Adventures in Online Exams, Homemade Cocktails & Sad Dogs – OurWarwick
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Adventures in Online Exams, Homemade Cocktails & Sad Dogs

So it seems that another year at university has flown by, and I have come to the end of my exams and finally started summer. Yes, third year is officially finished for me, having submitted all my translation and essay papers for Spanish and Italian today, and therefore finishing the entire year…


Ah the sweet release of a submission confirmation email…

Although, given the deadline for all these papers is actually on Monday, I can’t guarantee these will be the final submissions I’ll make, but it is nice to “in theory” have completed my exams. In light of the chaos that was Term 3, I have to hand it to Spanish and Italian departments, as they were exceedingly nice to students; whilst I cannot speak for other departments, my experience doing online exams was rather pleasant. Essentially, for Spanish and Italian I had the same exam I would have had if Term 3 had gone to plan, only I could use all my resources and dictionaries I would normally use for essays and homework, and I had three whole weeks to complete them. Although, GoogleTranslate was forbidden… Perhaps rather strangely, our oral exams were cancelled, which meant I actually had fewer exams than I expected to do, which further added to the ease of the whole situation.

For Russian, instead of a reading comprehension and essay, I had to read a couple of texts, and write a short essay responding to the ideas mentioned, as well as incorporating my own opinions. Unlike my other exams, I only had 24 hours to complete this paper, so it was slightly more stressful, however, perfectly manageable seeing as once again I could use all my notes and online dictionaries. (No Google Translate naturally) I also had to actually do an oral exam for Russian, however, this entailed my Russian teacher uploading the questions to our E-learning platform, and we had 24 hours to film a video of us responding to the questions.  So I suppose I feel quite lucky, as my exams were quite nicer than they would have been had Term 3 been normal. 

I even got the true Warwick experience, by seeing some geese patrolling the canal on my post-submission dog walk!

Fun fact, did you know Birmingham, big brother to Coventry, has more canals than Venice?

I think most students will (to some extent) agree that having exams has in some ways been quite a blessing during this period, as it provides something to focus on, and worry about. As a self-confessed drama queen, I actually function better when I have something to stress about, therefore, a part of me is now worried about what I will actually do with myself now that I have finished all my work. Naturally with languages, you can always work to keep them up, and I think given the extra time I’ll have this summer, I’ll actually try to not totally forget them before the start of my final year.

What’s more, I have been very lucky in that the company who I planned to complete an internship with in Moscow this summer has offered me the opportunity to do it online (cue an influx of Teams calls) so from the end of June, I will be busy again until the end of September. Given their is so much uncertainty surrounding jobs, I feel so grateful that I can still do some work experience, even if from the comfort of my own home. Also, if the rumours are true, and Term 1 of next year will be online, then I suppose having some variety in how I spend the next 7 months will be essential for my personal sanity. 

In the meanwhile, I’ve finally hopped on some quarantine trends, including making my own strawberry liqueur for homemade strawberry daiquiris….


She may be cloudy, but she tastes divine

I used this recipe:

… making homemade pizza dough for a family pizza night,  and then proceeding to add so many toppings it was impossible to not use cutlery to eat it…

Balsamic-glased vegetables, pesto & burrata, a heavenly combination

And just generally spending some time doing things for fun. Like the quintessential-humanities-student-who-has-just-finished-exams, I am doing some reading for fun, and some books I’ve read recently and would recommend include:

– Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (the author who wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, this tells the real story of a woman who was accused of murder in 1840s Canada. Very gripping, with insights into early psychoanalysis)

– The Descendants, Kaui Hart Hemmings (a really heartbreaking, funny, easy-to-read novel about a man whose wife is in a fatal coma, and him having to come to terms with being the main parent, guiding his two daughters through the journey of saying goodbye to their mum. There is also a movie of it with George Clooney that is also amazing)

And of course, I have been walking my dog Wilbur every day, now that we can spend a bit more time outside for exercise. Although, despite my aforementioned joy at seeing geese on the canal, Wilbs was more curious about the water, which resulted in him taking a little tumble into the water…

A very sad, traumatised dog 

Yanking him out by the lead and collar, I think it is safe to say he won’t be swimming again for a while. 

So as we finish May, and our eleventh week in sort-of lockdown, I hope everyone is doing well and surviving until the end of exams. I think I have actually finished quite early, so to all those still powering through, good luck! 

Catherine xx

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