Some places (and people) chase you like ghosts – Oxford (in England) is one of them.
Fact: I took a Creative Writing course in Oxford university (Corpus Christi college), one of the oldest and best academic institutions in the world. Of course I heard the comments: “what is a dancer going to do in Oxford college?!” ; “Wow: you´re really weird! Studying Creative Writing in Oxford – who would think?!” – thanks for the encouragements, folks!
Reality: I was supposed to have left after the course finished but I didn´t. I remained in Oxford after the course was wrapped and have apparently travelled out of there but not quite.
It seems that I´ve drowned in those waters and have no desire to go back to the surface; I´ve opened one of Oxford many doors and crossed Oxford many bridges and have no intention on leaving them behind.
For someone like me – used to be taken as the dumb blond in the room (until reality strikes to the costumary shock of the people who surround me) – studying in a place where my intelligence and talent are valued above appearances was a priceless gift.
–You´re Marilyn Monroe speaking with the mouth of John Kennedy. They´re expecting Marilyn; then you open your mouth and BAM: BAM: BAM: KENNEDY! It´s bizarre…you must understand, right? – A dear friend of mine once commented, half jokingly.
Right. I do understand.
Maybe I´ve gone to Oxford to confirm what I´ve known along the way: high quality education allows you to grow and reach out from your potential AND LEARNING is all about QUESTIONING, THINKING for YOURSELF, DISCOVERING a passion for learning that comes from curiosity and the ambition of going beyond what has been done; learning is about INTER-ACTION between teacher and student, not just being a cup which is filled with data others have come up with. Sure enough: know the rules to break the rules; know what has been done in order to efficiently go for the daring NEW; know as much as you can but be aware that you have unique gifts yet to be explored and expressed. Learning – according to Oxford (and to me 😉 ) – is all about providing the tools to bring out those gifts.
Students who have learnt with me know I don´t expect them to be passive receivers of what I have to share – I trust their intelligence, sensibility, vision, feelings and insights and I request them to be INvolved in the whole learning process. Who are you? How do you perceive this material I´m showing you? Does it make sense to you or not? What can you add to it? What can YOU – not me but YOU – make of it? This is me, teaching; it´s also OXFORD (the ones who´ve studied there will perfectly understand what I mean).
Feeling blessed, grateful and honoured for all the gifts this life permanently puts at my disposal (it´s my job to make the best out of them).
Indeed – you can take the girl out of Oxford but you can´t take Oxford out of the girl.