More academic progress

After a meeting with Dr. Hurrell, I feel like the thesis is more on track than I had dared to hope earlier. We both seem to be genuinely excited about the project. Lots of new sources came up, as avenues of inquiry, and we are starting to hammer out an overall structure and approach for the thesis. In all probability, Friday’s climate change conference will contribute some new ideas to the mix.

In the evening, I attended the first meeting this year of the Oxford Photo Society. At thirty Pounds a year, including darkroom access, I am sorely tempted. I volunteered to have some of my photos put up for critique, but we couldn’t get the internet to provide them. I am to bring them on disc next week. Which would people consider to be among my best?

I returned from the high table dinner in Wadham in high spirits. Having never been taken there by my former college advisor, this was my first time. Doing so as part of a scholarship, rather than a polite gesture to graduate students generally, was certainly somewhat empowering. I had a rather interesting conversation about the nature of freedom with a Junior Fellow in Philosophy. Hopefully, he will send me the article he mentioned. Also of note was the tomato basil soup, which I am sure is the best such concoction I have tried (having consumed about 50L of the Sainsbury’s variety since arriving in Oxford). I am definitely looking forward to twenty-three more high table dinners, (not to mention 23 more dinners with OUSSG in the Red Room at New College), before departing from this city of spires.

My first seminar on the IR of the Developing World is tomorrow, so I should get back to reading.

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 “More academic progress”

  1. I’ll be having my first high table next week I think.

    Who was the JRF and what was the freedom thing about?

  2. Ben,

    I am not sure. He said his name across the dinner table, amid much other noise, and never afterwards. I really need to learn to pay close attention when people first say their names,

    He said that he was studying the question of what freedom is, in an abstract sense.

  3. To help narrow the range, with regards to photo suggestions, let me lay down some criteria

    1) A good level of technical perfection (no nasty blurs or blotches)

    2) A good overall level of aesthetic appeal (not necessarily ‘pretty’ but arty)

    3) Some creativity (not an image you’ve seen 10,000 variants of)

    I hope I have at least two or three such images.

  4. I like the people photos. There are some great ones of Sasha, and I also like the one of Dylan from Vermont. Many of Meghan’s photos are nice too. My favorite is the photo of the grandmother and grand-daughter walking along the canal. Some of the black and white ones from Malta are nice too for composition.

  5. For the sake of discussion, I will list some of my favourite photos I have taken:

    NY blackout: a bit abstract, but comprehensible

    Meghan, high contrast: not my standard portrait style, but a success.

    Meghan at wide angle: another unusual portrait.

    My Ansel Adams impression

    Nitobe Gardens: a good formal garden shot.

    Ship and icy sea, Helsinki: this captures the icy stillness of the place.

    Bath columns: I like how the composition works here.

    Malta waves: getting soaked almost to the waist might explain why I like this so much.

    The path up, Scotland: conveys something about walking.

    Neal and Lauren on the bus: this photo strikes me as being dramatic.

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