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    (Original post by tissue shoulders)
    Do Oxbridge not let students live out at all?
    They let them do what they like, although they have to live within a certain radius of Great St Mary's Church during Full Term at Cambridge. A high number of Oxford students have to live out because colleges can't accommodate everyone for the entire degree. At Cambridge they can, and most live in for the whole degree but anyone can live out if they prefer it. However living out usually means finding a house quite a way from the centre of town where your entire life is. Essentially judging by the fact that few live out, it seems few want to.
    (Original post by DoMakeSayThink)
    My previous post was a joke, though it kind of loses it's meaning when you don't have the signature of the user I quoted to hand.
    Oh, sorry.
    (Original post by Azrahelle)
    Err... hate to be the text police and I realize how difficult it is to assert yourself in this medium, but would you consider maybe losing the color? Or going for a darker shade? Sorry, it feels like my eyes are sizzling in their sockets when I try to read DeepSkyBlue on white.
    I have 26791 posts on TSR in this colour dating back to 2005. Its not exactly a small adjustment. If you select the area of text by right-clicking with your mouse it will make it all dark blue and easy to read. I'm sorry for the inconvenience
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    Greek literature (tragedy) is a significant part of the English Tripos so it's even more surprising...And even if you don't study Greek literature at A Level, you HAVE to come into contact with it for e.g. Shakespeare to e.g. explain structure, timing etc and definitely for the great poets who were fantastic classicists...
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    (Original post by Thicky)
    And even if you don't study Greek literature at A Level, you HAVE to come into contact with it for e.g. Shakespeare to e.g. explain structure, timing etc and definitely for the great poets who were fantastic classicists...
    Not if you go to a crap college you don't. Nothing classical was taught for our poetry, and it was entirely missed out for Shakespeare, as was timing and structure.
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    OK so maybe she went to a crap school and did a crap course with a crap teacher That she didn't bother to research her chosen degree course is her own fault; that she had almost zero general curiosity about wider literature (It starts with the Greeks, damnit!) is disheartening. I am also surprised that she didn't encounter Greek as early as primary school - it's certainly very common in schools these days even if it's just a vacuous look at pottery...
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    (Original post by Azzrahelle)
    I was asking whether or not he's a *******. If it's just his sense of humor, I'm sure I'd survive. How bad can it be? She's probably just ..fragile. In fact, I'd love to hear what he could come up with about my origins... I'm from Transylvania
    Frankly, even if I thought he were a *******, I wouldn't be so stupid as to post that opinion on a public forum. :rolleyes: But he is known for being difficult deal with sometimes, and I don't see how - or any one else on this forum who hasn't been taught by him - can claim that the girl's experience was completely her own fault. It's all getting a little petty.

    As for not researching her course properly = not recognising Greek letters, I would say most English undergrads here aren't even aware of what Papers they can take in their first year, let alone their third (not saying that that's a good thing, just that it's a fact). Is it really so hard to believe that someone wouldn't recognise Greek letters?
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    Yes, on the grounds that you use them for GCSE Maths and Science. Presumably you should recognise the same symbols you have used before - we already know she took GCSE's because she was patted on the back for them at Warwick.
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    (Original post by Lidka)
    Is it really so hard to believe that someone wouldn't recognise Greek letters?
    This is a supposedly elite applicant for one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Not being able to recognise one of the most famous and important alphabets in history (after which the word "alphabet" is derived) when you are applying for any subject in these circumstances, never mind English, is frankly amazing. It is very hard to believe.
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    (Original post by Lidka)
    Frankly, even if I thought he were a *******, I wouldn't be so stupid as to post that opinion on a public forum. :rolleyes: But he is known for being difficult deal with sometimes, and I don't see how - or any one else on this forum who hasn't been taught by him - can claim that the girl's experience was completely her own fault. It's all getting a little petty.
    I don't think people are really trying to argue she was the only one to blame for her negative experience, but that her own perception probably played a major part in it. On the basis of what the article reveals about what her interviewer actually said it seems quite likely that at least at some points of the interview she simply misunderstood his intentions and took offence at things which weren't meant to offend. The "funny squiggles" comment and the question about Hitler, for example, needn't have been meant to sound as condescending and patronising as she took them to be - I can think of plenty of situations in which questions like "but you have heard of someone called Hitler, haven't you?" or "so what do make of those funny squiggles in line 8?" would be nothing but jokey remarks with the aim of lightening up the mood and/or bringing you back on track after you had veered off into the wrong direction. And I reckon the same could probably be said about the "gibberish" comment.:dontknow:
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    :ditto:
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    This is a supposedly elite applicant for one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Not being able to recognise one of the most famous and important alphabets in history (after which the word "alphabet" is derived) when you are applying for any subject in these circumstances, never mind English, is frankly amazing. It is very hard to believe.
    Well, if you say so.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    This is a supposedly elite applicant for one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Not being able to recognise one of the most famous and important alphabets in history (after which the word "alphabet" is derived) when you are applying for any subject in these circumstances, never mind English, is frankly amazing. It is very hard to believe.
    Well, the only greek letters you have any real cause to come across in compulsory secondary education are lambda, alpha, beta, gamma and pi. It's definitely possible not to come across greek (especially typed greek) letters at all in school. Anyway, this girl recognised greek, she felt patronised by being asked if she recognised it.

