General update, in a brightening hour


in Daily updates, Oxford

Port Meadow Cow

After an even more marathon Tuesday than is the norm, I am left feeling as though I understand the nature of Oxford a bit better. More an intersection between curves than a zone of space, it imbues a fleeting quality to much of what transpires here. Papers and sources will be forgotten, names will become little more than long archived emails. I suppose this is true of all places, save that the volatility is usually concealed by the ongoing existence of a large group of people with whom you relate. That purpose here is served to a good extent by the program and the college: both institutions which I value highly for generating a kind of cohesive social framework to accompany essay writing and all the rest. Likewise, my enduring appreciation extends to those individuals who have helped make this phase of life feel more grounded in all the rest of it, by being willing to share something of themselves.

Five days remain until the submission of the dreaded research design essay. It feels as though the whole program is holding its breath: feeling guilty for every moment not spent churning away at the thing. The wise thing to do will be to finish a draft quickly, tweak it over the course of a few days, and then relax at the time when many other people will begin to get overcome with anxiousness. We shall see if such prudence into policy translates.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan May 24, 2006 at 3:35 pm

I now have more than 500 words of draft research design essay for every hour of sleep I got last night.

In total, I have just over half the minimum word count (though still with big sections simply blank) and more than a third of the maximum word count.

I also have about twenty sources ready in full-blown EndNote / annotated bibliography format. I should have about twice that amount, once all is said and done.

Milan May 24, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Up to 3148 words! More than 10% of the final length for the thesis itself.

B May 24, 2006 at 11:56 pm

A very small test for you, and don’t cheat using Google:

273.15 of X equals zero of Y

Milan May 25, 2006 at 12:03 am

Degrees Kelvin in degrees Celcius, of course.

This is a silly game.

Milan May 25, 2006 at 8:03 pm


I read an extremely favourable review of that book the other day. It’s on my discretionary reading list.

R.K. May 25, 2006 at 4:09 pm

A book recommendation for you:

“Passionate Minds: The Great Enlightenment Love Affair.” by David Bodanis.

It’s about Emilie du Chatelet: lover of Voltaire and remarkable thinker, in her own right.

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