Tag Archives: Linacre College

The storm before the storm

6 Oct

No, that’s not a typo. That’s really what Freshers Week at Oxford feels like.  It’s a whirlwind of activities – social events, networking events, college induction, degree program orientation, examinations rules sessions, college formal dinners, and some plain old pub-crawling.  Brand new students, the “freshers”, are sucked into this cyclone of activity from the very first moments of Week 0.

Last night I attended my Newcomers Dinner at Linacre College.  In true Oxford tradition, we dressed up in our formal robes, and entered the dining hall.  Five long tables, with a mix of students, staff and faculty, all dressed up and eager to get to know each other. The 5 people who sat at my end of the table for 20 included a History of Science Major from Vancouver of all places, a DPhil (PhD) candidate in Archeological Science from New York City and one in Classical Archeology from Greece, along with a professor in Organic Chemistry, a Master of Financial Economics major and another DPhil student in Chemistry. And that was just my corner of the table!  Imagine the conversations happening at the other 4 tables, among about 100 people!

Walking home after post-dinner drinks and socializing in the Common Room, the student run bar and gathering place at the centre of college life, it was amazing to feel the energy in the streets.  Literally hundreds of people, some dressed to the nines in black-tie and gowns, others in jeans and T-shirts, all excited to be here, and ready to start a new term. I swear the air even smelled like anticipation!

Next week, Week 1 of the Michaelmas Term, is when classes officially begin.  That’s likely to be the second “storm”, and one that will no doubt consume a great deal of our time.  In the meantime, it’s Freshers Week! Pubs and friends await!

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