On accommodation

A new project for the inter-term break has arisen: finding somewhere to live for next year. I was surprised to learn from Bilyana and Nora the other day that living in Merrifield actually costs more than living in college. Wadham College is right in the middle of Oxford, near shops and academic buildings. There is also food available here, though admittedly of very low quality. Merrifield, by contrast, is about a mile from central Oxford and not particularly close to any services or faculty buildings. That it should cost more boggles the mind and reinforces how normal economic incentives just don’t seem to operate within Oxford University. As an international student, living in college during breaks but taking no college meals, the cost of living in college works out to £1194.88 in battels a term, £3584.64 per academic year. That does not include college fees, which you need to pay regardless of where you live. I don’t know exactly what Merrifield costs, since it doesn’t seem to be on the website or in the Wadham Handbook, but I am assured that it is slightly more.

The ideal solution would be to rent a house somewhere with some other IR people. We could put up huge maps and leave copies of Millenium and The Journal of the American Political Science Association sitting around. We could establish a shared high-speed wireless network, complete with a VPN channel to the DPIR terminal and file servers: providing access to electronic journals for the sane and to STATA for the mad. Copies of useful tomes, a few belonging to each of us, would be available for reference. We could edit papers and agonize about theses together, in a kind of intellectual Valhalla. Also very appealing is the prospect of having kitchen facilities of the sort that would encourage me to start trying out Sarah’s recipes.

In terms of location, it would be best to be either fairly close to the Manor Road building, and therefore the Social Sciences Library and most of our lectures, or near somewhere interesting, with plenty of services. There is a colony of Wadhamites living near Cowley Road that have opted for the latter solution. I am told they are happy with it, though it would entail a good twenty minute walk to Manor Road, or the acquisition and use of a bicycle.

In any case, these questions should be contemplated and solutions fleshed out between the end of Michaelmas (3 December) and the beginning to Hilary (15 January).

2 thoughts on “On accommodation”

  1. I believe merifield “costs more” because, unlike on the main site, you have to sign up for the full year (ie not because the weekly costs are higher) but I could be wrong.

  2. Apostrophe to the Ocean:

    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is society where none intrudes
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not man the less, but nature more,
    From these our interviews, in which I steal
    From all I may be, or have been before,
    To mingle with the universe, and feel
    What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

    Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean,–roll!
    Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
    Man marks the earth with ruin,–his control
    Stops with the shore;–upon the watery plain
    The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
    A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own,
    When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
    He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
    Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

    His steps are not upon thy paths,–thy fields
    Are not a spoil for him,–thou dost arise
    And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
    For earth’s destruction thou dost all despise,
    Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
    And send’st him, shivering in thy playful spray
    And howling, to his gods, where haply lies
    His petty hope in some near port or bay,
    And dashest him again to earth:–there let him lay.

    The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
    Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake
    And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
    The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
    Their clay creator the vain title take
    Of lord of thee and arbiter of war,–
    These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
    They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
    Alike the Armada’s pride or spoils of Trafalgar.

    Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee;
    Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
    Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
    And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
    The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
    Has dried up realms to deserts: not so thou;
    Unchangeable save to thy wild waves’ play,
    Time writes no wrinkles on thine azure brow;
    Such as creation’s dawn beheld, thou rollest now.

    Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty’s form
    Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
    Calm or convulsed,–in breeze, or gale, or storm,
    Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
    Dark-heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime,
    The image of Eternity,–the throne
    Of the Invisible! even from out thy slime
    The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
    Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

    And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
    Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
    Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
    I wantoned with thy breakers,–they to me
    Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
    Made them a terror, ’twas a pleasing fear;
    For I was as it were a child of thee,
    And trusted to thy billows far and near,
    And laid my hand upon thy mane,–as I do here.

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