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Aug. 14th, 2008 @ 12:03 pm (no subject)
I have a question as a wannabe Oxonian for 2009 and would be glad of some input. Could anyone tell me exactly how many hours a week are spent n tutorials/seminars? I imagine it changes per subject but is there sort of an average? I'm hoping to study History at Christ Church.

On another note, I'll be a mature student and I have a small child. Does anyone know if this will be a stumbling block for me? I imagine I wont be able to live in college and am OK with that but I think I read somewhere that all first year undergrads are expected to live in.

Any help appreciated, thank you!

ETA: Thank you for the excellent advice everyone. I'll look through the colleges again and see what the best option will be. It's good to know that my application is feasible despite my situation. :)
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Angel Walking Alone
Aug. 6th, 2008 @ 11:25 am Longshot... Anyone want to do some photocopying and earn some money? :)
I'm writing the literature review for my thesis, and I found an obscure little publication based on a conference paper that apparently deals with the history of history about my subject. Now, I've been given the runaround by the interlibrary loans people at my university for a while now, but I finally got an answer and it turns out they can't get it for me since Oxford and Cambridge won't lend to my little university in western Canada (those are the only two copies out there, it seems) and because it's classified as a book, not an article, they can't photocopy it for me. There's also one available to buy, but it's over $30 for a 32 page booklet, and has to ship from the UK.

Before I shell out the $30+, I was just wondering if there is anyone who could copy or even scan some of it. I would of course pay for shipping, copying fees, and your time (I could send a cheque or money order or something). I would ask on the list-serve I'm a member of, since this kind of request isn't exactly uncommon, but since it's "official" people might complain about the copyright issues. (Also, I'm too shy to send a request to the inboxes of hundreds of French historians around the world!)
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Jul. 29th, 2008 @ 07:00 pm notice

"Only staff bikes allowed in this building"

In the 6th form our Headmaster instructed us to take care with English expressions. I passed this notice earlier today and wondered where the staff went when they had put their bikes in the building. If only bikes are allowed, people must not enter.

Reminds me of the English Heritage lunchroom door with the notice "Only guide dogs allowed". I explained to the waitress that we wer'nt guide dogs but we'd like to com in just the same. She looked blank.

And on an inner door of that august institution the Oxford Union Society, a large type notice advising that on Mondays to Fridays between the hours of 11:30 and 2:30, "only food purchased here is allowed in the bar". Not much point, I thought. Ther'd ne no one in the bar to eat the food. 

a niente ..

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mw francis2.jpg
Jul. 4th, 2008 @ 12:42 pm (no subject)
I figured somebody here must know! I'm planning to take the Oxford-Heathrow bus from Gloucester Green next week. Do I have to book in advance, or can I get a ticket and travel immediately? (And if it is relevant, I'm planning to take the bus on Thursday at 4am.)
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firefly - kaylee's parasol
Jun. 30th, 2008 @ 04:21 pm (no subject)

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Jun. 23rd, 2008 @ 04:53 pm Free(ish) books
Hi, I hope this is acceptable - let me know if not. I have a pile of unwanted books going free to anyone with a pidge (or for a contribution to postage), including some one-edition-behind-current Economics textbooks for which a small contribution would be welcome but not necessary. See here for list.
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europe history
Jun. 11th, 2008 @ 07:35 am (no subject)
Hello! I might be one of the biggest wannabe Oxonians ever. I'll be in my last year at Northwestern University in Chicago in the fall, studying vocal performance and musicology. I'm hoping to apply to do at least the MSt in musicology for the 2009-2010 year. I'm also applying for a Fulbright and a Rhodes, just to see if anything happens there.

I've been looking into the colleges a lot lately, and I was wondering if anyone knew where the best places were for music. My list consists of St. Catherine's, Pembroke, and New College--just based on the faculty who are based there and what they study. Any other suggestions for colleges I could look at?

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May. 18th, 2008 @ 08:30 pm (no subject)
Can anyone recommend me a garage that does MOT tests and isn't going to rip me off?

Thanks in advance!
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Golden stars
May. 14th, 2008 @ 02:16 pm Restaurant recommendations
Current Location: St. Hilda's
Current Mood: anxiousFINALS
Current Music: Ben Folds - Such Great Heights

So, my Finals are next week, and then I'll only have a couple more weeks in Oxford before I leave forever. Before I go, I think it might be nice to try out some restaurants I've never been to. Can anybody recommend some good places to eat? Cost isn't a huge issue, though under £15 a head (excluding wine) would be ideal. I'm an adventurous eater and something a bit unusual would be welcomed.

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once upon a lifetime
Apr. 26th, 2008 @ 11:45 am c = c + 1
I am reading Norman F Cantor : Civilization of the Middle Ages, first published in 1993 and itself a 'completely revised and expanded edition' of Medieval History, which first hit the streets of academe in 1963 - so it's based on 1950's scholarship, which is a fact relevant in itself.

Norman F Cantor is, or was at the time of paperback publication, professor of history sociology and comparative literature at New York University. So far I have reached page 198 of the 566 pages of his main text.

He's a man of authoritative - sometimes authoritarian - views. It took me quite a while to latch on to his main thesis. And that depends largely on his version of 'civilisation'. It fits in with what I was taught in school in the late 1930s. In the Latin class. Civis, a citizen. Civitas, a city. Hence, civilisation is seen to be based on the Classical, Roman, model. Civilisation requires cities - and it requres literacy. Professor Cantor has short shrift with tribal societies, Germanic warbands, long-haired Merovingian kings, Alaric the Goth, et hoc genus omnes. But Augustine and Ambrose, now they were men of status, men the product of and the fertilisers of Civilization, men whose words we can still drool over and be thankful for learning which depends on reading and writing.

In his title, 'civilization' should be understood as a verb. On the basis of the chapters I have covered so far, he gives me the impression that after the disastrous collapse of the Western Empire, even before 476, Western Europe was in a pitiful primitive condition from which it was rescued and given the kiss of new life only by the paramedic cohorts of Latin Christendon emanating from its GHQ in the Eternal City. (I exaggerate only a little, and that only for the purposes of clarifying my conclusions.)

My mind takes off on one of its random rewarding introspections.

I have observed similar symptons in publications focussed on the minutiae of Old English. (Perhaps there's something in the concept of the  Ivory Tower Syndrome after all.) 

It is as though certain specialists - in certain academic faculties where scrutiny of ancient documents is de regeur - become so absorbed in their texts that they loose touch with the realities of the world outside their individual ivory towers. In short, they come to regard their books and codices as sources of knowledge which cannot be contradicted. All within their covers is, incontravertibly, True.

How very dangerous books can be. 

Literacy is not always the summa cum laude it's cracked up to be.
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mw francis2.jpg