Progress on many fronts

2006-04-13

in Daily updates, Oxford

My new kitchen. OMG PONIES!!!

Successful supervision

Both the meeting with Dr. Hurrell this evening and the exchange dinner went well. Apparently, my practice QT would have scored around 64, which he considers to be a good pass. He made some suggestions for things I can work on during the next week and predicts that I will score between 67 and 69 on the real test. Tomorrow, I get back to revising and writing my own practice essays. Above all, he stressed the importance of constantly sign-posting: indicating in the introduction not only what points you will make, but hinting at their content and stressing their relation to your main thesis. Doing so contradicts the aesthetic style of unfolding argument that I prefer, but it’s hardly up to me to set the style for the qualifying test.

I also need to make one of my classic pre-exam lists of specific points made by authors that are likely to be useful for essays. When you can attribute something relatively obscure that is related to the question under discussion, it creates the impression that you have a really extensive grasp of the reading material. While that might be true when you are writing a paper, it can only really be simulated on a test that covers such a broad collection of materials.

I am to meet with Dr. Hurrell again before the end of the break, to discuss emerging thesis plans.

Exchange dinner

The exchange dinner was fun, particularly insofar as it involved talking with Lucy, Leonora, and their friend Anna in the MCR afterwards. The exchange dinner itself seemed more sparsely attended than the one in Cambridge was. I suppose twenty or so people take up much less of our hall than they would at Christ College. It’s also rather less of a to-do to have dinner in your own college than it is to cross much of the country. I appreciated the fact that the vegetarian options were quite good.

After the gathering in the MCR really died down, it was nice to have a cup of tea with Anna at the G and D’s on Little Clarendon Street: one of my favourite bits of Oxford, especially as it appears at night.


  • The iPod Shuffle is a brilliant little device. Worn in a shirt pocket, you barely feel it. Somehow, music sounds better from a device that you don’t even notice that you’re carrying.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 13, 2006 at 1:31 am

It amuses me when your posts actually include photos of that week’s Economist, complete with four colour pen.

For instance: http://www.sindark.com/2005/12/nightime-walk-in-helsinki.html

Milan April 13, 2006 at 1:59 am

Those are the only two with The Economist, though there are lots with four-coloured pens. The folder in which I keep it is visible here.

Our kitchen, under the previous tenants, is here. Notice how the same little posters are still on the wall. I wonder if they also inherited them.

Meghan April 13, 2006 at 6:45 pm

As a former debater, I am surprised that you need to be reminded to “signpost” your argument.

Milan April 13, 2006 at 6:52 pm

Meghan,

I thought it was usually stupid in debate as well. If you can’t remember what was said over the course of an eight minute speech, you shouldn’t be judging debate: likewise for a fifteen page handwritten paper and marking Oxford exams.

Anonymous April 13, 2006 at 10:48 pm

The Shuffle is nice, isn’t it? It’s got about enough space for 200 songs, and about enough juice to play them all. And it’s teeny.

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