I bought a sweatshirt that reads “The University of Oxford.” I will buy another one here at Stanford. It is a tradition I have: buy one piece of clothing at every school I visit. If I just go there on a vacation or tour, I will just buy a shirt, but if I do research there, I buy a sweat shirt (I have a MSU one, an Uiowa, and now a Uoxford one). Right now, these objects function as clothing, but also as souvenirs. In the future, I am sure they will only function as reminders of all the places I have done research because I will not longer be able to fit them.
I also have taken pictures, recorded videos, and posted blogs. These will function as precious memories of the time I have spent here. My blogs will function to recollect what was going through my mind during my time at Oxford. It is always interesting looking back at one how viewed the world during a particular time. As I get older, it will only get more precious. The pictures and videos often speak louder than the words do, however. I am glad that I took a lot of them. I am normally not good about that, but I made sure to this time because this is really big deal. Also, my parents enjoyed looking at them.
These might be my two favorite:
Another thing I have collected is the pamphlets from the museums I have visited. I have been to the Pitts River Museum, the Museum of the History of Science, the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Museum of Natural History, and the list goes on. I also have made sure to keep up with all the itineraries that the WISC/OSAP Program gave us as we took our trips to London, Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and so forth. This is a good way to remember all the places I have gone. I have also kept a few tickets and programs from the Shakespeare plays I have attended. I tried to keep some type of reminder of all the various things I have done.
Also, I have organized a special folder dedicated to all the things I have learned since I have been at Oxford. This includes my graded essays on Shakespeare plays from Dr. Ballam, my notes from Dr. Harvey’s class, and all the other random things that I gained an interest in since I have been here, including 19th century French Realism, Opera History, Classical Music, Boxing, The Great American Novel, and so forth. This will help to show just how much I have grown since I have been here. I grew not only from my class and tutorial, but from the students around me (whether they be students from MSU, my IWP roommates, other foreign exchange students, or permanent Oxford students).
Lastly, I have kept a few of the emails I printed out from the Christchurch College Email List Serve. For example, they always email us a weekly menu of the food they will have each day for lunch and dinner. The food was always very good. I am thankful for that because I heard New College food is nowhere near as good! I like keeping up with little things like that. I really do not have anything I intentionally “collect” in the strict sense. I just like keeping things that I know will trigger my memory later on in life.