At least the surgeon was not C. D. Ward

I have lost count of how many times I have written this blog entry or variations on it, over the last five weeks. It probably doesn’t matter. The process was more important than the resulting text and odds are very good that there are far better, more compelling, more readable, versions if this that will never appear online, and so it should be. This blog was always designed as a means to enable the writing process, and that process was always more important than the product that did, or did not, find its way here. Nothing I have written, with this blog in mind, needed completion and uploading but there is a motivational value in having that option. That was essential, really, because the value of practice and conditioned habits do not have the power themselves to motivate the writer.

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Break-break

The year so far, between now and the 2nd of October, has not worked as planned. Not that I consider plans to be proof against unforeseen complications, and each plan is set up with alternatives in the A, B, C, and often D sub-sets capable of accounting for crisis. However, the problems this term were well beyond my ability to compensate and thus I fell back to plan K, which boils down to ‘keep the shit together’. That worked until about the 9th at which point I officially lost it, but that didn’t last long and I am now back home in relative comfort.

The result of all this plan-failure is that I am about 6 weeks behind on just about everything; (I’m probably only about 3 weeks behind on the thesis research, but everything else is consistently behind about the same amount). I can, with any luck, salvage some of that and I don’t think I will have to give up on any of my commitments but it does mean that my ‘break’ for xmas exists only in a hypothetical sense, thus the quotes.

I have written about half a dozen versions of this particular update and none of them are really worth the time to edit or impose on some unprepared reader. The only important thing to know is that writing is very difficult to accomplish under certain circumstances and I hope those circumstances do not return in early January when I go back.

April Review

So what occupied my time for the month of April? I’m not really sure, I will need to check. Hey! my day-book is a useless collection of mostly blank pages and short, largely uninformative, to-do-lists! Hmm. Was involved in some ‘incident’ and this is an effort to cover up unauthorized orders?

No. I’m thinking of U-boat commanders and their order logs. I was just crap at keeping track of things for almost the entire month of April.

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March review

While I am determined to maintain the habit of the monthly review, I can’t say I take much pride in the contents of this one. Naturally, I have only myself to blame for both the results, and my own disappointment. Judge all you want, I’m not particularly concerned about the course of public opinion. And, if that obviously defensive introduction does not deter you, read on for the month of March.

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Snow day

I have started about half a dozen blog entries this week but inertia or more urgent demands on my time make me unable or unwilling to force any one of them to completion. That does nothing for the writing habits so I am going to start and finish this one, even if it’s very short and mostly meta.

But it has nice pictures of snow. Continue reading

November Review

With a certain ominous inevitability reserved for Greek tragedy, the monthly review has returned to PBS bearing in its ropey arms the trophies and wounds of another 30 days of a DPhil in Oxford. Apparently the review carries some repressed literary aspirations as well. Rest assured, that early flourish is probably all it can muster. Rest in the warm, if dry, embrace of a largely inconsequential update of the last month.

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Odds, sods, and a contest (with prizes*)

I regret that today’s blog entry has no real theme, other than they are reasonably recent events. Consider this a commonplace collection for the internets. Most of these are at least relevant to the general purpose of the blog. They have some historical element, they relate to research or the tasks of the academic, or the inform the ongoing experiment that is the LD student in higher-education.

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