Thursday, July 2, 2009

I have been changed for Good

"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason.
Bringing something we must learn
and we are led
To those who help us most to grow
if we let them
And we help them in return
Well I don't know if that is true
But I know that I am who I am today
Because I knew you."
From "For Good" of Wicked

I don't believe that things just happen by luck or chance. I believe that every thing in our lives happens for a reason. I believe that every relationship changes us and that is definitely true of the friendships I have made while working on my PhD.

Today was one of those "change" days - when you explore new adventures with friends and know that you will never be the same.

The day started with breakfast and classroom discussion. We talked about the future of leadership, and I was stimulated by the conversation with my peers. We were dismissed from class early in order to run across town for the Inklings Tour. This particular tour gave us insight into the lives of two of the Inklings: CS Lewis and JR Tolkien. (I guess in order to be a great writer, I need to start going by EB Qu...).

We had the most wonderful British tour guide to show us marvelous things around Oxford


including, Tolkien's dorm room


The room where CS Lewis was married


CS Lewis' home


and the home where Lord of the Rings was written


Perhaps my favorite stops along the tour were The Eagle and the Child - the very famous pub where Lewis, Tolkien, and the other Inklings met on a regular basis to discuss their writings.


The Inklings were dear friends, but very critical of one anothers' writings. I believe that this is why their writings were so excellent. "As Iron sharpons Iron, so one man sharpens another!"


I am truly being sharpened by my friendships in this PhD group - perhaps not to the same caliber as Lewis, but maybe so:)

We also toured the Randolf hotel where a portion of Shadowlands (movie biography of CS Lewis' life) was filmed. Just a tour was not good enough, however,


After lunch, Margo and I returned to the Randolf for High Tea. Oh, my goodness, I cannot begin to describe the amazing tastes I experienced during high tea. Who would have guessed that a small biscuit, some strawberry jam, and a little cream would make me want to move to England for High Tea everyday!!!

Margo told me that High Tea was first practiced because women in the Victorian Era often felt a "sinking" feeling about mid afternoon waiting for their eight o'clock dinner. If this is so, I think that I need to have the "sinking feeling" everyday.

I tried new teas and shared stories with Margo while hearing wonderful stories in return.

Our stories might have lasted a bit too long, for we soon looked at the clock and realized that we were going to have to take a quick "jog" to make it the train station for the most important event of the day - the Theater!!!

Quick side note, they might look harmless, but I got clipped by a bicycle on my way to the train station.

We were joined for the evening by Jim and Chris - two other special members of my cohort. We quickly bought tickets and jumped on the next train headed for London.

However, we did NOT jump on the express train. What seemed like 302 stops later, we realized that we were going to miss the play. We made a quick decision to hop off the train, run across a train station, and try to catch the express train to London. Of course, we missed it:)

The next train took us into the city and we hailed a cab as quickly as possible. The cab driver was determined to get to the theater for us quickly - even if it meant honking, passing, and "exploring" the bus lane!

We got to the theater, grabbed our tickets, and sat down for the performance - WICKED!

Oh my goodness, as if the day could get any better??? WOW!

As the performance ended, the two main characters sang a wonderful song about how they were changed by knowing one another. Forever changed - that is how I feel on this trip through the relationships with amazing people -

Forever... changed

Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good.
from the closing song of WICKED

This blog post dedicated to all of my friends in Cohort III


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