Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Calendar to Adventure Part 1: Introduction

Well, I think it's finally time to get started: after almost nine months of impatient waiting and ever-growing excitement, the adventure is finally about to begin.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, it might be helpful to know who I am and what I'm doing here in this little corner of the interwebz. My name is Kate and I'm a junior at Stanford University, double majoring in Art History and Studio Art (is this the most useless double major of all time? Quite possibly. Is it what makes me happier than any other field of study out there? Most definitely! So who cares about silly little things like jobs... right??).

(This is my idea of high excitement! Except really)

My main passion outside of school lies in horses, both on the farm in Massachusetts where I grew up (and still call home), in the two wonderful horses I currently own and compete, and on the Stanford dressage and polo teams. I've taken several breaks in my schoolwork to pursue riding full time, and even though I've decided that the professional life is not one that I'd ever like to pursue, I've realized that horses are a fundamental part of who I am, and to be with them is to be most perfectly myself.

(Horses have been a key part of my life for as long as I can remember)

(Pa and I with the statue of one of my idols, Bruce Davidson , at the Kentucky Horse Park)

This past spring, I was accepted into a six-month study abroad program through Stanford at Oxford University. I will be able to participate in real tutorials with Oxford professors, studying ancient Sumerian history and material culture (my favorite period of art!); it's an unbelievable opportunity and I'm just bursting with excitement to get started! I'm ready to work hard, read probably more than I ever have in my life, and grow both as an analytical writer and as a historian. Especially because Sumerian Art is not taught at Stanford, I can't wait to get one-on-one instruction in this field at one of the finest academic institutions in the world (even if it isn't my own beloved university!).

(Goodbye Stanny...)

(... Hello, Oxford!)

I hope this blog will serve as a record of my adventures, both academic and not: my searches through old libraries, around the hallowed grounds of Oxford, and over the green hills of England-- hopefully at least once on horseback!! It's going to be a whole new experience to be away from my horses for such an extended period of time, but I'm ready to take on the challenge: England is a horsey meccha, and so I feel strongly that if I really put my mind to it, I can find a way to keep these wonderful animals in my life while I'm abroad... even if it's not in the ways that I'm used to!
(One of the ways I'm hoping to get some horsey interaction is through polo; I just played in my first match this past November and am hungry for more!)

Today marks the 10-day countdown to the start of the adventure. So, in the spirit of Christmas, I'm going to try to do a sort of advent calendar, with each day highlighting something that I'm thinking about, stressing about, looking forward to, etc.

Let's get started!

(Me and Ringo)

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