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.
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.