Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

My new delusion is that i’m going to Oxford over the summer.

Catherine from my house who graduated last year was back visiting last weekend. [edit: I think i mean Jessica, not Catherine. Gotta love how good i am with names.] We chatted a bit, and i loved that she totally respected the fact that i have no desire to go JYA. She mentioned a 6-week Oxford Summer Seminar program, though, and i thought that sounded cool. There was a meeting about it on Thursday, which i couldn’t go to, but the next day in class Pat Skarda had a pile of brochures about it left over so i took one.


It’s from July 6 - August 15.

“All Seminar students are enrolled in the Seminar Colloquium, a one-credit, pass/fail course that involves attendance at and participation in at least ten different Seminar events, such as weekly lectures, trips to see Shakespeare productions, the film series, and occasional discussion groups. All Seminar students are also required to enroll in one Major Course, a three-credit course that is graded. In addition, Seminar students are welcome to enroll in a two-credit, graded Optional Course.”

“The two-credit Optional Courses are usually offered during the first four weeks of the Seminar, leaving students time in the final two weeks to concentrate on the conclusion of their six-week Major Course.”

I wonder how the credits transfer to here. The brochure is from UMass, and i know in the UMass system, a regular class is 3 credits while at Smith it’s 4 (so if i take a class at UMass, Smith gives me 4 credits for it).

The courses for this summer are really cool. You tell them you’re top 3 choices because each class is only 6 or 7 students. My favorite Major Course is “The Literary Makings of the Modern Self”:
This course will involve an inspection of a group of major texts, key examples of writing across the tradition of English literature from the Renaissance to the present day, all preoccupied with issues of modern selfhood:
William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1601), a foundational text for western self-consciousness
Daniel DeFoe, Robinson Crusoe (1720), a key to Protestant individualism
George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (1860), a major nineteenth-century case of emerging, conflictual female being
Samuel Becket, Waiting for Godot (1948), a seminal work of modern consciousness
Martin Amis, Money: A Suicide Note (1986), whose hero is John Self.

My favorite Optional Course is “Fictions of Black Britain”:
This course will examine a selection of post-war black British writers within a diverse tradition of migrant writing that has evolved in Britain. It will explore themes of identity, race, class, gender, and the nation, as well as critical theories of diaspora and minority identities. It will locate this body of writing in sociopolitical, historical, and literary contexts, and in terms of the politics of postcolonial literary production. Authors to be studied will include V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi, Meera Syal, and Zadie Smith.

I mention this program to people i know at Smith, and they all seem to think i would have no problem getting in, which i don’t believe, but which is comforting all the same. And i’m totally going to apply. (Unlike Harvard’s 9-page $60 application, this one refunds your deposit if you don’t get in and credits your deposit toward the total if you do get in. And the application is basically a transcript and a letter of recommendation. This intimidates me.) If i do get in, the cost is the major factor. The Program Fee of $4,800 covers tuition, a modern single room or traditional shared suite at Trinity College, breakfast seven days a week plus dinner Sunday through Thursday, and a few other things. “During summer 2002, students were asked how much they spent in pocket money during the Seminar. The average response was about $200 per week.” I try not to spend $200 per month. Plus there’s also the airfare to factor in. I have this mythical $1200 plus airfare, but Smith would definitely need to help out with the whole tuition thing.

So yeah, i’m definitely gonna talk to Pat Skarda more about it after break.
Tags: oxford summer seminar 2003
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