Last supervision, departure preparations


in Daily updates, Oxford

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My final supervision this year with Dr. Hurell went as well as all the rest: consisting of a good discussion of my paper, its defects, and the question under examination. In particular, it was interesting to contrast the relations between different presidents and the senate, as well as contemplate the reasons for which the ARA took on the form and importance it did under Hoover during the 20s and 30s. As with my prior discussions with Dr. Hurrell, it was engaging, useful, and enjoyable. Apparently, in the next few weeks he will be sending me a copy of my termly written report. It will be good to know how he thinks I am doing, overall. In all likelihood, I will post it here.

Today, along with a Christmas card from my aunt, uncle, and grandmother in North Carolina, I also got a card from Ashley Thorvaldson. Receiving mail is always a very pleasing thing. Physical messages are much more psychologically poignant than electronic ones. Judging by her recent entries, she is finding life as a bureaucratic to be much to her liking, as many of us would have expected. I shall have to make sure to send her a postcard from the Baltic tour. Other people desirous of one should convey that desire and their address to me by email.

One big snag has come up with regards to the trip. Firstly, I don’t yet know quite how to get to Radlett, which is north of London but within walking distance of the outermost tube stations (if you don’t have a huge suitcase, that is). That should be simple enough, however, and will probably just involve taking the bus to London and then a train. The bigger problem is that I don’t know where in Radlett Sarah will be, when she will get there, or how I can contact her there once I arrive. Looking at it on Google Maps, it doesn’t seem to be such a big place. I will figure it out. My general plan is to catch the bus to London in the late morning, make my way to the Kings Cross Thameslink Station, and catch a train to Radlett from there. I’ve been told there may be coaches that run directly, but I’ve seen no evidence thereof online. Radlett isn’t even listed as a destination by National Express.

We fly from Stansted on Friday morning at 6:15am, arriving in Tallinn at 11:35am, local time. Hopefully, we won’t have trouble finding a hostel in which to stay. The plan is to stay at the Hostel Vana Tom, as Gabe recommended. Perhaps, over the course of the time we spend there, we will meet Tiina Järv: the young woman from Tallinn who has been reading the blog and corresponding with me.

Tonight, I achieved the Sisyphean task of reconciling my accounts. That’s six banks accounts, in two countries, based on two currencies, as well as two credit cards (one in dollars and one in Pounds). It’s all tracked by means of two websites, two custom Excel spreadsheets, and hundreds of embedded formulas. It’s rather trickier than managing the debate society finances was. Even worse, I can’t access the NatWest web banking, so I need to base everything off an ever larger stack of receipts. Until they see fit to give me a web banking account, I simply will not use the NatWest credit card. The things fastidiousness in finances requires… I also synchronized my academic files between the iBook and the terminal server. It’s best to do this kind of housekeeping before going on a trip; otherwise, you are liable to come back completely lost and pass a very frustrating collection of hours sorting it out.

After tonight, the blog is in vacation mode. That means, among other things:

  1. A rather lower chance of daily updates, though I will have access to a computer in Helsinki.
  2. A good chance of posts including more than one photo.
  3. The activation of comment moderation. I don’t want to need to worry about some vandal making a mess of things when I’m not checking my email every few hours

I desperately need to go pack. Sorry for the disorganized entry.

  • “Dear Applicant,The Canadian Scholarship Selection Committee has just completed its review of all 2005 applications for the Commonwealth Scholarships tenable in the United Kingdom during the 2006-07 academic year. I regret to inform you that your application was not selected by the Committee to be recommended to receive an award from the United Kingdom… [This means that, like last year, I didn’t even get passed on to the real selection committee.]

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the Commonwealth Scholarship Plan, and wish you every success in finding alternative funding for your study or research project abroad.”

