At the cusp of Hilary


in Daily updates, Oxford

Term starts tomorrow, so today was spent preparing: reducing the level of chaos in my room (discovering some very old, half-completed paperwork in the process), acquiring reading materials related to my international law course next term, and generally making ready for the eight weeks ahead.

Monday, I have a ‘collection’ with the Warden, in which I am to convince him that I am upholding academic standards and otherwise being a proper grad student. I have heard of other colleges holding these, but Wadham did not last year. At a whopping five minutes, I think I will be able to survive the onslaught.

At 9:00am on Tuesday, there is the first of the lectures on Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy; this, I shall make an effort to attend, if only to try and recalibrate my brain to termish schedules. In the evening, I have the Wadham Sustainability Forum, which I know very little about but was invited to by someone especially interesting. Then, we have the first OUSSG meeting (which I still need to publish additional details about on the website).

Wednesday morning, I have my first International Law seminar. The rest of the week will be filled out with lectures, law readings, and thesis work. Hopefully, the structured days that accompany term-time will create more definite spaces in which progress can be made.

PS. Recent revelations have made the iPhone (discussed before) not at all interesting. Apple is not allowing third party applications, and the thing doesn’t really run OS X. I saw it as more exciting as a platform for clever hacks than as a device in itself. While these restrictions will probably be circumvented, they show that Apple wants to issue a shiny toy that will make Cingular masses of money, rather than a genuinely revolutionary mobile communication device.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon @ Wadh January 14, 2007 at 3:25 pm

Best of luck with the next term. This is your last one involving classes, right?

Ben January 14, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Technically term starts today, actually, not that there are any classes on a Sunday. I only taught the last of last term’s tutorials yesterday though…

Milan January 14, 2007 at 4:08 pm

I only submitted my last paper for Michaelmas about a week ago. In any case, this will be my last term with classes. Then, I have another break (at the end of which the thesis is due) and one term before exams.

Milan January 14, 2007 at 4:47 pm

This New York Times article makes some trenchant criticisms about the iPhone.

Geoff January 14, 2007 at 5:05 pm

Milan — Do you have any more info on the Pullman lectures? I’d love to attend.

Milan January 14, 2007 at 5:15 pm

I got this information from Seth Wilson:

“The lectures about His Dark Materials will be given by a Dr. Kean, whom I don’t
know, Tuesdays at 9 weeks 1-4 at the St. Cross Building (not to be confused
with the college), Lecture Room 2.

Philip Pullman’s lecture, entitled “Poco a poco: The Fundamental Particles of
Narrative”, will be held on Friday, 9 February (4th week) at 5pm in the
Gulbenkian Lecture Theatre, St. Cross Buildings.

In case you need it, the URL for the English Faculty lecture list that contains
this information is

Mike Kushnir January 14, 2007 at 6:06 pm

regardless of the iphone’s actual features today, this still is the “beginning of the end” for the mobile phone regime as we know it today.

Milan January 14, 2007 at 7:59 pm


No more so than any other smartphone. The differences mostly seem to revolve around the snazzy interface.

Mike Kushnir January 15, 2007 at 10:21 pm

it’s not about the technology, though. notwithstanding current infrastructure, it’s very possible, of course.

it’s apple’s “star power” that will change things, methinks.

what would be truly neat is the “open-source” cellphone.

Milan January 16, 2007 at 12:36 am


On an open source cellphone, this comment seems relevant.

Hilary January 18, 2007 at 12:33 am

the title of this post confused me. i don’t want to be a term.

Milan January 18, 2007 at 12:35 am


According to the OED, Hilary is: “Name of a term or session of the High Court of Justice in England; and also of one of the university terms at Oxford and Dublin.” First used in the 1400s.

. June 5, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Cusp. This is a pointed end or a horn of, eg, the moon, or the point at which two brances of a curve meet. So it is odd to write, say, “Japan is on the cusp of a recovery,” unless you think that recovery is about to end.

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