I like Oxford because …

I went to a literal one-room schoolhouse, Christian academy that somehow landed us an English teacher with a master’s degree from Oxford University (the one in England) who swore against almost all “because” usage. So starting this column off with “I like Oxford, Mississippi because…” is against my conditioned nature, and part of me fears that she is somewhere out there, in one Oxford or another, waiting to read this and cringe with disappointment. Anyway, I like Oxford, Mississippi BECAUSE I can write however I’d like.

A little retrospect is needed to understand my story and how it got me here.

I come from a family who is as Mississippi State-minded as they are politically conservative. I arrived at my undergraduate educational “decision” (this word implies choice, the quotation marks negate it) when my father said to me, “You can go anywhere in the country you would like, but I will only pay your tuition at Mississippi State.” A bachelor’s degree later, after spending enough time in Starkville to only strengthen this argument, I find myself in Oxford, MS, working my way towards yet another degree. I’m a twenty-something who is still unsure of her future and how she’d like to spend it, so I enrolled at Ole Miss’s journalism school to see if a master’s degree might add an element of certainty to my life. And it did, if not for the future, for now.

I am certain that Oxford is the best town in Mississippi. I am certain that, when my future starts in approximately one year, if someone in this town would offer me a job complete with an insurance package and all those things real jobs come with, I would stay. I’ve been here a mere 10 months. They have been quite possibly the happiest 10 months of my life, and I’d like to personally thank Bottletree Bakery’s Irish Sodas, the Ole Miss Student Union’s free dispersal of The New York Times, the Square’s continual bookings of Mayhem String Band, and Barry Hannah, Willie Morris, and William Faulkner for exponentially increasing my validity as a writer by simply stating that I, too, have lived in the land of Yoknapatawpha County. (And in advance I would like to thank the powers that be for allowing me to cover, in reputable Oxford fashion, September’s debate.) But these are just the fringes. In Oxford, Mississippi lies enough culture and opportunity to keep one in the South forever.

I like Oxford, Mississippi BECAUSE there’s nowhere in the world like it.

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  1. So, you went against your parents college choice, how about their political?

  2. unfortunately (for them) yes, that too. :) they’re very proud of me on most other levels ha

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