Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Leap Frog

Leap Frog

I was aware that a lot of finalists I know here were starting their finals this week. I'd ah-ed, offered sympathy and groaned with those whose schedules make mine look like a walk in the park*. But I'd never really computed what all these finals meant in real terms. This morning I got my rude awakening.

I had to queue to get into Exam Schools. Having gotten in I then had to play leap frog to get to the coat racks, only to discover that there weren't any spare spaces left. At this point, when I was still wearing my cowboy boots**, without a mortarboard hat in sight and my exam was being called, those extra five minutes in bed that last week wouldn't have been a problem started to look like a very bad idea indeed. And because there was at least a million people*** crammed into the entrance of exam Schools, there were a million exams being called, in a million different directions. It struck me that it seems very, very silly not to stagger the exams in different halls, even if only by five minutes. At least that way you'd prevent the big-all-enveloping crush of precariously near to exploding finalists. But it seems that, along with tradition, Oxford likes the sillyness. Long live the crush; bollocks and a seventy pound fine to any one who says otherwise.

Clearly I wasn't as confused by the crush as other English finalists were as I found my seat in what was a largely empty hall and hence had enough time to stash my hat under my table and ponder what exactly my candidate number was. Despite such beginnings the paper turned out pretty well, if the examiners get generous I might even edge out a first on the Marvell and Swift essays. Which will hopefully make up for possibly edging out a 2:2 in one of my Renaisance essays. Whilst I'm aware that at this stage it sounds like settling for an away 0-0 draw, I'm clinging to that 2:1.

One more to go. And it could all fall down to an essay on Byron. I don't know whether to celebrate that my future may be decided by one of my greatest heroes [and indeed obsessions] or worried that it lies with such an unstable character.

As Harry in SSoB would say, bloody Byron.

*See the classicists who have three weeks of exams, including six hours worth on their first day.

**Cowboy boots are not sub fusc. Especially brown ones.

***A slight exaggeration, but when it's considered that there are 250 people doing English and I heard at least 6 different subjects, plus English joint schools, being called you've got a problem.


Val said...

By the time you read this, you'll have finished 'well done'! (you may not actually read this for some time, if you do collapse in the gutter)
I hope 'bloody Byron' behaved himself for once,
V x

guile said...

nice cozy place you got here :)..

Nik said...

i feel the need to quote the follow up line but i shall restrain [have just said it out loud anyway!] enjoy the champers, the sleep and the knowledge that you can lie around all day and not feel guilty for not is good and life is grand. xxxx