On paralysis

Fields and high voltage electricity towers

The most paradoxical of all student circumstances is that in which you have so much to do, you cannot get started. I have a mass of research work to do for Dr. Hurrell, the ever-present thesis, the fish paper, and myriad other tasks of all characters and levels of importance. At the same time, my capability is basically circumscribed to cooking, grocery shopping, listening to music, and reading short stories by Stanislaw Lem.

The thought that school will be resuming in little over a month does not help matters.

My hope is that this situation is like a wheel with a segment missing: nearly capable of rolling along effortlessly, but presently imcomplete. Adding that segment should thus unleash a massive torrent of productivity that smites tasks left and right, checking off box after box in my Moleskine diary and email after email in my various bulging inboxes.

PS. Note how the prefix ‘para’ often denotes ‘in place of,’ such as in paramedic, parachute, or paralegal. Lysis is the process whereby cells in living creatures explode, either due to the effects of some outside agent or an immune system determination that the cell is critically compromised.

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.

8 thoughts on “On paralysis”

  1. 0 week is not until October. How is that little over a month? It’s basically two….

  2. Psychologically, I suppose. August=”the month before school”, and has for eighteen consecutive years now.

  3. Do not worry so much, these dilemmas happen to everyone at some point in time. I find myself in the same pedicament, with deadlines readily approaching next week, and the work piling up so high that I do not know where to begin. Mostly I have myself unable to concentrate, and rather spend my time walking around the fields off Abingdon Road and South Hinskey, listening to Enya. I would suggest taking a day off to repress the stress, spend it in good company, and do not allow yourself to worry about the work. On the following morning, your mind would probably be clear of anxiety, and you will have the motivation to begin anew.

  4. Anonymous (2),

    I got a really good CD of Philip Glass music from the county library yesterday. It surprised me quite a bit, since I only knew him previously from his minimalistic and piano-heavy musical scores. Nonetheless, I think you would enjoy it.

    If you wish to borrow it, an exchange can be organized during the next few days.

  5. As before, mp3 versions of the songs on the Celtic CD would be much appreciated. Making them back into mp3 from a burned CD would increase the number of compression problems. I can provide a memory stick for the transfer.

  6. That is not a problem. You will have to provide the memory stick, seeing that I do not have a spare one. I was unaware of compression problems previously, so I shall try and transfer them to you in mp3 format; the music on the CD composes some of the most melodic Celtic tunes of my collection.

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