Settling In (-1 Week, Michaelmas Term)

With a week of Latin class under our belts, and yet still another week until inductions and welcome events start in 0th week, we are feeling somewhat betwixt-and-between as students at the moment.

Latin Continues

For now, though, Latin is enough to keep us busy. Having conquered (or at least survived) a storm of verbs in all manner of conjugations, tenses, and moods, we are now enjoying the slightly calmer waters of participles and 3rd declension nouns. Fortunately, the bizarre tedium of grammatically entangled textbook Latin sentences—Life lessons: avoid sailors, soldiers, and evil men, especially if in the vicinity of torches or stones, but be nice to blind poets, as they are generally wretched—is punctuated with the occasional short medieval Latin text to be translated in the library over the break, dictionary in hand.

New Study Spots

Of course, with all this Latining comes a need for good study spots. The common room and study space at the Center for Classical and Byzantine Studies are quite nice, but for a more historic feel, the upper gallery of the Radcliffe Camera (which stores the History Faculty library) is a lovely choice, with the added benefit of ledges on the outside of the building, perfect for sitting in the sunshine and watching the tourists go by while having a spot of lunch. Since the majority of undergraduates have yet to arrive, I’m also enjoying the wood-lined peacefulness of my college library, particularly since I can get in some translation practice just by trying to read the inscriptions covering the ceiling. For sheer historic beauty, though, one can’t beat the hushed reverence of Duke Humfrey’s Library (15th c.) in the Old Bodleian.


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