Today the sun decided to grace us with its presence as we traveled to Oxford. As we arrived on a packed train, we went off to Christ Church, a part of Oxford College. With the sun out, it was beautiful walking into the grounds.

The grounds of Christ Church

We walked through part of one of the buildings that was a part of the Harry Potter films. We walked up the staircase in which Professor McGonagall welcomes Harry and his classmates to Hogwarts for the first time in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 

Our glimpse of Hogwarts


And then we went to The Hall, which was what the Great Hall in Hogwarts was based upon. We all agreed that it was a massive step up from the Mensa.

The Hall

After Christ Church, we walked to find lunch before our workshop at the Bodleian Library. After walking to the Bodleian through winding streets, we settled into a short lecture from Richard Lawrence, who ran the workshop.

Soon we found ourselves thrust into configuring little pieces of type to spell out our names. Laying out your name upside down can be a bit tricky, and making it all fit together so it doesn’t fall apart is tough as well, but we all succeeded except for an upside down J in Jake’s name. Oh well!

Our names in type

Our next challenge was to lay out and print William Shakespeare’s 18th Sonnet. We all took a line, some of us took two, and got to work. Our first draft had some errors but eventually we had a near perfect product. We all had a chance to work the printing press and take part in the final product.

The final product

Over the past few days, as some may know, we’ve had brushes with royalty, seeing Prince Charles twice. Richard told us that yesterday Prince William was at the Bodleian for a ceremony of some sort and showed us the invitation that was printed for it. We (mainly the girls) were pretty bummed we missed him by a day. But with our royal luck, we may yet see him!

Forever wishing William invited us

All in all, we had a lovely day filled with Harry Potter, words, and lots of inky fingers.

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