    Perhaps, all those years ago, when you applied to Oxford/Cambridge, places were awarded on the basis of receiving a good classical education. Nowadays, we live in more enlightened times when you are judged on your potential rather than your knowledge.
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    From "I still can't read Greek but how many intelligent people can? I'll leave the Greek alphabet to the mathematicians, thank you very much", I inferred that she couldn't identify the Greek. Perhaps I'm wrong.

    Mathematicians and physicists would come across a few more letters than that (delta, theta, sigma, and epsilon spring immediately to mind).

    As I said, we are talking about elite candidates, who I would certainly expect to have read more widely than what is presented to them in compulsory education. At that age, and as a state grammar school pupil, I certainly knew the Greek alphabet, without having studied the language at all, and so did my friends. As for my classical education (which wasn't relevant for entry to Oxbridge as I recall), I don't even have O level Latin, but that doesn't mean I can't read it to some degree. What makes you think I applied to Oxbridge?
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    I know maybe 30% of the Greek letters. We were never taught it at school, other than in maths and science. If I hadn't done those two I would be surprised if I knew more than 4 letters.
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    (Original post by Arrogant Git)
    Well, the only greek letters you have any real cause to come across in compulsory secondary education are lambda, alpha, beta, gamma and pi. It's definitely possible not to come across greek (especially typed greek) letters at all in school. Anyway, this girl recognised greek, she felt patronised by being asked if she recognised it.

    Perhaps, all those years ago, when you applied to Oxford/Cambridge, places were awarded on the basis of receiving a good classical education. Nowadays, we live in more enlightened times when you are judged on your potential rather than your knowledge.
    Yes, sure. But you cannot assess potential if someone is lacking a certain level of knowledge. Whether recognising Greek is part of that is subject to debate, of course, but I would say that anyone thinking of studying Literature should know about Greek history and myths and would therefore most likely have come across Greek letters as well.
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    Are we still talking about this? Gosh, I bet the Greeks would have stuck to writing in Linear B if they'd have known that their improved alphabet would cause this much consternation.
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    (Original post by Y__)
    Yes, sure. But you cannot assess potential if someone is lacking a certain level of knowledge. Whether recognising Greek is part of that is subject to debate, of course, but I would say that anyone thinking of studying Literature should know about Greek history and myths and would therefore most likely have come across Greek letters as well.
    Clearly up for debate...
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    Craghyrax> fair enough

    Lidka> Yes, I'm beginning to see your point. I could say I disagree with her bitterness and/or her generalizing the personal experience, but I can see myself feeling the same way or reacting in a somewhat similar manner. I've had some really condescending and slightly rude auditioners for Drama School auditions, and I've had friends who have encountered even worse ones, so I can say from experience that it does suck and that it's very very hard to turn that around and work it to your advantage.
    I understand hobnob's point as well, because she can easily give the impression that she just got offended very quickly and stopped trying, but I do feel that the interviewer's attitude is after all a key factor, and none of us were there or ever had an interview with the person in question.
    Yes, an interviewer is not supposed to be your friend, and I expect a good number of them achieve telling results by pushing the applicant and playing the bad cop. But if they really mean it and happen to have a bad day when they're prepared to assume the worse as soon as you make your first blunder... well, I hope that won't be me in a month's time.

