Today was spent chewing over material from the quantitative methods lectures, looking up key terms online, reading about neorealism, and taking breaks to read The Economist. Such is the natural conduct of an international relations graduate student. Since I proposed the joint study session for the stats exam tomorrow afternoon, I feel I should be well prepared for it.
Looking through the Cabin Fever photos this afternoon, during a study break, I was reminded of how much I miss the people who were there: Tristan, Alison, Jonathan, Nick. Neal, and Meaghan especially. I hope I get the chance to see all of you somewhere, before I leave Oxford in summer of 2007. This is one reason I am glad to have digitized more than 5000 photos before leaving Vancouver.
Motivated largely by the desire to avoid stats, I made an unusually complex dinner tonight. I don’t even know how to categorize it, but I will explain for the benefit of people in similar living arrangements:
How to Eat like a Grad Student
An occassional new feature of a sibilant intake of breath
Preparation time: 20 minutes (if you stagger everything correctly)
Vegetarian (vegans could replace the butter with olive oil and cheese with vegan cheese-like stuff)
Nutrients: calories (potatoes), protein (cheese, beans, tofu), hot sauce
Requires minimal kitchen equipment
Costs less than 5 Pounds
His Dark Materials
- Large bowl or plate (courtesy of Margaret)
- Sharp knife (in my case, my Swisstool multitool)
- Frying pan (courtesy of Sarah)
- Microwave oven
- Stove (apparently called a ‘cooker’ over here)
- Optional: goggles (if your eyes object as much to the sulpher dioxide released by chopped and cooking onions as mine do)
- Potatoes (3 medium)
- Onions (red, 3 medium)
- Kidney beans (1 can, in chili sauce)
- Hot sauce of your choice
- Tofu (about 100 cubic centimetres)
- Sharp Cheddar cheese (about 30 ccs)
- Butter (about 10 ccs)
- Wash potatoes, cut about halfway through lengthwise to release steam, microwave until cooked.
- Heat frying pan to maximum temperature, add butter.
- Peel and chop onions into small pieces.
- Fry onion pieces in butter until browning.
- Add hot sauce.
- Chop tofu into 1cc pieces, chop or crumble cheese.
- Add can of kidney beans to cooked onions.
- Add cheese and tofu.
- Add more hot sauce, cook until uniformly warm.
- Cut cooked potatoes into pieces or slices
- Put onion/bean complex on top of potatoes.
This makes more than enough for one hungry person and tastes way better than the same recipe with any of the components removed. If you add enough hot sauce, it makes a good decongestant if you have a bit of a cold.
With a few more potatoes, this could easily serve two people. It’s a scalable recipe. Actually, this one is good enough that I might even try subjecting another person to it. Cooking for more than one would obviously be dramatically more efficient, as the marginal time for preparing a second portion of the above is dramatically less than the marginal time for preparing the first portion.
The most sensible way to deal with reading for the first core seminar is to delay it until after the exam. The exam finishes at 4:30pm on Friday and the seminar isn’t until the following Tuesday. To do the reading now would waste valuable revision time (or, at least, time I can spend thinking and writing about revising).
- As I am sure most people could guess, the two for one deal on strange Superdrug brand energy drinks can lead to brief periods of very high productivity, followed by a pronounced dip characterized by hunger and a weird inability to concentrate. (How to shop like a graduate student: yes, I would like to buy these cans of energy drink and four tubes of discounted toothpaste, paying with a foreign credit card.)
- I am looking forward to a pre-departure dinner of Indian food with Louise tomorrow. Delicious, delicious vegetarian curry, dahl, etc on Cowley Road.
- Looks like you can’t trust writable CDs for long-term backup. Good thing hard drives are getting so cheap.
- Seeing all the IR M.Phils returned from miscellaneous places around the world tomorrow is a much anticipated happening. It’s always a lot easier to motivate yourself to work as part of a working group.