257 Zenbakia 2004-06-04 / 2004-06-11


A basque in Oxford


A basque in Oxford Xabier Ezeizabarrena, Basque Visiting Fellow, St. Antony’s


Español Hilary term, week 16

Oxonian dictionary: some words, terms, latin expresions and others, likely to be found around the city and university of Oxford. Battels: members´ accounts with the Bursary. Bowl: first rower (normally a fresher) of an eight boat. Black-tie: formal dress usual for high table. Boat Race: yearly race Oxford-Cambridge. Bursary: administrative offices of the College. Buttery: night bar in Saint Antony´s. Composition fee: tuition fees charged by the University. Coming up: arriving to Oxford. Council tax: local tax. Domestic Bursary: the office for matters of accomodation. Eights: boat of eight rowers and a helm, or race during first weeks of spring time. Encaenia: annual university honorary degree ceremony. Fellow: senior member of the university who has been elected to a College Fellowship. Fresher: first year student or new student at the University. Full term: eight weeks as advertised by the university. Gaudy: celebratory reunion of old members of a College. Going down: leaving. Governing Body: the Fellowship of the College. Grace: prayer said at High Table, both before and after the meal, and for which all guests should stand. High Table: formal dinner for Senior Members. In Saint Antony´s, Tuesdays and Fridays in "full term". Hilary term: eight weeks from January to March. Horti praefectus: "garden monitor" in the Botanic Garden. In absentia: in the absence of the person concerned. In residence: on a course and in Oxford. Isis: Thames river in Oxford. Junior Member: graduate student of Saint Antony´s. Leave to supplicate: formal permission to take degree. Michaelmas term: eight weeks from October to December. Noughth week: week 0; the week before full term begins. Ninth week: week 9; the week after full term finishes. Novice boat: boat with eight freshers. OxBridge: Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Oriel College: “The Provost and Scholars of the Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford, of the Foundation of Edward the Second of Blessed Memory, sometime King of England”. Pigeonshole: mailbox in the porter´s lodge. Proctors: Senior members of the university responsible for discipline, control of examinations etc, within the university. Public Orator: official spokesman of the university during academic events. Quadrangle, quad: the set of buildings sorrounding the square of grass in main Oxford Colleges. Rustication: expulsion. Sub-fusc: formal academic dress. Torpids: rowing race of two chasing and escaping boats. Boarding or escape means victory. Trinity term: eight weeks from April to June. Viva voce: oral examination. Hilary term, week 17

In the heart of the passage called North Parade Avenue there is a tiny house, very similar to Devon cottages whose little door is the entrance of the well known tavern, "The rose & crown". This place has very low ceilings, the floor made of sailboat woods and the very samall and confitable bars full of fellows wearing ties preferently in front of their beer pints or the huge daily Times. In this place some of the debates going on in Saint Antony´s College continue for hours in the most pure parliamentary style. Aerial view St. Antonys. Hilary term, week 18 Cambridge wins looking like "Korta´s" boat

The 150 edition of the Oxford-Cambridge "Boat race" has recovered this year the well known rowing style of the mighty Basque cox, Korta. There is still who remember his arrival through San Sebastian sound, nearly surfing over Orio´s boat to win finally against his old mates. This year at the Thames, Oxford boat began rowing strongly leaving Cambridge one boat away during the first minutes. But the reaction of the "Cam" river rowers was about to come cutting the difference and approaching its bow to Oxford´s stern in minutes. Moreover, even twice Cambridge´s oars bumped not only into Oxford´s hull but even into some of Oxford´s crew members in a very remarkable boarding. Finally, Oxford was literally stucked in the first mile while Cambridge was flying towards the line at London West End. That race that was born from a few letters between a couple of students from both universities during 1829 did have, like ours, its very own controversy. Magdalen old library. Hilary term, week 19 Echoes of a Welsh lawyer...

Lately I have several meetings with a Welsh lawyer from Penarth, namely the harbour cape to Cardiff. He is an undergraduate at Jesus College who remembers along half an afternoon about different curious affairs and situations among Welsh and English men. To quote one of those, he talked to me about an old dispute that happened in Wales which is many times recalled at the London Welsh Society. It talks about a lawyer called Sir James Dale Cassels and his peculiar relations with English judges while having their terms in Wales. Once, the English judge allowed the lawyer of the defendant to speak to the jury a few words in Welsh; and so he did only during 30 seconds to thank them and sit down immediately. At the end of the audience, the English judge who did not understood a single word and was sure about the wrong behaviour of the defendant, sent an official to request to clarify the words of the lawyer; finally he explained it very clearly, speaking this time in English:

"The prosecutor is English, the prosecution counsel is English, the judge is English. But the prisoner is Welsh, I´m Welsh, and you are all Welsh. Do your duty". In fact, that jury was fully composed of Welsh people, and therefore the defendant was declared not guilty, against any evidences even though there were many of them in the mind of the English judge. Wales rugby player. Hilary term, week 20 Oxford never sleeps..., nor will let you Either in St. Antony´s or in the Law Faculty you will never know exactly what is going to happen in certain academic activity or within an ordinary lecture. The most appropriate is to be prepared for any eventual circumstance, because even before realising it, it is very likely to see yourself talking directly to the audience standing in front of 10 or 200 people. Oxford is umpredictable; wherever you may go, you will be under risk of being directly questioned by anybody from the audience or from the speakers. Actually, the more you stay in the town, the possibilities are higher; this is anyway a tiny place and in weeks nearly everybody knows who you are and which is your business. Related articles MenuaGAIAK Inicio > EM 257 > Gaiak -->