Trying to increase nose-grindstone proximity

Jeeps look good in black and white

Revision began in earnest today and, as I predicted before, it managed to induce that little tinge of raw panic that is the basis for all academic achievement. Many thanks to Claire for stripping questions from the most recent qualifying test from the lists of past questions I will be studying from. As I am meant to write a practice test consisting of last year’s exam for Dr. Hurrell by the tenth of April, and it would hardly do to know the questions while I am revising.

If I want to submit the fish paper to the MIT International Review – with submissions for its inaugural issue due by the 10th of April – I will need to get started on editing and reformatting it. Doing so is quite difficult because I don’t remember the sources well or have them with me. I wrote this more than a year ago, after all. The submission guidelines do say that: “After initial submission, writers whose articles are being considered for publication will be asked to resubmit articles according to more specific guidelines.” As such, it’s probably best to do a moderate edit and see if they’re interested, before I commit a lot of time.

When contemplating the fact that April 10th is also the day during which I am to move, I may have stumbled across a universal law:

The law of deadline gravitationThe times and dates when projects are due will approach one another at a rate directly proportional to the number of hours the respective projects will require to complete, and inversely proportional to the distance already separating them.

This explains why big tasks cluster – like periods of examination – but why mundane tasks arise constantly and individually. While much theoretical work remains to be done on this concept, it seems plausible to me that the attractive force may only apply itself to certain classes of tasks: just as photons are exempted from the effects of magnetic fields.

Looks like I may not have as much time to try out my new bike as I thought. Of course, spending a week in Malta leaves me with no reason to complain about having to buckle down now.

More iPod trouble

Well, the iPod that Apple sent back because it was apparently fine will not be recognized by my computer at all and now simply boots to an unhappy Mac icon when you turn it on. I wonder if they actually looked at the thing before they decided that “issues reported concerning [my] iPod” “were found to be within Apple’s specifications for acceptable performance, usability and/or functionality.” I’ll call them again tomorrow. Looks like it’s going back to the Netherlands.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

6 thoughts on “Trying to increase nose-grindstone proximity”

  1. To me, it seems like deadlines are not things that move very often once they’re set.

    The process you describe must occur a priori.

  2. B,

    You’re forgetting a much loved Douglas Adams quote: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

  3. During your QT prep, make sure you read the comments of past examiners. They should be available online.

  4. I just called Apple’s technical support and they were surprisingly useless. They repeated over and over that I should take the iPod to Reading to have an authorized retailer check if it’s actually broken. Finally, the telephone support person referred me to their website to request another box in which to send it back. While I really like the Mac and iPod interfaces, the sheer unreliability of iPods has me questioning the wisdom of buying one.

  5. Regarding the 2005 QT:

    In April, 18 students passed, with 2 Distinctions. The one candidate who had failed in April resat the exam in June and passed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *