Stats update and adventures in New College


in Daily updates, Oxford, Rants

Formal Hall, New College

Today’s statistics lab was a big improvement over the previous ones. Mark Pickup was absent, due to illness, but Robert Trager began the class by responding directly to our letter. He was understanding and sympathetic and both this week’s lab and this week’s assignment reflect a welcome change in methods and focus. We spent only half the lab working on STATA, with the rest devoted to discussing the statistical methodology behind an actual paper published in a major political science journal. For next week, we have been given another, as well as some responses to it, to look over and analyze. This feels far more relevant, and it is also an affirmation of the willingness of those running the program to change tack in response to our concerns. Professor Sir Adam Roberts, Director of Graduate Studies in International Relations , also issued an official statement today. Aside from all else, it is nice to be listened to.

After the lab, I went to G and D’s with Claire Leigh. She is taking a photography course, so we talked shop for a while before walking through the Christ Church meadows and then back up into Oxford. Like Roham and Emily, Claire formerly worked in banking. To be honest, words like ‘banking’ and ‘consulting’ have almost no substantive content for me. I understand what it means to clean an apartment building, or feed sloughs, or sell computers, but I don’t really understand what these positions involve, or if I could ever do them. That said, a few more pounds in the new NatWest account would do much to reduce my anxiety about paying for next year.

The dinner at New College tonight was very nice. I sat with Madjdy, Roham, and two more of Madjdy’s friends. The conversation, at times, was quite impassioned, but it was wonderful to pass a few hours of the evening engaged in heated debate with interesting people. After dinner, I had a bit of a wander around the New College cloisters with an employee of the Oxford career services, who also claims that she can get me a good summer job. Happily, she provided the two pounds by which unlimited drinks would be furnished to me in the New College MCR. I haven’t really the energy to get into details of tonight here and now. Indeed, there is a lot of night remaining.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben November 12, 2005 at 6:51 pm

Good to see some response from the department (re: stats). And told you there were summer jobs around Oxford…

B November 12, 2005 at 9:52 pm

£2 for unlimited drinks? So much for rational actor economics.

Sounds like fun, though.

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