Longer days, upcoming exam

Merton College Tower

Academic nuts and bolts

In a spurt of productivity this afternoon (helped along by the Venti coffee I got during my walk with Louise), I finished editing the venerable fish paper for submission to MITIR. With the deadline just five days away, on the same day that my practice exam is due and when I am moving, it seemed most sensible to do a modest edit and send it off on a wing and a prayer. Without access to my original sources and ample amounts of time, nothing more ambitious could be attempted.

The first priority now is to sort out taxes and the final payment to Wadham College for this year. I also need to learn why NatWest missed two months worth of interest payments on my accounts, then fined me eighteen Pounds for not paying a bill which I never received, and which cannot be paid online. They are the worst bank I have ever had to deal with, including one in Canada where I closed my account in disgust.

The second priority is to pack. Does anyone know of somewhere in Oxford that has large and study cardboard boxes up for grabs? It seems that if I can have everything ready to go on the morning of the 10th, Kai will be able to help shift my stuff in his car. I can then spend the afternoon writing my practice exam for Dr. Hurrell, so that we can discuss it on the 12th. I will then have eight last days in which to revise, partly guided by his suggestions. Revision in general, with a particular eye to the practice test, is the third priority.

The revision plan, at this point, is basically to read over my notes a couple of times: both those from lectures and seminars and those on the readings. I will also go back over my own essays carefully – trying to hammer the knowledge of who wrote what about what into my brain – and the essays of a few friends.

Sometime at the start of the term, Kai, Alex, and I will need to throw some kind of welcome party at the Church Walk flat. The huge backyard would be ideal for an afternoon gathering, especially if we could find some seating.

Oxford spring

The walk around Christ Church Meadows with Louise this afternoon was a stunning demonstration of a greening Oxford. The cherry blossom trees in front of St. Mary’s Church are stunning, and the increasingly verdant look of the meadows themselves lends hope to downtrodden graduate students. My favourite geese were out on display, as well clutches of people in boats on the Isis and secondary waterways.

I have been making an effort to cycle at least half an hour a day. The exercise is enjoyable, and a nice contrast to my relative idleness during periods of reading.

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.

8 thoughts on “Longer days, upcoming exam”

  1. Unusual choice of perspective in today’s photo. I don’t like it much, and it certainly doesn’t capture spring in the greening sense.

  2. You see, it was this or a another photo of the Greylag Geese. While they never bore me – being my favourite animals in Oxford other than the Port Meadow horses – other people might get sick of more pictures of them.

  3. It was certainly impressive to see John McCain and Jon Stewart talking to one another directly during tonight’s Daily Show, wasn’t it?

    Shows some real influence on Stewart’s side, doesn’t it?

  4. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds good. I certainly hope McCain gets the Republican nomination in two years time.

  5. As the type species of the genus Anser, Greylag Geese are certainly indicative of the common properties of geese.

    According to Wikipedia:

    “Thus the Greylag Goose is the grey goose, which in England when the name was given, was not strongly migratory but lagged behind the other wild goose species when they left for their northern breeding quarters.”

  6. This jogged my memory of something:

    I remember sitting with you at Starbucks in Edgemont ages ago, with me proclaiming my love of coffee and you telling me that it was something best not explored due, in part, to the cost of it. I can even remember what I had that day…a caramel macchiato, something which is much too sweet for adult senses.

    Jesus, I guess we’re getting old…or something.


  7. Rather greater expenses in the world now, aren’t there?

    It’s easier to resist the allure of coffee in Oxford, at least, because the dissolved minerals in the water make it taste rather odd. That’s less true in coffee shops, because I expect that they filter it somehow.

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