Category Archives: University

Review: “The Tempest” by The Blueprint Masquerades

By Raph al Guul

Despite my own departure from the group last summer, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for The Blueprint Masquerades; this is why this review, even more so than any other, could never be at all above suspicion of personal bias. But in the past years, no one has taken the time to review the premiere of The Blueprint Masquerades’ productions and so I will take this heavy duty upon myself as I finally have some distance from the very heart of their production cycles.

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Here’s to the First 125 Years!

Mike 1

In 2016, the English Seminar of the University of Zurich turns a stunning 125!

And that’s a reason to party! Click here to check out the main events the ES has line up for the coming year. SPOILER ALERT: They include a Midsummer Night’s Ball!

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The Song of Jimmy Doyle

By Raph al Guul

Prologue
I Blue Cars
II High Spirits
III Jimmy
IV Investment Plans
V Dinner
VI Afterparty
VII The Game
Epilogue

I wonder if yet to you it occurred:
A term like ‘winner’ is a funny word
For not all winners ever win the same:
Fortune, happiness, a medal, or fame;
Some may be winners even when they lose
For their loss is the victory they choose;
Lend me your ears so that I may express
A loser’s win with a tale of success;
And the outcome any way you could spin:
Tell me, did Jimmy lose or did he win?

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Locations: English Seminar, Zentralbibliothek

By Raph al Guul

Preliminaries

I happened to attend the Erstsemestrigentag event recently (five years after I immatriculated myself) and I remembered how little I knew about how to get around Zurich back when I started. Admittedly, it would have been easier if I had been from Zurich or at least the general area, and if I wasn’t notoriously bad at orientation. You could give me a map and written instructions and I’d still not find my way out of an empty supermarket in under an hour. Luckily the FAVA always organizes guides for the new students. However, if you missed the opportunity or you are like me and require colored arrows before you find your way through unfamiliar places, the following should help you find two locations that I consider particularly important for the English student in Zurich. Although I wonder if you’d want to trust my directions after I just explained to you how easily I myself get lost.

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A Look Back at the 2014 Spring Semester

Mike 1

By Michael Simpson

The Spring Semester 2014 began with the nervus facialis, the cental nerve on the right side of my face, giving up the ghost. On one Tuesday night in February, I had a sharp earache. The next morning, I couldn’t close my mouth or right eye. It was crazy, and very frustrating for a chatterbox like me to be suddenly deprived of half my lips and jaw. I normally love talking to people at the English Seminar, and hearing what’s going on in peoples’ heads as they wander from library to class to coffee machine to laptop binge.

Fortunately, the Bell’s Palsy which had frozen up my facial muscles thawed out after a month or so. And the social side of Uni was more than compensated for 14 weeks later, at the legendary vodka-saturated Grill ‘n’ Chill. I don’t remember much about that party, apart from a chorus of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” drifting in and out of Balkan beats and the the occasional “za zdorovje”…

It’s been a curious semester for the whole Englisches Seminar. Continue reading

Raph Recommends: The Importance of Being Earnest

Raph al Guul

The Blueprint Masquerades have been around for three years now, born out of what seemed to be the end of the long-lived English drama group altogether. Noone really remembers the rocky start of the bpm, in part because the first year did not see the performance that had been planned and worked toward, as it faltered due to copyright issues. So it happened that the newly rebranded drama group only kicked into gear with its debut on the big stage in 2013, performing (F)Ailing (T)Errors, a play written by fellow student Lisann Anders, to such success that the only seriously critical opinions I have heard to this day were those of the actors themselves. To follow up on such a well-received first effort is obviously a tremendously difficult task; as someone who was and is involved in both productions (in fact, I have even been on retainer for that first, uneventful year – but noone remembers that, of course), let me explain to you why I recommend The Importance of Being Earnest, the upcoming play staged by the Blueprint Masquerades.

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My Story

Raph al Guul

In the spirit of the no-longer-so-recent Tag der Lehre, let us think about the experience of being a student at the English Seminar. I can obviously just speak for myself, hence the title, but feel free to give us your own take in the comment section below.

Every now and then I happen to meet relatively new students who tell me about how they experienced the beginning of their studies. Too often these tales are marked by a stinging sense of disillusionment. One student told me that the introduction to textual analysis had single-handedly ruined her enthusiasm for studying English literature. Another student is interested in something very specific in the broad field of English studies and can’t help but ask why the Bachelor curriculum forces him to take on all the things he actually isn’t interested in exploring. Apparently, some don’t even feel like students at all during their first years at university. All these stories are a bit painful to hear because I personally feel rather enthusiastic about what I do on a daily basis and would like for my fellow students to feel the same. Yet, I remember how it felt to start my BA in English and film studies; like everybody else I found out that what I had imagined wasn’t necessarily what I got and like everybody else I questioned my choices early on. And I had every reason to do so, considering how unlikely it had been that I would ever find myself studying English in the first place. To show you what I mean, here is my story:

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