Midterm Report

Heidi Zheng
February 22, 2015

Last Wednesday was the night of Halfway Hall, where second years celebrated the milestone that is the exact midpoint of their undergraduate career – middle day of the middle week of the middle term, in their middle year – with...I don’t know, a feast? We plebs had no access to it, although for me, a full-year visiting student, it marked exactly half of my time here as well. So from yours truly, here’s a midterm report.

In certain areas I’m passing with flying colors, while others remain wanting.  By now I instinctively look to the right first before crossing the road, but will then proceed to jaywalk like the pushy East Coast go-getter that I am – don’t judge until you see Farragut North during rush hour – which is just completely unnecessary. Now five weeks in, lectures have become increasingly sparsely populated, not that the foot traffic in Oxford is much to begin with. I guess I just love the feeling of knowing, finally, where exactly I am heading and what exactly I am about to do. I feel at home. I am home.

I no longer multiply every price tag with 1.6 and leave with suppressed gasps trailing behind me, yet somehow I still can’t bring myself to dress in head-to-toe black like most girls here do – Gothic chic is something I only appreciate in churches. A tip for girls short in both stature and cash like me: if you don’t mind a boxier look, dig into boy’s clothing! Zara, Marks & Spencer, Benetton (not in town but at Oxford Circus, London) ages 11-12 constitute my entire jumper collection.

Yes, jumper. Pretentious as it might be, slang insidiously seep through my lexicon. I pre-slash before entz – short for ‘Entertainments,’ the college-wide party in JCR; stayed tuned for the black-tie one in Week 6! – after which we get skin-on chips for just three quid at Hassan’s, a legendary food truck that rivals the Ashmolean as a local institution. Make sure you wax some heavy-duty jacket on, mate! Because the queue’s bloody massive.

That being said, my Americanisms still amuse my friends to no end. Some longstanding favorites include ‘sh*tshow’, ‘bae’ and ‘for realz’. Pepper your conversation with these, and you’d have at least three second-years screaming and running over to smother you in a hug. Keep my legacy real, k?


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Heidi Zheng

<p>I am a Religious Studies major and Literary Translation Certificate candidate at University of Rochester, an aspiring academic of continental philosophy and/or intellectual history, a part-time writer and a life-long reader, a connoisseur of all things dairy, a glutton for podcasts, a procrastinator of uploading photos to Facebook, and, for this school year, a visiting student at St. Catz, Oxford.</p>

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Religious Studies
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