  • The other applications is now especially important. I take comfort in the knowledge that Gabuloa is everywhere.
  • The insomnia is back with a vengeance. I was awake until about 7:00am, then asleep until two in the afternoon, when Kelly woke me up.
  • Added to the long list of other endorsements, the one on Seth’s blog has convinced me that I need to read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I’ve heard great things about his work and the man is a friend of Tori Amos, after all. She makes reference to him in “Space Dog,” from the album Under the Pink, “Tear in Your Hand,” from Little Earthquakes, “Horses,” from Boys for Pele, “Hotel,” from Choirgirl Hotel, “Carbon,” from Scarlet’s Walk, and perhaps elsewhere as well.
  • I spoke with Meaghan Beattie in Vancouver over Skype tonight. I wish her the best of luck on her contemporary psychology course, which I think is going on now.
  • Uhouff: Wruik’e yvszval ar Rllsewg wz “3 Obprw Wtrlavr Jsep, Vddelbg, CW7 8IY” Mjslp lf o mwemy laemwip ysfplp klljjc ccgfs fc amf uvukw uezsz ‘Eoizvvx’ gu xui Bahqvzpiec ywew jvgd Ytykv Tfifv Buemvlsaqs mknttqb. C ngyhl kltcowwnq wzth.Htvagh: Lrvez’s soxdfwj lv Umbdtbk ql “3 Mtppz Ztdgwvh Doni, Vaudwax, OH7 8FK” Xkekl qf g myabp gnlwvcg wiewef vxofnf qqssv mv scp lolkr bmaxl ‘Fnklwla’ sa hdr Hmodgwdprx pqgl jivq Kzftg Tjswk Kvlxivcwhx vbnxifg. P orcfu eenqagvfh ppta. (CR: Somno)

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous December 14, 2005 at 9:49 pm

Things not to miss in Tallinn:

“1. Kodreog (that’s a park that has a beautiful
> Christian Orthodox church-where I was baptized). 2. Pevcheskoje pole (Singers’
> Field) 3. Palonga (a small town on the outskirts of Tallinn). 3. Old city of
> Tallinn 4. Sailing club in the docks.”

Anonymous December 14, 2005 at 10:58 pm

“I’ve been doing research into whether people return crushes or not. Like say you have this crush on this girl in your building, a good protocol for figuring out whether she has a crush on you is if there’s a mutually trusted third-party who you can both tell about your crush. If you go to this person and say, “I have a crush on this girl in my building,” there’s a good chance that if the girl has the same crush she’ll approach this person as well. Chances are the trusted person will come back and tell both of you. Then you’ll know if you should ask her out. ”

Sex Advice from Cryptographers

Milan December 14, 2005 at 11:04 pm

That’s rather more interesting in concept than in execution, sadly. Neither funny nor informative.

Anonymous December 15, 2005 at 12:11 am

Remember to bring your GPS receiver with you. I remember how it’s served you well when travelling before. You may even find a geocache in Tallinn or Helsinki.

Anonymous December 15, 2005 at 1:02 am

Journey Plan:

Oxford Tube to London, before 3:00pm:
This would take you straight to Victoria Station, but King’s Cross is trickier.
This will drop you off at Marble Arch.
This will take about 90 minutes.

Take the Tube (Central Line) to Holborn.
Take the Tube (Piccadilly Line) to King’s Cross.
This will take about 30 minutes.

Catch the Thameslink to Radlett.
This will take about 40 minutes.

Total time: 2hr40min
Total cost: £17

Anonymous December 15, 2005 at 1:06 am

Alternatively, you could take the tube from Marble Arch to Stanmore Station for £3.80, then walk about four kilometres to Radlett. Probably depends on the amount of baggage you have, the weather, and if you’re bold enough to go wandering on the outskirts of London.

B December 15, 2005 at 1:30 am

You can also get a direct ticket from National Rail for £22.70. Seems to have about two hours, and involve two changes of train: going from Paddington to Farringdon in London.

PS. They really need to fix their site so it doesn’t go all wonky in Firefox, just like you need to fix yours so as not to do the same in IE. It would be a lot slicker if it actually looked right in the browser the great majority of people use…

Milan December 15, 2005 at 1:37 am


It would only be £15.00 if I bought a Young Person’s Railcard for 20 quid. It lasts a year and cuts 33% off the price of train fares.

I’ll probably just do that, much as I would enjoy carrying my huge blue suitcase around in the Tube.

mpi December 15, 2005 at 2:27 am

This is a test of comment moderation. We will renew normal service on the 22nd of December, when I return from Tallinn. Best wishes to everyone until then.

B December 15, 2005 at 1:07 pm

Godspeed, Milan.

Anonymous December 15, 2005 at 6:05 pm

Enjoy your trip.


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