-year student, I gladly accepted the gift and appreciated it as a token of my likeness to the other awkward, uncertain people moving in around me. What I failed to appreciate is that as a bearer of that shirt and a full participant in the festivities of freshers week, I would never be treated as different. I was a boisterous American visiting student 3000 miles from home, and yet, to the freshers, and the college at large, I was a peer, a member of the family.
I lived in the college and quickly got to know my neighbors, I ate in the dining hall twice a day and chatted over meals, I merrily sang the LMH anthem walking down Banbury Road with friends, I was treated to college parents whose experiences guided my way, and was tested by rigorous tutorials and wise tutors. If this all sounds perfectly normal, then you are beginning to understand my point. The LMH visiting student program is extraordinary because LMH treats the visiting students as ordinary – ordinary as in “not different,” not as in “unimpressive” or “unremarkable.”
The great irony in the college’s first gift to me is that because of that t-shirt and the program that was to follow, I was never lost – my dear friends and the happiness I found inside the walls at the end of Norham Gardens Road always brought me home.