¡El Cerro de San Vicente, una charla y la jinrana!

Hoy por la mañana varias clases visitaron el Cerro de San Vicente, el sitio de los habitantes originales de Salamanca quienes colonizaron este sitio hace 2800 años. Les dieron una visita guiada por los restos del asentamiento. Los alumnos exploraron las cabañas de adobe conservadas hasta el día de hoy de estos antecesores y aprendieron como usaban la tierra para conseguir comida y para protegerse. Los alumnos se quedaron impresionados por aprender de esta historia pre-romana. También aprendieron que durante los siglos posteriores se construyeron más edificios sobre estos restos, incluyendo el famoso Monasterio de San Vicente donde pudieron ver los hermosos mosaicos de huesos de vaca en el suelo.

Por la tarde muchos de los alumnos asistieron a una charla de la Universidad de Salamanca (USAL) y aprendieron sobre la estructura del gobierno español. Los temas incluyeron la monarquía, la bandera de España y el parlamento. Los alumnos eran muy participativos y preguntaron mucho sobre la política y la opinión del pueblo español con respeto a los reyes.

Por la noche los alumnos participaron en una jinrana por las calles de Salamanca en la cual tuvieron que resolver jeroglíficos, hablar con gente de la calle para pedir direcciones y aprender un poquito sobre los sitios más famosos de la ciudad. ¡Todos la disfrutaron y a los ganadores tendrán una sorpresa la semana que viene!


This morning several classes visited el Cerro de San Vicente, the site of the original inhabitants of Salamanca who settled there 2800 years ago. They were given a guided tour of the remains of this settlement. The students explored the perserved adobe huts of these ancient peoples and learned how these peoples used the land for food and protection. The students were awed to learn of this pre-Roman history. They also learned that over the subsequent centuries more buildings were built over these remains, including the famous Monastery of San Vincente where one can see the beautiful mosaics of stone and cow bones on the floor.

In the afternoon, many of the students attended a lecture from the University of Salamanca and learned about the structure of the Spanish government. The subjects covered included the monarchy, the Spanish flag, and the parliament, among others. The students were very participative and asked many questions about politics and the opinion of the Spanish people with respect to the monarchy.

In the evening everyone participated in a scavenger hunt through the streets of Salamanca in which they had to solve puzzles, speak with people in the streets of Salamanca to ask for directions, and learn a little more about the most famous sites of the city. A good time was had by all and the winners will have a surprise next week!

The Oxford Tradition 2017 Awards Ceremony

After enjoying a formal at Corpus Christi and Pembroke Colleges, our students headed over to the Sheldonian Theatre for the Closing Ceremony. After being reminded by the theatre’s staff that the building is *very* old and to *please try not to break anything*, they settled down to hear speeches from Professor Jim Basker, Director Michael McKinley, and faculty.

Each teacher gave a short speech before awarding their class Book Prize. You could tell that The Oxford Tradition had been a success, as every teacher enthused about the intelligence, development, and all round enthusiasm of their students. There were even threats of violence between Christina Floe and Caroline Batten, of Neuropsychology and Literature and the Fantastic, over whose class was the best.

To round off the evening, Mia Huber serenaded us with an original song about the friendship she has found at The Oxford Tradition. She was received so well that she couldn’t have escaped from giving an encore without widespread restlessness. After a sing-a-long, Mia gave a bow, and the students started to head over to Pembroke College for the mysterious final event.

Congratulations to our Prize winners!

