Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 2 December 2011

End of Term

This morning I was at the final presentation by two of my students from this term. This was an event organised by their home university, Azusa Pacific, which is based in California, and it consisted of the students each giving a summary of what they had learned. These two students had chosen the topic I had taught over the other subject they had studied. One spoke about his work on the Intellectual Background to the Reformation which he had studied with me, and the other about her course on Elizabethan England. They and all the other students I heard spoke very positively about their experience of Oxford tuition, and also of its impact on their religious faith. An impressive group.

I have had four other students from other two US universities - The Catholic University of America in Washington and George Mason - to teach this term. With them I studied Papal artistic patronage in the Renaissance, for which we covered the pontificates from Nicolas V to Urban VIII, on a comparative history of the English and French monarchies over the centuries, on British architecture in the nineteenth century and on the architectural history of Oxford.

I have taught such courses for a number of years and it is always a pleasure to share my interests with others, and to learn through teaching. The students, who do two courses of tutorials per term, are always likeable and conscientious. I admire their resolve and dedication to do a term, or possibly a year, abroad as part of their course, and their energy in getting as much out of their time in Oxford as possible. I wish them all well, and am still in contact with some I taught in past years - some even follow this blog I understand.

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