Of news and time management


in Canada, Oxford, Politics

When corresponding with friends back in Canada, I am frequently reminded about how out-of-touch with national news I have become while in the UK. For me, the Harper government is a distant and largely hypothetical possibility, still in the stasis of post-electoral uncertainty. I remembering wandering around surprised on the night of the election, finding it difficult to comprehend how a party that had been in power for all the time I had been aware of politics could suddenly be outed. It is still that general sense that dominates my intuitive perspective on the present Canadian political situation. That and the fervent hope that we don’t descend into the insanity of social crusading and fiscal and strategic recklessness that have taken hold so ominously and harmfully in the United States.

I don’t think there is much I can plausibly do to keep in touch beyond skimming the Globe and Mail website and Google News Canada every day or so. Between reading for the core seminar and thesis reading, I already have a great deal to do. I am frequently frustrated by the impossibility of doing as well as can be managed in all possible areas. It makes you constantly guilty when you aren’t doing something classed as productive (course reading, scholarship applications) or semi-productive (cycling, reading The Economist). Also, it is the conversations you have with friends about current events that are the ultimate spur to be knowledgeable about them. Without debate tournaments or pub and living room arguments about Canadian politics, my lack of knowledge is rarely revealed. While Emily seems to be powerfully in touch with Canadian news – perhaps her time at Goldman Sachs taught her how to do so when busy and abroad – nobody else is likely to bring up current Canadian events as a topic of conversation.

The solution is to work towards squeezing out all activities that are not at least semi-productive, eliminating the gaps that make you feel as though you’re not doing as much as you should be. Once you are doing more-or-less all you can be, you can be forgiven for some oversights. Everything I do should be part of some plan or project.

That said, I am going to get back to reading about AIDS.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kerrie April 28, 2006 at 8:46 pm

hahaa, I can relate Milan! The change happened while we were still in Ghana and even though I tried to vote (dumbasses mailed me the ballot the friday before monday’s election), it just seemed so distant. Something far away, geographically from where I was, and also “wow, they actually won?!” distant.

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