Christmas will never be the same again
Finally, on Christmas break, the reality is you don’t get to have a break! But it’s important to relax and recharge, spend time catching up with your family and friends. Reflecting on 2016 has been a crazy experience, it’s rare when people actually discuss the lessons you have learnt and development you have made over the year.
I’m currently in London enjoying time with my family and catching up with friends. Although it sounds amazing, the idea of having to revise and do my work is hovering over my head. It’s important to dedicate time to your work. Some can dedicate time every day to their work, I dedicate a whole day. I take forever to click and get into the swing of working. Whereas some people can click and work for a solid hour. I’m staring into space for an hour then I suddenly remember that I have to work. It’s all about understanding how you work and adapting your home life to suit it.
Revision tips! Make your notes! Use the sources your lecturers and tutors have given you as a sense of direction for your research- remember in exams you want to include things your lecturers have covered and sprinkles of your own research. First, develop a clear understanding of the context, listen to other lectures, podcasts, read books and academic papers just like how you would prep for an essay. Read the secondary material and create paragraphs that condense the argument, a bit like a precis. The biggest thing is to understand and be confident in each topic. The thing about classics is that a lot of our topics link, so when you get your exam question you can twist and adapt each topic to suit your answer. That comes from clear knowledge and understanding. That will later lead to critical analysis and exploration of the question. Language revision is a little different, stay focused on what your tutor has given you for revision and classwork. Anything that will appear on your language exam, will have been covered in class before. You should walk into that exam knowing you will succeed. More practice and time you put into your language, the better you will be- simple!
I’ve received my results, honestly, I think I’ve done OK. Ethics: 2.2 Latin: 1.1 Hellenistic world: 1.1 Ancient theatre: TBC
My 2.2 in Ethics was upsetting because I did work so hard for that essay. But it’s 15% of my module, it won’t affect my grade too much. My next essay for that module is 85% of the module, therefore, I need to make sure it’s brilliant! The only way I can ensure that is to communicate with my tutor. Ethics is a philosophy module, therefore, the approach to essays is different to classics. I need to take more time to understand how to express myself in my essays and ensure that interpret the question correctly. For Hellenistic world, I could have got a better grade if my referencing and presentation was improved. Silly mistakes like that could have been avoided if I didn’t leave my proofreading until 3 in the morning of the deadline day. In order to maintain my first in Latin, I have to ensure that I’m on top of it. Refreshing previous content and adding it to new content is essential. Understanding and finding the patterns with the language will ease the pressure of learning brand new things. English is my first language so it’s easy for me to use my English vocabulary and see how words have stemmed from Latin. Little things like that make latin less of a chore. It’s also important not just to memorise the grammar and vocab, but to practice exercises. Translations are the best and most effective way to practice in my opinion. This is because you are working with different tenses and a range of vocabulary at one time, you have to think on the spot and the only way you can work through the text is if you have a sound knowledge of the language. Sure, it’s good to practice the small exercises for each topic, but because you’re practising questions that focus on one aspect of the grammar or vocabulary your mind will only look for that aspect, therefore, you will find those exercises easier. In the exam you have no idea what will come up, so thinking on your feet is a good skill to have when working with a language.
Enjoy your holidays! Eat loads, rest well and get ready for term 2!