September 2005

To my mild astonishment, I learned last night that the quad that contains the JCR bar is called the ‘Ho Chi Minh’ Quad. While I was aware that Wadham is an almost notoriously progressive college, I retain an ability to be surprised by such things. Perhaps luckily, the place now seems to be filled with […]


Hollis, Martin and Steve Smith. Explaining and Understanding International Relations. Chapter 4: Understanding: “When it rains, those who predicted otherwise are proved wrong and those who refuse to believe it is raining get as wet as anyone else.”  We had university orientations today, which ranged from useful to quite pointless. The best part about them […]


This afternoon, I spent a good stretch of time with Bilyana: the Bulgarian mathematics student who showed us around Jericho earlier. She showed me her master’s thesis, on an esoteric kind of planar graph theory. Apparently, only ten people in the world are doing work in the area. Suffice it to say, I understood not […]


This morning, as on previous mornings, I’ve been reminded how the panopticon is more of a panaudiocon. Despite my total lack of an alarm clock, I’ve been awake before 9:30am each day. This is something I would have been hard pressed to do in Vancouver, under such circumstances and when going to bed around 2:00am, […]


As soon as I saw the Library Court – two levels of rooms clustered around a central courtyard, with only thin curtains blocking a direct view into one another’s rooms – I was reminded of Bentham’s panopticon model prison. Thus, ‘The Panopticon’ has become the nickname of our shared space. Two more Canadian law students […]


Today was mostly very social, though I did make some progress in the Menand book. Ben and Andy – the two Canadian graduate law students living in Library Court – joined Nora, Kelly, and I for a walk around Oxford in the late morning. We visited a number of the colleges, saw some gardens, walked […]


When I arrived in Oxford, it was raining. I made my way from the train station, with bags in hand and strapped to my body, guided by the map I bought with Sarah, until I reached Wadham College. With little difficulty, I found the Porter, who gave me the keys to my room in Library […]




in Daily updates, Oxford



Sitting on the train to Oxford, from London, I am thinking back on the exceptionally extended day that was yesterday. Sleepless on Tuesday night, I spent much of the flight to London in a kind of uneasy resting trance: punctuated by turbulence and the screaming of infants. As it worked out, I had one such […]


Some sort of melancholic poem might be appropriate here, but I’ve been too busy to prepare one. Tomorrow morning, I am to wake at 4:30am in order to cross town to the airport, get through whatever kind of security screening they feel inclined to subject me to, and board my 8:30am flight. Stopping in Edmonton […]