16 January 2013

how this whole Oxford thing works for us

I am taking two tutorials, one Integrative Seminar on my concentration, and one British Landscapes course.

Tutorials are one on one meetings between a tutor, or senior member of the university, and a tutee, or junior member of the university. They meet once a week to discuss the topic in general and/or the paper the student has written and prepared in answer to a question/prompt the tutor assigned when last they met. Each paper is 2,000 words minimum and takes about 20 hours to complete with research, writing, and editing. 

In this program we have two tutorials, a primary which meets once a week and a secondary which meets once every other week. My primary tutorial is reading Shakespeare with Dr. Jonathan Thorpe and my secondary is creative writing with Dr. Kieron Winn.

The English Integrative Seminar focuses on autobiography and will meet during the last four weeks of the semester. As the semester progresses, we will be thinking about and beginning to research for a 4,000 word essay due at the end of the eight week term. We can write on whatever we would like so long as it fits under the general seminar topic.

We are also required to attend 32 lectures. One series of lectures is eight sessions long. While traditional Oxford students are not required to attend these lectures, we are because of transferring credit back to our home universities. They are walk-in, non-committal events given by various Oxford professors. No work is required before or after. They are to simply introduce you to new topics and a broader range of understanding to use in your research. Which ones we attend are determined by what tutorial and seminar topics we are taking. I will be attending one series on Shakespeare and two on English Literature. Because there are no lectures aimed at Creative Writing, I can choose to go to any other lectures I want to to make up for the last required series.

The British Landscapes course takes place in the last four weeks of the semester and takes us on weekend trips around England to see what we are learning about. It takes place in the four weeks after term that this program runs so you'll hear about it later.

adapted with permission from Writing On My Hand*

*an old friend and now new roommate. I am so blessed to have a dear friend so close by.

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