As my first term at Oxford slowly slides into history, I am taking a moment to sit back, and remember the highlights of what has turned out to be an amazing nine weeks.
The Term: Michaelmas-pronounced “Mickel-mas”.
Michaelmas term derives its name from the Feast of St Michael and All Angels, which falls on 29 September. The term runs from October to Christmas and is the only term name shared by Cambridge and Oxford, which is interesting as they both have different names for the other terms. In Oxford, we have Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity terms, while in the other place (Cambridge); they have Michaelmas, Lent and Easter terms.
Full term lasts nine weeks, numbered 0 to 8. Week 0 is for arrival, paper-work and collections.
N.B. In Oxford, the week begins on Sunday
The typical Oxford student ‘comes up’ into residence by midnight on the Friday before ‘Full Term’, which begins on a Sunday, and ‘goes down’ on the Saturday just over eight weeks later. ‘Coming up’ and ‘going down’ are also used to indicate the beginning and end of one’s total course or courses:
“I went up in Michaelmas 2011 and came down in Trinity ’12.” It is usual for students to refer to some event taking place in, say, Tuesday of ‘3rd week’ (of term), which can be unhelpful to those outside the University.
In the next couple of posts,one devoted to each term week, I will try and summarize the highlights of those weeks