On even weeks I have both my primary and secondary tutorials, so on odd weeks when I have a little bit more free time I try to explore different areas of Oxford. This week I finally made it to the covered market, which has some nice small cafes and shops, as well as a popular milkshake shop called Moo-Moo’s.
But one of the most spectacular things that I have done so far in Oxford was climbing to the top of the University Church of St Mary. For 3 pounds, you can climb up a narrow and winding staircase to the top of the church where you have the most spectacular views of Oxford.
On the whole, this was an eventful and fun 7th week at Mansfield. Since Thursday was Thanksgiving, Mansfield gave us a nice and relatively authentic dinner in the chapel. It was also nice because the Holy Cross contingent all managed to sit with each other and have a meal together. We have all been busy with our work and other activities, so it was nice to finally catch up with everyone.
And then on Saturday night the Mansfield JCR threw a Christmas themed “bop”, which is pretty much the equivalent of an awkward high-school dance, but with more wine. I dragged Tim and Brandon along with me, but they did not seem to enjoy it as much as I did. The students at Mansfield are very fun-loving and good people, so events like these are definitely worth going to, in my opinion.
Only two more papers and tutorials next week, and then it’s time for winter break. Looking forward to it!
Six weeks down, and two to go. I say this every blog, but time really does go by quickly here.
It is amazing how much writing we actually do here. I have written 9 papers so far that combine to a total of 75 pages. The papers have been on interesting topics, so the writing flows easily. My primary’s questions have been quite abstract. For example, some of the harder questions have been ‘what is freedom?’ and ‘how do we know that other bodies exist?’. Our tutors provide very helpful reading lists that help us narrow in on a specific author’s opinion, so it is not as bad as it sounds.
And while this is not the case for every tutorial here, neither of my tutors have given me any grades yet. There is something nice about not having to worry about a number grade for each individual assignment. I personally like this method. It definitely eases some of the tension, and helps us focus on the assignment at hand.
In other news, last week it seemed that most people had cases of the so-called “5th week blues”. I think that everyone for the most part is beginning to feel fatigued from all their work. I have seen some people who are normally very bubbly and upbeat be very grumpy lately. I do not want to be a hypocrite, though, because it would be very disingenuous for me to say that I haven’t had my tired and grumpy moments in the last few weeks.
It is important to find time to relax. I tend to reward myself by getting Nando’s. I reward myself often and for the littlest of things. The last time I went there they recognized me, so they gave me a Nando’s rewards card. It made my day, if not my entire week.
As much as I am enjoying my tutorials, I am excited for the end of term. I am going to visit home for a few weeks and then head back to Oxford after Christmas. I then plan on traveling a bit throughout Europe before next term begins. Oxford students hardly have any extended free time to travel while in term, so our long vacation periods are the time to do it.
Still lots of work to be done, but the end of term is near!