Books & Study Life

Hilary Term

Hilary Term ends this week and I feel a bit sad about this, as I love my course and it’s getting closer to the end. Have you read how Michaelmas Term was? It had plenty of new things. This time it was pretty much of the same though. I did have a wonderful time learning on new subjects and writing essays, attending tutorials and seminars, watching lectures. I am getting used to learning from home and it was very easy this term from that point of view.

I don’t think I mentioned on my blog why the terms are called like this at Oxford. All three terms are named after saints’ days celebrated when the terms start, and Hilary was in January. Fun fact: Hilary is the patron saint of lawyers.

Hilary Term

The only issue this term was the libraries, as both local ones were closed, one fully closed until this week and the other one was reserve-only. Not being able to browse the shelves is a downside, but I imagine that is the case for everybody. The staff at Bodleian were very helpful, scanning the chapters I needed faster than they said it would take, and offering many more books online (not necessarily e-books). The thing is that I prefer paper books, especially when it comes to studying, as I can flip through the pages much easier. At the same time, taking notes from the screen was easier. So there are pros and cons in all situations.

Hilary Term – My weekly schedule:

Around 20 hours a week, as usual, on average though, as when I wrote the essay I spent more time than in the other weeks, when I was only reading. Of course, we have weekly seminars and lectures, and reading to go through, but those take about 8-10 hours in total.

Hilary Term – How much I read:

I finished the module Approaches to History and started British History, 20th century. I read only 11 books in total, but more articles than usual. As there are many recent articles in journals and also an impressive array of primary sources, I favoured those.

Unlike before, this term I spent a lot of time looking at artefacts, only online, of course, on museum’s website. I did that a bit before, with Tudor paintings last year, but this time I looked at objects and posters, which is different. Next term we should be able to go to museums, as it starts in mid-April and from mid-May all indoor attractions should be able to open, subject to review of course. But libraries will open from mid-April, so that will be very helpful for me.

Hilary Term – Firsts for me:

None. Well, I did start adding pictures in my essays, but that’s not exactly a huge thing, although it makes my life easier as I don’t have to spend time describing what I mean and just pop a picture and engage with it instead, saving much needed words (we have a maximum word count on essays).

Hilary Term – Time off and holidays & What I wore:

I spent a lot of time on museum’s websites, as I mentioned before, so that might count as virtual trips though.
Unsurprisingly, this term I wore only tops and jeans, as before and most likely as I will do next term too. We are still online and we will finish the year online, as our course doesn’t have any special requirements for face-to-face teaching. I am looking now for a few more cute tops for next term.

9 Comment

  1. I didn’t know why the terms were called that. Thanks for sharing. I am the same about books- much prefer reading on paper than on screen. It’ll be good when you can actually get to a real library!

  2. I’m really interested in hearing about the kinds of things you do through your program and the challenges (especially in the time of pandemic). I hadn’t thought about the complications of the libraries and museums but that makes a load of sense. That period of history is one I really enjoy. Have you read Juliet Nicolson’s books (“The Perfect English Summer” and “The Great Silence” and Virginia Nicholson’s “Singled Out: How Two Million British Women Survived Without Men After the First World War.” All three are really fascinating social histories..
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    1. Thank you so much for the recommendations, I reserved two of them from the library and I will give these books a go. I’m going to study next the extremism of the 30s, so these books my help me understand how people were feeling before, in the 20s, after the aftermath of WWI. Thanks again xx

    1. Initially I thought it’s crazy, but it makes sense, as most were graduating as lawyers from Oxford a few centuries ago.

  3. Fingers crossed, libraries will get open soon (and book shops too), and you will be able to browse to your heart’s content. I prefer reading paper books, as reading e-books tires my eyes quickly.
    What are your plans when the course comes to an end?

    1. The libraries should be able to open from 12 April and I think the plan will go ahead. Luckily, just before the end of the term, the second library opened for collection only, I can’t get into the library, just to pick up books like I would from a takeaway. It’s better than before, that’s for sure.
      I have some plans, I will send you an email. 🙂 xx

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