Saturday, July 16, 2016

Red carnations, old halls

Hiya world.

It's been awhile.

And to be honest, these posts will be few and far between starting Monday because I'm headed off on an Eastern European Extravaganza, and I know I will have zero time to update this blog. So I figured I should get some things down that I've been meaning to.

Like the time I took my exams.

Like most things in Oxford, exam traditions are generations-old. Part of these traditions include sitting in the Examination Schools with two hundred other students (graduates and undergraduates, all from different courses), writing our respective exams.

I sat the exam with the thirteen other students in my program, and we all sat in a row, like 14 penguin chicks. 14 stressed-out penguin chicks.

Because that is another Oxford exam tradition--we all wear our sub fusc (Latin for "dark brown," which is funny because we don't wear dark brown, we wear black and white).

Another Oxford exam tradition is the tradition of carnations. The carnations are color-coded. If you are sitting your first exam, you wear a white carnation. If you are sitting your middle exams, you wear a pink carnation, and if you are sitting your last exam, you wear a red carnation.

I wore red.

[The lighting is terrible, but this is what we've got.] 

I still don't know why we have to bring our mortarboard. We're not allowed to wear it, and it just gets in the way. Oh well. 

When we finished our exams, we waited outside a bit for everyone to join. Then we walked into another Oxford exam tradition--trashing. Essentially, your friends spray you with champagne, silly string, foam, etc.

But I didn't want a trashing (perhaps I am lame, but I wasn't so keen on spoiling my clothes) so I skillfully avoided the crowds and headed towards another gathering of friends . . . where they trashed me with confetti.

That I can get behind. Confetti is okay. Baked beans . . . not so much.

1 comment:

  1. 3 years ago we happened to be in Oxford in June, and we saw a lot of silly string on the ground everywhere. I finally get it now.