Far from entertaining


in Daily updates, Oxford, Photography

Orange flowers

I was going to write something tonight about international law, but the present craziness of things has extinguished my desire to do so. An ongoing dispute with my college is especially sapping, as far as energy goes, and I need to conserve and enhance what fraction remains for the presentation and reading tomorrow. The porters, butler, and I have progressed into a weird realm of overlapping denials. I maintain that mine are entirely truthful, but we have reached the point where nobody can withdraw a claim without losing face. Hopefully, the whole thing will sink below the waves in a short while.

In exchange for not providing something interesting to read, perhaps I can provide something useful. As I explained earlier, as part of an extensive thesis-related analogy, the best way to photograph cats or human babies is to set up all your equipment, make all necessary adjustments, and then snap your fingers above the lens, a moment before you hit the shutter. Creatures of the sorts described will look at the source of the sound, intuitively. If only the attention of the rampaging beast that is my thesis topic could be focused so easily…

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon @ Wadh November 15, 2006 at 10:35 am

What’s the problem with your college about? Sneaking into the retiring room?

Milan November 15, 2006 at 10:56 am

Pretty close, actually. I signed up for a dinner, had my signup canceled because that dinner was only for fellows, never got the news, and attended unknowing of the restriction. Now, I am getting chewed out over it by all parties.

Ben November 15, 2006 at 9:56 pm

If they didn’t give you reasonable notice – and I assume probably not if you only signed up to begin with on the day and don’t live in college – I don’t see how they can blame you. No one really has to be in the wrong – you can admit they may have left a note in your pigeonhole or whatever, but you didn’t get it – a simple failure of communication.

Milan November 15, 2006 at 10:49 pm


Apparently, the porters are also claiming that they spoke to me on the phone on Friday afternoon. This did not occur. I was not at my flat, and I definitely did not get a call on my cell. Likewise, my cell doesn’t show any missed calls (or any incoming calls at all for that period).

I really don’t know what is going on, except that there is lots of animosity towards me in college these days.

Alena Prazak November 16, 2006 at 4:35 am

Why such a big fuss over nothing? I would say that these stuffy fellows and porters are making a big deal over nothing. They should be glad that you came for dinner. What a waste of energy and emotion. Just say sorry to them and take the wind out of their sails.

Sean November 16, 2006 at 6:18 am

If only they had the workload of an Oxford gad student they would not have as much time to bitch about something so insignificant.

Milan November 16, 2006 at 9:38 am


I have been apologizing energetically for days. It seems to encourage them, more than anything.

Alena Prazak November 16, 2006 at 5:11 pm

If apologizing has not abated their petty animosity, ask them directly what it is that they wish from you to put this behind you. Ask them if they consider their own behavior reasonable and charitable for a guest from Canada?

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