21 July 2004
Yesterday (Tuesday), Barb and the girls woke up early enough to go with me to breakfast, where they met Sharon (Ben Hill's wife) and 12-year-old daughter, Liza. I had office hours in the morning, then lecture (finished mediashifting and started movies–we watched some of the DVFX class videos).
In the afternoon, we worked at getting ready for the Garden Party. We got the croquet set from the playing fields, and went to Marks and Spencer ("Marks and Sparks" as it's referred to here) for goodies to serve.
High Table was scary but fun. I had to read a Latin invocation after the students and faculty processed in, then read a toast to the Bursar (Steve Dyer), after the toast to the Queen, and finally read a Latin blessing before we all processed out. I got to sit next to Steve and really pestered him with questions about how Oxford works: Admissions (students apply to the University and rank the Colleges in order of preference), promotion (there is none for Teaching Fellows, but Chairs are based on research), and leadership (the Teaching Fellows are legally the board of directors for the Colleges!). We also comiserated about trying to motivate de-motivated students and about too much emphasis on research and intellectual property.
Dressed up for High Table
Kids at the High Table (from Daddy seated at High Table)
(Jenny says, "Be sure to click on this to see the bigger version so you can see our faces.")
Afterwards, the faculty came over to our place for a Garden Party...which unfortunately got rained out. Well, for the adults – Carolyn Weirson's grandson, Philip, and our three, and Liza, all had a great time outside. They putzed with croquet for awhile, then surrendered, and took a soccer ball to the playing fields for over an hour of wet soccer play. The adults hung out inside to drink, kibitz, and munch chocolates and such. It was a lot of fun.
But yet another late night, so we were up past 10, and the girls slept in until way past breakfast time. We spent the morning cleaning up, and getting ready for another party tonight. (To eat up the rest of the goodies, I've invited my students to our house tonight.)