Morning and early afternoon: reading and writing
I am really enjoying The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. As with most fiction, that is a result of the narrator. You need to see their project as valuable, yet not something you could or would do yourself. As such, they are doing you a service by living in that capacity in your stead. You get the results back in neat lines on pages. In good fiction, those results feel a lot like memory. They get overlaid upon your own memory, as though you had thought those things yourself in moments similar to the ones portrayed.
I have been dreaming copiously of late. I can set the countdown timer on my phone for ten minutes, lie down, and dream something – even in the middle of the day. Sleeping for an hour or to, I might have a half dozen dreams: all of which I can remember for a minute or two afterwards, but none that I will remember an hour later. I don’t know if this is just a meaningless phenomenon or whether it represents some kind of ongoing psychological condition. It’s certainly not something that’s normal for me.
It’s nice to imagine that my brain is doing some kind of internal housekeeping or reorganization and, as such, sleeping is not a waste of time. Rather, it will allow me – very soon now – to come at all problems with a piercing new intelligence and command of language and memory.
I read a few chapters of Murakami’s book between reading and writing pages for my take-home test. It’s hard to evaluate the Inuit Circumpolar Conference from the perspective of the principal-agent framework. Firstly, that’s because there isn’t actually a lot of information out there about it. Secondly, the framework seems better suited to institutions with a more defined structure. That said, understanding the ICC is important – for a number of reasons I identify in the latest draft – and it’s probably at least a bit important to understand the extent to which this framework works for it. That makes writing the exam much less of a chore.
During all of this, I listened to Tegan & Sara.
Late afternoon and evening
I met Louise at the train station and spent a while with her getting coffee and then groceries before she went off for dinner with friends and German backpackers and I returned to Wadham to carry on working on my take home exam. Getting it done completely tonight, or even just to the point where it requires only final linguistic and conceptual editing, would liberate tomorrow – a benefit that is not to be sneered at.
I will, after all, have another week’s reading to do for Tuesday and Thursday, as well as writing a manifesto for the Security Studies Group election. Next’s week’s general topic is international society and international law, and the specific question which to which I must prepare and answer is:
What is meant by the concept of international society? In what ways does it represent a challenge to realism?
Thankfully, this is something that I already know at least a bit about. Coming up next in qualitative methods: “Archives, Texts, and Sources,” beginning with “Bonapartism and popular political culture.”