Books & Study Life

Hilary Term

Hilary Term is now over. If you are curious how the first term was, have a look at Michaelmas Term. This term I had to do two essays, I had tutorials, and I started a new period, European history in the 19th century. It was different because we changed the period and the professor too. I was very eager to start this new period because I felt I read a lot on Tudor history and I needed the change. This time I’ve had seminars and tutorial with the professor I had the interview with.

Hilary Term

I will talk about the highlights of the term, as I did for the first one, and I will also include my schedule of a random week in February.

Hilary Term – My weekly schedule:

A random week in Hilary Term, at the end of February. Not all weeks had the same plan, of course.

Monday – 5.5 hours. I…
– went to the library (in Liverpool) and searched for books too, online
– read for the essay

Tuesday – 5.5 hours. I…
– read for the essay
– read for the seminar (from the 1st book)
– wrote on my essay, made a structure and I started to add quotes

Wednesday – 5.5 hours. I…
– attended the weekly seminar.
– went to the library (in Oxford).
– read for the essay
– read for the seminar (from the 2nd book + handouts from the professor)

Thursday – 1 hour and a half. I…
– read

Friday – 4.5 hours. I…
– read for 1 hour
– wrote on my essay

Saturday – 3 hours. I…
– wrote on my essay

Sunday – 2.5 hours. I…
– wrote on my essay

This is how the last week went, totalling 28 hours. This is higher than the 20 hours, but the week before that I did not reach 20 hours. Also this essay was the most difficult of this year. The week after that I had to finish the essay, read quite a lot for the seminar, and do a bit of research for the next essay. The following week was even more busy, with a study group session, which was my idea, and it was great. In the last week I had a tutorial, so my schedule was, again, different to the one I posted earlier. Overall I think that I spent over 20 hours studying each week, on average.


Hilary Term – How much I read:

During the holidays I read 6 books for both subjects, Tudor and European history. In the second term I read 11 more books, including two biographies which might not seem specific, but they give an insight into the period. I looked in all these books, from the picture (and 2 more) for my first essay on European history. As you can imagine, it was on Napoleon.

For the weekly seminars I read from three books from about 40 pages up to 140 (usually less than this), depending on the subject. Furthermore, I had a few pages from primary sources to read each week.I find those very interesting and useful too.

Hilary Term – Firsts for me:

I’ve commuted by train. It is not as hard as I imagined it will be, but there aren’t enough options for me to get back to Liverpool, so I didn’t take the train too often. I wish that was a suitable option because it is more eco-friendly, and it’s also convenient, as I can read on my train journey. But, due to the lack of trains towards Liverpool at that time and the possibility of them cancelling a train, I can’t rely on the train service at this time, unless I plan to spend a night in Oxford and get back the following day.

Another first was the study group. It was my idea to get together with two colleagues and talk about the exam questions and our essays. It was really helpful for all of us. Now I am looking forward to do that again next term.

Hilary Term – Time off and holidays:

This term we didn’t go anywhere, but we had lots of lovely days out, eating on a narrow boat, going to a couple of museums, including two in London in a day trip. We visited the Guide Dogs centre, had coffee at the cat cafe, and we went to a shisha bar. As usual, our activities are very varied.

nail polish

Hilary Term – What I wear:

I did not take outfit pictures this time, so, instead, I took a photo of the nail polish I’ve used this term. I like to change my nail polish often, so each week I had another one.

This sums up my first Hilary Term.

7 Comment

  1. I find this so very fascinating. I’m interested in your area of study and the volume of books. Wow! It has been so long I’ve been in school and now I read for fun, but how I remember having to synthesize all that and mix it with my own words and ideas! Well done!

  2. P.S. I enjoyed learning about International Relations in the 1800’s-1900’s and writing essays about it for A’level history so I can imagine this period you learnt about is really interesting at a much higher level!

  3. You are impressive with your reading and dedication! My husband did a Masters back in 2010-12 and he really struggled managing a full time teaching job with it. I admire you so much for doing one. I’d love to but I know I couldn’t cope! I did my LTCL music teaching diploma back in 2009-10 and getting all the paper work, essays, projects and case studies ready for that was hard enough to manage!
    It’s a shame about the train as yes, that time could be really useful for you (and less stressful than a drive!) – if only the trains were more helpful!

  4. I love 19th century History! It’s great learning about those different eras, and doing reading about them. Essays are generally not-so fun, but they’re part of the whole experience! Well done for getting through this busy term Anca! 🙂

    Julia x

  5. You are so busy!! I love that you shared all those nail polishes. I’d already noted the lovely blue in the first photo. At this point in life, I only polish my toenails for warm weather shoes. I was just telling my daughter yesterday that I think it’s time to get out the polish!

    1. Thank you. The idea with the blue nail polish was to get it as close to Oxford blue as possible. I couldn’t find a proper navy nail polish at Boots. I’m going to get one online when this one runs out.

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