Day of Consolidation


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Stats lecture. Photo by Emily Paddon

Happy Birthday Sheena Chestnut

Now over the hump, I can look back on the past few days with satisfaction. I was able to complete reasonably good papers without going mad or completely neglecting all else. Over the break, I shall make a determined effort to read at least a half-dozen key books on international relations theory, in order to get a jump on the next core seminar. Hopefully, Dr. Hurrell will be so good as to point me in the direction of the right ones – during our supervision on Friday evening, perhaps.

Another nice thing about today was having the chance to see Emily again, following her jet-setting foray back to New York. Both the core seminar and the statistics lecture were enlivened by her presence. It is pleasantly surprising to think that we have only one statistics lecture left, one assignment, and two labs. Of course, there is the test in 0th week of next term to consider.

Upcoming events: 

Nick Sayeg and his significant other Ellen will be in Oxford tomorrow. An Australian lawyer, I met him through the law in economics class that we took with the unique Professor Gateman of the UBC Economics Department. He dubbed us “Mr. M” and “Mr. N,” respectively. It will be the first time I’ve seen him since he departed on the Scandinavian leg of his world voyage. He is now on his way to India and it will be good to see him before he leaves the European area. One day, I hope to visit him in Queensland. With luck, I will also have the chance to have coffee or a walk with Claire tomorrow.

Some exciting things are happening in the next few days. Emily invited me to the Canadian High Commissioner’s Annual Student Reception, which is also a recruitment drive for the Canadian foreign services. While I am not looking for a job in the moment (save for one over the summer), it is nice to know that they are in fact possible to get. It seems likely to me that Chris Yung, with whom I graduated from the IR program at UBC, will be present. He is doing an M.Sc at the LSE at the moment, supervised by Peter Wilson. The event is taking place in London and may well represent my first expedition back there since my brief stop-over en route to Oxford.

Also well worth looking forward to is the graduate student Christmas party: taking place on November 29th in the Manor Road Building. Divided, as we are, between two core seminar groups, we IR M.Phils see less of some of our colleagues than would be ideal. It will also be nice to have the chance to meet some graduate students in related disciplines and even some more of these fabled students who have actually survived the first year of the M.Phil and progressed to the second.

The slightly longer-term period will include the Estonian trip, Christmas in London with Sarah Pemberton, and much excitement besides.

  • My internet connection has been oddly sketchy in the later parts of tonight. Sorry to those with whom I’ve had interrupted conversations.
  • Bruce Schneier has an interesting entry about new policing powers and their use in domestic surveillance. This is the kind of thing discussed in the oversight section of the NASCA report. A representative quotation from Schneier’s piece:

    “This isn’t about our ability to combat terrorism; it’s about police power. Traditional law already gives police enormous power to peer into the personal lives of people, to use new crime-fighting technologies, and to correlate that information. But unfettered police power quickly resembles a police state, and checks on that power make us all safer.” 

  • If Venice is sinking, then I’m going under. (As well as a reference to a BBC article, this is a reference to a song by Spirit of the West: possibly the greatest band to ever come out of North Vancouver. For those who’ve never heard their music, I particularly recommend it.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 23, 2005 at 11:40 am

GIR: I require access to all human knowledge!!

Librarian: Hm… hmmm…

The librarian grips her head and groans.

Librarian: That would be under reference!

GIR: Not acceptable, Library-drone!

B April 11, 2006 at 11:25 pm

To The Virgins To Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he’s a-getting
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times, still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

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