Having returned from Ireland, I am feeling rather physically and intellectually exhausted. While I have several solid days of work lying in various piles around my room, the energy required to begin tackling them hasn’t yet come together. It is going to need to do so quickly, since I am leaving for Vancouver in less than two weeks.
The first order of business is to rebuild my sleep schedule. I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep since August 14th. Once that is done, I can stop living from coffee cup to coffee cup. I can
edit the chapter I need to, read the two untouched issues of The Economist that arrived in my inbox, process the re-scanned Scotland photos and put them online, have my Ireland photos developed and printed, write two letters to groups of family members, set upon the task of shortening the eternal fish paper, finish a timeline on the genesis of the Kyoto Protocol, sort out the finances for the Irish trip, read a half-dozen books, complete my student loan application, and buy birthday gifts for family members prior to my return. Oh, and there is always the thesis to think about.
I have also been thinking about future academic choices. Emily tells me that completing a D.Phil at Oxford would only involve another two years work. I gather that doing a PhD in the states would take about five years. That said, competition to get into the D.Phil program somewhat constrains what you can do your thesis on and how. These things, as well as whether to take a break between degrees and what to do during it, continue to orbit me life dwarf planets. A more well-slept mind will be better able to sort them out.
[Update: 30 August 2006] The following are among the items I must read:
- Bernstein’s The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism
- Karen Litfin’s Ozone Discourses: Science and Politics in Global Environmental Cooperation
- Mukund Rajan’s M.Phil thesis