Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hellary so far

I'm baaaack! So my laptop got fixed (they had to change the screen, damn hardware problems). But then I got caught up in the maelstrom of classes, tutorials and socials (la vie oxfordienne, c'est pas facile!) yeah. I haven't been terribly diligent at this whole regularly-posting schtick.

So here's what been happening:

* School-wise, Hellary is indeed an atrocious semester, but not as bad as I had feared. All four of my courses are going full-swing, but I am finding myself understanding at least 50% of the material in Jurisprudence now (huzzah!) and I am honestly, secretly enjoying this feeling of getting my brain beaten up by the sheer amount of information thrown at it. I had my very first tutorials in Jurisprudence and Principles of Financial Regulation (PFR). I'll write about them in detail in an upcoming post, but suffice to say that I deeply appreciate the laid-back and small-group feel of them. I also wrote my first two tutorial essays: one on the semantic sting in Jurisprudence and one on investor irrationality in PFR. Both were complete messes, but hey, that's what formative essays are for, right?

* As for my social calendar, this term has been dominated by exchange dinners. I'll also write about them in detail in another post, but the gist of exchange dinners is to have different colleges host members of other colleges. So far this term I've welcomed MansfieldSt-Anne'sSt-Catz and Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) to Hilda's, while I myself have been to Mansfield and St-Anne's. We've also been having bar exchanges (same principle as exchange dinners but with college bars--yes, each college has at least one bar), College-organised brunches, Pancake Night for Shrove Tuesday, not to mention our own dinner and birthday parties. And let's not forget about the occasional pint down at the local pub, which quite literally happen any day and any time of the week (okay, maybe not before 4pm...). Ah, the pub culture in this country. Hmm, I should do a post on my favorite pubs here as well...

* One recent social event of note is the Oxford Union Moulin Rouge Ball, which was my first foray into a "proper" Oxford ball (the Masquerade Ball was a much more mellow affair). I most enjoyed going with a bunch of friends, the Silent Disco and dancing the night away in among Victorian reading rooms and debating chambers of the Union:

Hildabeasts (plus one honorary member) at the Ball. 

Group shot #2. 

Our attempt to do a group can-can shot. It was a Moulin Rouge theme, after all!

Silent Disco! Unfortunately B (center) twisted his knee a few minutes after
this picture was taken...ouch. We literally had to carry him home. 

* I went back to London (yes, again and again and again) with my friend Y. It poured buckets, we waited 90 minutes in the line for the Natural History Museum and ended up aimlessly wandering around Soho and Chinatown. It was a great day. We got some yummy Korean food at Bibimbap and brought home egg tarts (蛋挞) from an Asian bakery. Yum.

* And finally, the weather in Oxford has done a complete 360. First it (finally!) snowed, covering the city in a fine layer of dusty snow which all but melted by the next day. Then it got gray and rainy (ie. usual English weather). However, for the last week or so, it has been incredibly mild and, dare I say it... sunny (!!!). Oh yes, I have seen the sun peeking through the clouds more than once! It feels incredibly spring-like, which absolutely makes sense for this part of Europe, but personally I'm just confused at how exactly can winter already been over when there has only been about two snowfalls and ten days of sub-zero temperatures. Huh. Oxford did look awfully pretty when it snowed though: 

View of the City from South Parks, I think. (Picture sadly not taken by me.) 

Okay, that's all for now. More posting and catching-up soon...I hope!

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