One seminar a week certainly doesn’t sound like very much – until you see the week’s reading list. Last term, the reading for the seminar was one to three books a week. For “The Twelfth-Century Renaissance”, the reading list comes in the shape of a full A4 sheet of paper with about half-a-dozen books of primary texts, another half-dozen secondary books, and perhaps another dozen journal articles and essays, all supposedly discoverable somewhere in the vastness of the Oxford library system.
Hilary Term has gotten off to a wonderful start, most particularly due to the last few glorious days of frosty sunshine that Oxford has laid on to welcome everyone back. It’s lovely to see the libraries full of familiar faces once again. With our doctoral applications now out of our hands, we can now gratefully turn our attention back to our current programme of study.
It’s an odd feeling when you look forward to the end of term so that you can finally get some work done. Michaelmas Term was so full of seminars and lectures and finding one’s feet that there never seemed to be quite enough time to collect one’s thoughts before starting off again. So a six-week Christmas Break provides a much needed lull in order to regroup, make a To Do list, and attack one’s reading lists.
(In theory. In practice, never quite as productive as planned.)