I can’t believe the second Michaelmas term ended this week. It’s been a longer term, which started in early September with a full-time week, 8 hours/day, before starting work on the first essay. It was really different than the first year, as I did a few new things, which I’m going to talk about next.
Michaelmas Term – My weekly schedule:
It is, just like in the first year, about 20 hours a week, on average; what one would expect from a part-time course at Oxford. It involved reading, listening to interviews and podcasts, watching lectures, attending seminars and tutorials. Of course, it also meant I had to write essays. Outside term I spent about 10 hours a week reading for the next term or more, depending on how you count the books I’m reading, if the fiction ones are taking into account or not. Funnily enough, I used a very short quote from a fiction book to prove a point.
Like in the first year, I spent time reading during weekends too, not only during the week. As I am also working and have family commitments, time is, sometimes, at a premium. I am delighted that I could juggle all.
Michaelmas Term – How much I read:
As I studied the Spanish Civil War for much of the term, I read and listened to lectures and conferences in Spanish. I had no idea it will be so easy for me to understand everything, after seldom using Spanish in the last years. After watching about 10-15 hours of Spanish lectures, my knowledge of the language improved and I discovered that I was able to read faster too.
Unlike last year, this time I read a lot of articles instead of books. I think I like it more, as the articles are in depth about a particular subject and the amount of details included make for a very interesting read.
As for books, I finished 20 in total, 16 non-fiction and 4 fiction on the Spanish Civil War. I am yet to finish a book on the new module, the Approaches to History. This happened because the Approaches one is so very different and I don’t think I will need to read a lot of books cover-to-cover and it will be more a situation of reading chapters and articles. In the picture you can see the books I bought and a few received as review copies for Michaelmas. Besides those I also borrowed about 30 books from the library and read a few online too.
Michaelmas Term – Firsts for me:
I volunteered for a presentation and I’ve enjoyed a lot researching for it and presenting it too. I loved it so much that I changed what I’m going to write my next essay on. Initially I wanted to write about the Salem Witch Trials and I even bought two books on this topic, on top of what I borrowed from the library. I will read those books too, maybe during the summer. The subject of the Salem Witch Trials is fascinating. I’ve listened to a few podcasts and interviews, did a bit of reading on it, as I was preparing to write about it.
Besides the Spanish I mentioned earlier, I read and will read in Romanian for the next essay. Depending on where the research brings me, I might brush up on my Italian too. It is exciting.
Michaelmas Term – Time off and holidays & What I wore:
Like before, this term I wore only tops and jeans. Due to COVID, we did not go on holidays this year, which is not exactly surprising. Besides a short visit to London in January, where I could see some Tudors, I was not able to visit the places I wanted, which were relevant for my studies on the Tudors from year 1. I also had in mind to visit at least two museums with Victorian connections. Obviously that was not possible.
I hope the situation will be better next year and that I will be able to visit some places. Seeing things is always helpful and it offers a different perspective.