October 2005

Affection for books


in Oxford

Just now, I had a quintessential graduate student moment. On Halloween night, inside the Social Sciences Library, I was practically moved to hug Frank Costigliola’s Awkward Dominion: American Political, Economic, and Cultural Relations with Europe, 1919-1933, after I found the last confined copy: just 13 hours before the seminar where it may well save me […]


I felt really strange for most of today, while sitting in the DPIR and working on one or the other paper. I felt significantly lighter than usual, as though I should sort-of bounce along like a moon astronaut. Also, I felt this impulse that seemed like a signal that should normally be attached to some […]


For the whole length of my academic life, I have been a shameless procrastinator. Every time I have some new and lengthy project to complete, I manage to forget this and feel increasingly ashamed and alarmed at my inability to make progress on it. At some level, this is probably predicated on the background knowledge […]


In short, the bloggers’ gathering was a success. It was interesting and enjoyable to meet a diverse group of engaging people, none of whom really have an appearance that screams blogger!, whatever sort of appearance that might be. The Library Court party afterwards, to which I brought two of the people from the bloggers’ gathering, […]


I read something tonight – something Astrid sent me from Ecuador – that makes me feel ashamed about how trivial all the thoughts and concerns represented on this site are. How is it that we can legitimately complain about this or that aspect of life in Oxford when the whole experience of it is incomparably […]


Today was a lovely day and a good one: bright enough to justify the use of sunglasses, with quite a good amount of work completed, to boot. Before my lecture, I finished this week’s Economist and completed a solid outline (including introduction) for the paper I am writing for Dr. Hurrell. With luck, by the […]


I am now officially booked to go to Tallinn from the 16th of December until the 22nd. It’s an area I’m excited to visit, since I’ve never been anywhere remotely like it. After my EndNote course today, I went to Blackwell’s and looked through the travel books on Estonia for a while. Some of its […]


Today was an odd day, heavily tinged with the uncertainties of yesterday. I attended many hours of class, followed by an IR social, followed by a pilgrimage to The Turf. All told, it was a much more enjoyable day than yesterday. I wasn’t called upon to present in the core seminar, though Bryony did an […]


I had written another omnibus entry for today, all arrayed in neat paragraphs, but after attending the research forum Bilyana invited me to, I think I can do better. Today, I had my first real pang of intellectual exhaustion. The whole day was like wading through mucky weed-strewn bog: unpleasant, unproductive, and liable to make […]


Today basically involved nothing but reading. I finished The Twenty Years’ Crisis and more of this week’s Economist. The end of Carr’s book is much less convincing than the beginning, particularly due to its conception of international law. It strikes me as one that, in many important respects, has been undermined and transcended in the […]