– From the moment you get to Oxford,
you sort of feel that this is a special place,
a unique place, because the whole vibe
of students coming from libraries,
going straight to night clubs,
and going back to the library afterwards.
And the sort of surroundings,
the surreal atmosphere that’s in the city
is kind of like, draws you in
from the first minute really.
Hi, my name is Paul.
I’m a final year student here at Oxford,
主修哲学 政治学 经济学
studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics,
and I’m originally from Germany.
Because Oxford has this weird structure
of having eight weeks of term,
and then just a very long vocation,
everything happens in those eight weeks.
So I wouldn’t say I have a typical day,
or a routine that I follow.
But I tend to be in the library by 9:00 AM,
so I wake up at 7:30, 8:00 to get a coffee before.
And then spend basically the whole day
until like 2:00 PM in the library.
Then I get my lunch, usually in one
of the small cafes around the libraries.
And then, the afternoon is basically back
in the library, or extracurriculars.
So, you meet up in different coffee shops,
talk to people about their projects,
how things are working out
on certain projects that you’re doing together,
and have a bit of social time as well.
And then, back to the library,
until usually about 10:00-ish, quarter to 10.
I wanted to bring you guys to this spot,
because it’s where I spend most of my time at Oxford,
and definitely the best bit of my time in Oxford,
is the Radcliffe Camera behind us,
which is officially a History faculty library,
but it’s part of the bigger network
of the Bodleian Library,
which is Oxford’s central library,
and it’s definitely the space I spent the most time
reading books, freaking out about essays
that I had to hand in the next morning,
and meeting friends.
So, definitely this was the spot
I enjoyed most in my time.
I might be a bit of a sort of super-academic,
really boring person, but what I really enjoy most
was having a stack of books, and a lot of time,
and knowing I would have to write something about this.
Make up my own mind about this.
It’s kind of daunting, because you see all these big names,
and you’re a bit intimidated by the whole situation,
but knowing that you can do it,
and that you can actually
say something interesting about this,
was the greatest experience.
My third year I started taking a paper
on Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics,
and discovered that the tutor was actually
a name that I’d read 100 times on my reading lists
for Plato and other papers.
And he happened to be one of the biggest persons
in Ancient Philosophy, Dominic Scott,
and it was at first intimidating
to write papers and know he’s going to read them properly.
And he did read them very rigorously,
and made comments about my grammar,
a lot of them, and it was very scary at first.
But, I really started to love that paper,
and love that course, because I really felt like
I was taken serious by someone who’s
extremely well known on the field,
and who’s extremely capable,
who’s now really interested in what I’m saying,
and, yeah, it’s a scary experience,
but it’s also great to know
that you’ve really done something worthwhile,
once you get out of your tutorial.
The tutorial situation, that you have one professor
and one student in a room, discussing one topic
for a whole hour, is something that’s completely unique,
I think to Oxford and Cambridge maybe.
Having studied PPE here for three years,
I think what it’s really about is,
on the one hand the sort of
the theoretical rigorous knowledge
that you learn throughout the course,
but also the sort of practical,
the histories of conflicts,
or the histories of current affairs.
Alongside that, I’ve also been doing a journal,
called the journal of interrupted studies,
which I started with my good friend
and housemate Mark Barclay,
which basically tries to publish articles
by academics at risk.
Refugee academics who had to leave their home,
their countries, because of war,
because of climate change, for various reasons,
and who want to continue publishing their work,
because that’s what they do for a living,
but, can’t finish articles.
And what we do is, we try and publish them,
and thereby create a platform for these academics
to a.) highlight the potential they have.
The academic integrity, the knowledge
that’s actually coming to Europe as well,
throughout the migration crisis.
But also to highlight on the other side,
that a lot of these academics cannot continue their work,
because of legal restrictions,
or because universities are quite slow in integrating them.
And, that project has been very important for me personally,
because it’s more than just a sort of academic interest.
It’s actually meeting people who suffered,
and who are now finding a new perspective to the world.
Mark and I developed the journal
in all the small little coffee shops around Oxford,
The Missing Bean是
and The Missing Bean was definitely the place
we kept on coming back to,
and the place we actually started the journal de facto.
Having the Oxford name on the cover of the journal
definitely helped us a lot with the project,
because it meant that people
who found out about the project,
took it to be much more credible
than they would have probably taken
a standard undergraduate journal.
And, that definitely helped.
It also meant for Mark and I,
that we wouldn’t have started the journal, I guess,
without the support of Oxford University in the first place.
I came to Oxford thinking that it would be
super academic, and there wouldn’t
be much social life going on,
but actually discovered that it’s basically
a huge part of the Oxford life.
Every college has it’s own JCR and college bar attached,
which means you get subsidized drinks, which is great,
because Oxford is insanely expensive.
And the other thing is, the JCR is a spot
to just hang out and meet people
from the undergrad community, undergraduate community.
So it’s just great, because you get to chat to people,
and talk about life in Uni,
and there are no Senior tutors around.
So it’s kind of very intimate.
But everything social sort of starts within the college.
Means that social life is completely different here,
than it is back home, where you know people
from maybe school or neighborhoods.
So that makes Oxford’s social life completely different.
But at the same time, if you’re
in a very small college likely,
you tend to be out too much quicker,
so you leave the nest much more.
And, again it depends on which college you’re at.
After you finish your last exam,
once you’re done with your degree basically,
you walk out of examination schools,
and your whole first black tie outfit.
A white tie, actually, and you’re trashed,
which means people throw
everything they can find at you, basically,
from shaving foam, to confetti,
to obscene things like food and anything.
So you’re just completely trashed,
and in a disgusting state.
But then you jump into the river,
and it all kind of like disappears,
and you’re back sort of normal life,
out of the Uni experience.
And then just, you have two weeks or three weeks
remaining at Oxford, in which loads of crazy things happen.
Go punting, driving around on boats on the river.
You go to sports, concerts.
去爬山 参加舞会 礼服晚会
You go clubbing, and you go to balls, white tie balls.
But, yeah, so that’s gonna happen today for me,
and that’s how I’m gonna end my time at Oxford.
White tie means you have to wear a tailcoat,
which looks like a penguin at first.
But then, you’ve gotta wear a waistcoat as well.
And, where the name comes from, a white tie.
So this one’s one that I have to tie up,
which will take me a good half an hour,
if I do it properly.
And these flowers are called carnations.
It’s a tradition at Oxford
that you wear them to your exams,
so you wear the white one on your first day of exams,
and the red one on the last day of exams.
But I just think they look quite cool
on a white tie outfit, so I’m just gonna put one here,
and see how it works tonight at the ball.
I’ve never been to a white tie ball before,
so I’m not really sure what to expect,
but I just hope I can meet people for the last time,
and say goodbye to a lot of people,
but also sort of leave Oxford on a high note,
feeling like yeah, this was a great time,
and this is how I wanna conclude it.
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