Books & Study Life

Michaelmas Term

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

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.

11 Comment

  1. I am utterly amazed by what you have achieved- you are really making the most of studying. I am so impressed about your language knowledge- just out of interest, how many languages do you speak and read?

    1. I don’t speak well because I did not practice for a long time. But, I can read in and understand French, Spanish, and Italian. I also understand some words in German, but only a few. And, obviously, Romanian and English. 🙂

  2. That sounds like a heavy courseload, Anca! I have only vague memories of my time at university (I went from 1985-6 and from 1998-2000, when I graduated).

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I really appreciate it. Nice to “meet” you. 🙂

    1. As I’m studying part-time, all the courses were online, so it’s a bit of a shame, as I miss talking to my colleagues face-to-face. But it’s still pretty amazing.

  3. It’s wonderful you’re able to do so much in the same time, study, work and blog. I didn’t work while studying but I managed to do some volunteer work and I found that organization is really the key.
    It’s great you improved your reading velocity in Spanish. I find that I read the slowest in the languages I’m not so good at and where my level is still B1.. I haven’t tried reading in Spanish yet, I never officially studied it but I sometimes watch YouTube videos in Spanish and understand- if the topic isn’t complex. I definitely couldn’t follow a scientific article or something like that. Speaking of which, reading articles is great. I feel like articles are often neglected. I regularly visit this Croatian site where all the academic works in Croatian are publish and I find great articles there. I also registered for a similar Italian site but haven’t had the time to visit it often.
    Have a nice weekend dear!
    Ivana Split recently posted…FASHION ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY: MY INSPIRATIONSMy Profile

    1. The first time I went to university I did the same as you, I volunteered, and it was very helpful to understand the industry better.

      With articles it depends on the topic, for history, where some topics have 1000s of books relevant and written by well known historians, while the newer topics have only a few books published and the articles are very important to understand what happened.

      Have a lovely weekend too. xx

  4. Congratulations on packing so much into your Michaelmas term, I really don’t know how you did it! Also that’s great to hear about your presentation too. Fingers crossed things will be better in 2021 and you can visit those museums 🙂

    1. Thank you Lisa. I hope we will be able to have more liberties from Spring next year, with many of the elderly and vulnerable vaccinated. It would be great for all of us, including businesses.

  5. I just don’t know how you find the time to do all that you do! I personally don’t think things will be back to “normal” anywhere in the world until after your next term, But maybe things will have improved enough that you’ll get to visit more museums and other public places that relate to your studies.

    Congratulations on completing this term!
    Kelly recently posted…Little ShoppersMy Profile

    1. I don’t think we are going to go back to the “normal” we had before. But, I hope, as you said, that we’ll reach a point in which we can visit museums, even if I need to book in advance and wear a mask. 🙂

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