My program here at Oxford, unlike at most American universities, doesn't have classes with graded homework, quizzes, or exams. I do have classes, but they run in a participation-based pass/fail format, where it's expected that you'll come to every class prepared to discuss or even give a presentation on the (very hefty) weekly readings, but none of the week-to-week work you do actually counts towards your degree unless you don't do it and put yourself in danger of failing.
Then, at the end of each term, my program requires an extended essay based in some way on the material covered over the course of the term. For the first term they went easy on us and actually set the deadline for the first day of winter term, but from now on they'll be due by the end of the quarter. Quite intimidatingly, the essays aren't read by the professors from your course (who know you and, presumably, know where you're coming from), but rather are looked at by an anonymous board of examiners--thus the fancy submission process. It all feels a little cloak and dagger compared to the Stanford way of submitting exams, which was... email.
Some degrees do have exams, for which you're required to dress up in your full subfusc/Harry Potter gown. Part of me is pretty sad that I'm missing out on that Oxford experience... But just part, haha.
Of course the due date for this essay, which from a grade perspective will encapsulate my entire first term at Oxford, had to link up with me being heavily medicated and out of it. I had been pretty happy with the first draft I'd written but knew it needed some work, and have now been in a semi-panic since I turned it in that the 'edits' I did the night before it was due under the influence of large doses of Nyquil might not have been the most helpful changes I could have made. Oh well.... What's done is done. If I get my essay back with an abysmal mark and big 'what were you thinking??!!' question marks all over the front, I'll know where I went wrong...
In better news I'm starting to feel better again, after a pretty horrid day yesterday. I'm currently aiming for a Thursday return to society at large; fingers crossed!