Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Connie Tongue

Hello! I'm Connie and I study Classics, course IIB here at Corpus Christi.

My love of the subject began when we learnt about the Greeks and Romans at school and, hearing the Odyssey at that point, I realised that not only were the stories good, but there was something magical about how through them we can gain an insight into the thoughts and practices of people not hundreds but thousands of years ago.

As I was not able to do either Greek or Latin at school, I am learning Greek from scratch, or ab initio (course IIB), which is intense, but also extremely satisfying to progress at such a fast pace. For the first two terms this meant I had a Greek class for an hour every day and for the third I have one grammatical continuation class as well as Homer and Herodotus reading classes. As a result, and with the aid of amazing teaching, I am now able to navigate my way through passages by a number of Greek authors, something that seemed a ludicrous prospect at the beginning of the year! This is one of the best things about the classics course at Oxford, that it is open to anyone; so many other universities are not able to devote the time to this intensive programme for those who were not able to study a classical language at A Level.

Although there is always a lot of academic work to do, I have also found time to get involved with a number of extracurricular activities of which there are hundreds on offer. In the first term I began rowing which is amazing fun and a real sense of camaraderie is created when commiserating over the early rises and the cold winter mornings! By the summer it all becomes worthwhile though! Additionally I have taken part in a student drama production, joined the Chapel Choir, Ceilidh Band and Bellringer's Society and recently taken up ballroom dancing. The list of available activities is extensive and there really is bound to be something for everyone, and if not you can always set one up!

As well as meeting people through societies, the Corpus' small size allows a real community feel to develop, and I soon made a lot of friends. It is a real treat to be around others who care as passionately about their subjects as you do, leading to many interesting conversations; there is barely a day where you don't learn something new. Of course there is also space to relax without thinking about academic work, perhaps the garden or just in a handy corridor. No matter what, the friendliness of everyone makes college soon feel like home and those short eight week terms will simply fly by!

Of course, if you have any questions, no matter how apparently mundane, about any aspect of college or academic life I would be delighted to answer them, just send me an email! I know the application process is complicated and tough and it would be a pleasure to me to be able to help in any way to make it as stress-free as possible.

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