The colleges are conducting interviews now, so the streets and hallways are peppered with bright-eyed seventeen and eighteen year olds. I like them. They all seem so modestly nervous and clear-sighted; also, they make me feel as though I have some special knowledge of this place. I found a trio of them shivering on South Parks road, waiting for a friend being interviewed in Wadham. Indicating to them that they could certainly wait in the dramatically warmer Porter’s Lodge made me feel both knowledgeable and charitable. I wish them all luck with admissions and scholarships.
Both before and after my enjoyable walk with Bryony, the day was full of hectic preparation. Waltz and Mearshiemer have been proving hard fellows to track down. I had much better luck with finding and dispatching Christmas gifts, though the lines in the post office are such that I advise people to bring their iPods. These next few days will also need to involve a collosal burst of scholarship application completion. I don’t want to need to worry about that while I am in Finland and Estonia.
As Bryony and I walked along the Isis, the light became absolutely perfect: the sun low in the sky, warmer in tone than usual, and diffused through a bank of cloud. Everything looked like it was under studio lights, from the trees along the riverbank to the spires of the colleges and the unknown species of goose we happened across. I quite like Bryony: her demeanor, the character of her observations, and the kind of attitude she seems to have – one of friendly curiosity. I am glad that she will be in my core seminar next term, as well.
Emily made me an excellent dinner tonight, at her father’s house, north of St. Antony’s. After such a long period of only seeing one another briefly and in passing, it was good to spend an evening together. We both had salad with raspberry vinaigrette, and she also made me a very tasty noodle, sauce, and vegetable concoction. Later, we met with Roham and two of their St. Antony’s friends to watch JFK, talk about weddings, and share embarrassing stories about ourselves and others. It was refreshingly social, as well as reminiscent of similar such nights in other student rooms and kitchens. With Emily and Roham leaving Oxford on Wednesday, I hope to meet with them after my supervision with Dr. Hurrell tomorrow. As for their friends, I hope our paths will cross again.
- Four days to Tallinn. I need to figure out how to get to Radlett. Also, how to get from the ferry terminal in Helsinki to Gabe’s apartment.
- The excellent photography website Photo.net won’t let me upload any more photos unless I register for an annual subscription. Irksome. Maybe I could somehow donate some server space instead.
- Randy â€œDukeâ€ Cunningham, the man who inspired the protagonist for Top Gun has admitted to accepting two and a half million American dollars in bribes, since becoming a Congressman. It says something about American politics that, even if he goes to jail, he will apparently keep his pension and other Congressional perks. Something with a bit more bite seems appropriate.