After the lessons on Tuesday morning, in which film students took up their cameras for some practical work and the medical students carried out biomedical tests, students were presented with a multitude of options. Some chose to take part in a tour of the immensely grand Christchurch College, built by Cardinal Wolsey at the height of his power under King Henry VIII. In addition to the splendour of its enormous quad and ornate cathedral, the College is also famous for scenes in Harry Potter –the Great Hall in Hogwarts was filmed in the College’s Hall— and in the Evelyn Waugh novel Brideshead Revisited.
Others chose to take to the Oxford waterways in the iconic punts. ‘There is nothing,’ Kenneth Grahame remarked in The Wind in the Willows, ‘— absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats’: and in the city in which Grahame himself spent much of his youth, the students in Balliol found out today that this might well be true.
Other students went on a tour of Oxford, enjoying the sight of the classically built colleges; another group visited the Botanic Gardens, where they were impressed by the sheer size of the collection of plants; and another went to the Oxford Castle, now in ruins, which was formerly a site of immense historical importance: it was at Oxford Castle, for instance, that Matilda narrowly evaded capture by Stephen during the Anarchy in the 12th century.
After the excitement of their excursion, students were given free rein to explore Oxford before dinner. The evening was spent playing games -including Twister, always a lot of fun- in Balliol College, taking part in activities led by the counsellors, or consolidating what had been learnt during the day.