    Good Bloke> I was about to make a silly girl 'who cares?' comment regarding the long off-topic Greek Alphabet debate just before. I didn't. And won't. But if you'd really fail me for not recognizing it, I must accept my ignorance and tell you I'm hurt and disappointed with myself. I also couldn't tell chinese letters from japanese ones to save my life, and I suppose I'd recognize arabic, but since I can't remember the last time I've seen hebrew, I might just mistake one for the other. Do I need to apply to an ex-poly in Doncaster instead? :p:
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    Frankly, as a writing system geek I'm not really sure how many scripts the average person can distinguish, but I'm pretty sure that most Cambridge applicants can recognise Greek. That said, I don't think it's a terribly relevant skill - a knowledge of the historical influence of Ancient Greek is surely far more important for a subject like English.

    Anyhoo, I have to say I agree with other people about the comments sounding like they could have been misinterpreted jokes.
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    (Original post by Good Bloke)
    As I said, we are talking about elite candidates, who I would certainly expect to have read more widely than what is presented to them in compulsory education.
    Good Bloke I'm firmly on the side of those who have stated that one's pre-existing knowledge of Greek is not an indicator of a person's capacity to excel in English at Cambridge. Having this background knowledge could be considered as a sign that the individual is dedicated and was proactive in exploring their area of interest beyond the level provided at school, however there are innumerable other ways in which a candidate may have expanded their level of knowledge beyond the normal level and there's no reason why Greek should be a dealbreaker if there is sufficient evidence of strong interest and adequacy in several other areas.
    To use a different analogy. I applied for Social and Political Sciences here, now renamed Politics, Sociology and Psychology. The course has a foundational first year in which you study all three subjects plus one of six choices (in my first year we only had one option - Social Anthropology) My personal interest is in the areas covered by Sociology and Politics. My written work and performance at interview may have suggested to the interviewers that I had an extraordinary level of interest and knowledge in matters relating to those areas. However what if one of my interviewers was a Social Psychology Fellow? What if it became clear in the interview that I had never heard of Milgram's controversial experiments testing obediance to authority, or Zimbardo's infamous Stanford prison experiment? These are two examples that are quite well known outside of Psychology, as well as receiving alot of attention in our first year Psychology teaching. If your opinion is true, then this interviewer would be justified in rejecting me on the grounds of not having demonstrated my extraordinary commitment and interest through having acquired knowledge in an area he or she felt was significant.
    (In fact something very similar did happen in my interview where I wasn't sufficiently familiar with the details of NATO's intervention in Kosovo to answer a hypothetical question posed to me. This was an area which could conceivably have suggested that my broader background knowledge was not particularly good. However I confessed to not knowing, and the interviewers filled me in with the history so that I could form an opinion in response to their original question.)
    The point is that no matter how justified Cambridge's elitism is, it cannot attatch importance to specific types or areas of knowledge arbitrarily as necessary signposts to a candidate's commitment and proactive interest, unless it points prospective applicants to this body of knowledge in the prospectus. If their desire for 'broader interest' is not expressed specifically, then they can't discriminate against different modes of demonstrating this engagement. And, as said before, there is no link between the particular area of knowledge and the candidates potential, which is the basis for their selection.

    (Original post by Good Bloke)
    At that age, and as a state grammar school pupil, I certainly knew the Greek alphabet, without having studied the language at all, and so did my friends.
    That's very fortunate for you, but it certainly isn't provided by regular state education any longer (to the standard you suggest), or flagged up within the cultural sphere inhabited by a significant number of candidates. Oxford and Cambridge are aware of this, and they do take it into account. They are flexible in their admissions strategies in order to succeed in selecting those with the greatest potential even as education and general standards fluctuate.
    (Original post by Azzrahelle)
    But if they really mean it and happen to have a bad day when they're prepared to assume the worse as soon as you make your first blunder... well, I hope that won't be me in a month's time.
    You needn't worry about this. This is another factor that the girl blew entirely out of proportion. At Cambridge you will be interviewed by at least two individuals, and probably more. At Oxford its likely you will be interviewed by even more as a trend. This ensures that you are not vulnerable to the whim and impressions of one person. More than one opinion will be compared and discussed after the interviews are over. When interviewed for NatSci I had 20mins with two interviewers and another 20mins with one interviewer. For SPS I had one forty minute interview with two interviewers. They each engaged me in discussion for 20mins so that I was not confused or intimidated by having to interact with both at the same time. If one of them had been rude and insulting to me, the other would have seen this and been able to take this into account when considering my behaviour. And in fact, in the case of SPS, one of the men who interviewed me has a reputation for making people cry in the middle of interviews because he is that aggressive (he made me get quite cross and have a massive argument, which I think was his plan)
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    "I'll leave the Greek alphabet to the mathematicians, thank you very much."

    what about the classicists?
 
 
 
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