Preparations complete

All just bricks in the wall

Living in a place with a proper kitchen has already taught me just how much better grilled cheese sandwiches with fried and marinated tofu are than the sort assembled on your desk, beside the computer. Like cleaning my room or sorting things, preparing relatively elaborate food (by my standards) is one way to escape the anxious clock-watching that my pre-exam hours tend to centre around.

During the last few hours, I have found myself at a bit of a loss, in terms of deciding what to study. Normally, I would be studying specific facts I thought likely to appear on multiple-choice or short-answer questions, but this test will include neither. You cannot cram broad themes and historical periods.

I really dislike the nights before exams: they are one of those grim times in life – like during exams themselves – when you are excessively aware of your position in time. In almost all circumstances where that is the case, it is because something at least potentially bad is about to happen. The feeling of being inescapably fixed in a constrained time-stream can effectively strip away the sense of being prepared or capable. Likewise, the feeling of being exceptionally awake contrasts unnervingly with my standard perpetual quasi-tiredness.

I should go for a walk.

[8:10pm] After a long and aggressive bike ride in the drizzle, I feel dramatically better. I headed north up Woodstock Road, eventually turning west onto a road that took me to Cassington. From there, I followed steeples along a much smaller road until I was in Yarnton. By then, I was pretty thoroughly lost – and yet, I sensed Oxfordness to the South and managed to get home before it was even really dark. The bit between Cassington and Yarnton – which you can see on this Google map – was definitely the nicest. It was the kind of countryside that makes one think about stealth camping, of the kind Meghan Mathieson pioneered with me.

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.

3 thoughts on “Preparations complete”

  1. Of course you will be able to handle this test. May luck be with you, with regards to the questions offered up for answering.

  2. Perspective is a dangerous thing… as Douglas Adams so cleverly demonstrated with his Total Perspective Vortex.

    The camping was fun, though rather cramped, I recall.

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