Well, it is now definite. (Meaning all paid for) I am going to be spending a week at summer school AT OXFORD. I am beyond excited. In fact, I passed "excited" about a month ago and am approaching "ditheringly thrilled."
It is amazing. A week at Christ Church College (the biggest and one of the best), studying a subject near and dear to my heart (thus enabling me to show off a lot), living in one of the dorms and taking meals thrice daily in the Great Hall. Which is in fact the prototype for Hogwarts' Great Hall, and they filmed a lot of the movies right there. I may have to get a pointy hat to wear at High Table (each student gets to dine there once during the course of the week)...it will be the nearest I ever get to dinner with Dumbledore.
Christ Church is great, but I was kind of hoping for Balliol (alma mater of Lord Peter Wimsey and Turk Wayland). But Balliol doesn't do summer school. It's called The Oxford Experience; check it out.
So, anyway, I saved and saved for this since last year. It's a bit pricey ($1800 for the week), but that includes room, board, tuition, an excursion to relevant sites and little things like strawberries and wine in the Master's Garden and a reception in Tom Quad (Google it...) and lectures and tours and Morris dancing and stuff. You couldn't spend a week in Oxford (hotels and food) on your own for that money, never mind everything else. So a Pretty Good Deal.
It's not for credit or anything, just for fun. But they did send me a prospectus for a 2-year Master's program, online and over the phone, with 3 1-week residencies and a dissertation required. It's very expensive (6,000 pounds, as I recall), but one couldn't get a Master's degree here for that, and it's OXFORD. So I'm thinking about it...if I save for a couple of years, it might just be doable. And did I say it's OXFORD???
Anyway. First, two days in London, then Oxford, then a few days in Glastonbury. I haven't been to England since my Strange Days book tour, and I think I really deserve this. It may be my last big trip, at least for a while. Plus I can write it off as research. Even better. And I can swank at the gym in a Christ Church t-shirt. And put "studied at Oxford" on my resume. Better and better. Can't wait.