Yay, I'm Going to Oxford
by: Jesus Roberto Aviña (‘11)
When I first came to Shimer three years ago I had 3 goals: read Einstein, serve as a student member of the Board of Trustees, and travel to Oxford. Last year I saw the genius of the Shimer method at work as eight arithmophobes tackled the beautiful complexity of the Lorenz transformation and although I didn’t serve on the Board, I got my fair share of political activism. In just a few weeks I will be fulfilling my third goal by traveling abroad for the Shimer-in-Oxford program.
For those unfamiliar with the program, starting in September I will be spending nine months abroad with twelve fellow students and professor Stuart Patterson. In addition to the Integrated Studies 5 & 6 courses with Stuart, I will be taking two tutorials with Oxford scholars. I will be taking a course on the Economics of Developing Countries and International Relations post-Cold War. The tutorials are one-on-one sessions structured around a paper I will present each class.
After three years at Shimer I have developed a keen insight into what I enjoy and don’t enjoy academically. In addition to the core I have taken two Latin courses, Critical Theory, and two film classes. My opportunity to narrow my focus of study to the specific branch of international relations comes at a time when worrying about graduate school applications and employment is at a peak. While at Shimer I have considered everything from teaching to diplomacy to death metal guitar stardom. The chance prospect of studying at Oxford while reading through Integrated Studies 5 is electrifying. I can’t wait to tear apart original texts regarding international economic regulations. Perhaps I will find that I enjoy the policy side over the legal. Or perhaps it will be time to seriously consider that job as a chef.
Oxford stands to be the cherry on top of a wonderful Shimer experience. I will get to study something catered to my specific interests and enjoy the wonderful British food. The intense year ahead and the open future thereafter can only be summarized by my current state of mind: “Yay, I’m going to Oxford!”
Throughout the year read more about the experiences of Jesus and his fellow students on the Shimer Blog, http://blog.shimer.edu.