  • Program Directors, Michael McKinley and Larry Klein, awarded the Directors’ Prize to Selise Bourla.
  • The Deans of Corpus Christi College awarded their Deans Prize to Natalia Shirley.
  • The Deans of Pembroke College awarded their Deans Prize to Andrew Pierce.
  • Ethan Clock and Paisley McKenzie won the Activities Prize.
  • Luca Wyatt for Archaeology (major)
  • Anastasia Kallionati and Ian Leff for Archaeology (minor).
  • Victoria Klein for Art History.
  • Jonah Tauber for British History.
  • Michael Gharib for Business Management.
  • Colette Macarios and Sebastian Munoz-Walmsley for CSI.
  • Paisley McKenzie for Classical Civilisation.
  • Mikhaila Archer for Creative Writing.
  • Kate Margiotta for Critical Thinking.
  • Kai Millar and Nicholas Hamilton for Development Economics.
  • Maya Dahlbacka for Drama.
  • Veronica Copello for English Literature.
  • Christina Chan for Entrepreneurship.
  • Faith Bolden for Filmmaking.
  • Elena Christenfeld for Human Rights.
  • Samantha Andritsch for Immunology.
  • Alexandra Bjornstad for International Business.
  • Naomi Davy for International Law.
  • Hannah Bowden for International Relations.
  • Vivek Parthasarathy for Journalism.
  • Priscilla Ehrgood for Latin.
  • Jackson Weihe for Law and Society.
  • Paisley McKenzie for Literature and the Fantastic.
  • Alan Cooper for Engineering.
  • Natalie Kalitsi for Markets.
  • Brynlee Turner and Jacqueline Niles for Medical Science.
  • Isaiah Kazunga for Molecular Medicine.
  • Kirsten Mettler for Neuropsychology.
  • William Bigio for Philosophy.
  • Bailey Wu for Photography.
  • Hugh Notman for Politics and Economics.
  • Charlie Ciporin for Pop Culture as Knowledge.
  • Diya Mehta for Psychology and Literature.
  • John Eggemeyer for Robotics.
  • Luca Wyatt for Screenwriting.
  • Valentina Obes for Skills for Success.
  • Jacob Kaufman-Shalett for Social Psychology.
  • Ananya Joshi for Speech and Debate.
  • Anita Shanker and Georgia Ivy for Studio Art.
  • Jack Bound for War in World History.

Saying Goodbye – Ay, There’s the Rub

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!”

So said Claudius. And so said the cast of Hamlet, in the midst of their post-show pizza. The show was a great success, and our Drama students weren’t afraid to show their love. Giving toasts to each other, their director, and Shakespeare himself, it was the sappy bonding moment that everyone needed.


Highlights of The Oxford Tradition!

Click on the blue, underlined text to read the relevant blog posts.

With the Oxford Tradition 2017 Closing Ceremony only nine hours away, it is hard not to get lost in nostalgia. It seems like only yesterday that the Admin team was preparing the colleges for the students’ arrival. The Program Assistants, Activities Directors, and the rest of the team couldn’t wait to meet this year’s cohort.

At the Opening Ceremony, our jetlagged students heard from Professor James Basker and celebrated the diversity of nations present in the program. It wasn’t long until the Americans had another chance to demonstrate their national pride, with the OxTrad Independence Day party.

July 4th also saw Suzanne Lynch, White House correspondent for the Irish Times, give a talk on the state of journalism today. On the topic of which, our Journalism students have just published their Special Edition of The OxTrad Weekly on the contentious issue of homelessness in Oxford.

The other classes have been busy as well! Molecular Medicine has found very inventive ways to teach genetic concepts, not least a game of hide and seek. Medical Sciences found time between fields trips and presentations to dissect animal hearts, and Entrepreneurship students had a planning session while punting.

We all had a taste of Oxford college life with the two OxTrad bops, held in the Catholic Chaplaincy. The first bop had the theme of London, making sure that students got a taste of the UK capital even if they went on the Warwick Castle field trip, and the second had the theme of Spring Break, just in case someone went to bed early on 4th July.

Much entertainment could be found elsewhere. Romeo and Juliet in Oxford Castle was a hit, and Bill Spectre’s Ghost Trail had students sleeping with the lights on. The OxTrad fête will forever be remembered for its free ice cream, and the following Colour Festival generated an infinite number of arty Instagram posts.

After all this activity, we were all very thankful to Julie Bolitho for leading regular yoga sessions with her expertise and joy. Other abilities came to the fore at the Oxford Tradition Talent Show and Arts Exhibition! We also saw a lot of creativity in the collaboration between the Photography and Creative Writing classes, in their Humans of Oxford assignment.

Indeed, the Photography class frequented our blog more than any other, and for good reason! See just a small sample of their work with their study of Bourdin, groundbreaking 20th century fashion photographer.

To give a heartwarming conclusion, Gavin Rodriquez had the rare honour to meet Sir Roger Bannister – the first man to break the four minute mile, distinguished neurologist, and prior Master of the college.

We are all very proud of how the students have conducted themselves, and we can only hope that when they leave us, they leave with new knowledge and personal growth. All of us on the staff certainly will!


OxTrad Photography Competition Entries

They’ve had a month to marinate in the beauty and culture of Oxford, absorb the mix of historic and modern aesthetics… and these influences and contrasts show in the diversity of entries to the OxTrad Photography Competition.

They’ve submitted flora, fauna, and a mysterious gentleman in stockings. You can see skylines, horizons, and sunsets – and proof of our students having a lot of fun!

Categories were Best Portrait, Oxford Scene, and Activities. The winners of the OxTrad Photography Competition will be announced this evening at the Closing Ceremony. Good luck to all involved!