January - March
In Hilary (spring term), we carried on with Old English, now learning more about the themes and ideas in the poetry. We started being able to recognise and translate some words by ourselves which felt like a big deal! We came so far so quickly!
For coursework, we worked on the other essay for our portfolios. This one is about big ideas in literary theory, so our classes and lectures were introductions to all the main movements in critical thinking throughout history, which was so interesting and kind of mind-blowing! It so many viewpoints that we could use to think about all of the other papers. For this essay there is so much free reign again, you can use whichever texts you want, from which ever time period! We spent most of the class time talking about big questions like 'what is literature?', which was sometimes confusing but always really fun!
And then for the 'Modern' paper (this one is 1910 to the present day), another four weeks on prose and four on poetry! Again we read the long, canonical things over the Christmas holidays (including James Joyce's Ulysses, yikes!!!), so we had lots of time during term to look at what we were really interested in! Though lots of the teaching and lectures focuses on things published between 1910 and 1960, this paper goes all the way up to this year, so if you wanted you could write about something that was published last week!! Like for the Victorian paper, there were loads of really exciting lectures to choose from for this paper, including some on modern art and cinema!
When we all came back to Oxford for Trinity (the summer term), we had a few weeks to prepare for the coursework, which we got ten days to write in May! It was so nice to have 1/4 of the paper out of the way early!!! After that we just had revision classes for Old English, Victorian and Modern papers, and one on one tutorials to talk about any practice essays we wrote. The exams happened mid-June, each paper was three hours and not nearly as scary as we thought it might be!