The easiest way to explain the unfortunate lack of content at PBS over the last three months is by way of my usual analogy wherein my brain is represented by a complex and not entierly efficient collection of offices and workshops. Starting around late May, the workers in the cognitive resources branch decided they could no-longer maintain the usual level of productivity—working conditions had deteriorated thanks to a steady increase in exterior noise and stress—and so they took action. There was no wildcat strike but there was a very clear decision to work-to-rule, meaning that they would do what was strictly required of them, as per their various job profiles, but no more. The blog was one of those ‘additional duties, as determined by the office foreman’ and it was left to sit out the period of stress. Otherwise, work progressed as planned with two more conferences since K-zoo, packing of the room for storage over the break, and other tasks no less vital despite their lack of glamour.
The inscription, probably a bronze plaque, had been stolen long ago. No-one seemed to remember the name of the occupant, and no-one visited that particular corner of the cemetery any more.
‘Such a shame, to be ignored for so long.’ He sighed painfully.
‘I envy you. We can trade places. I will get so much work done.’
[more fragments from Oxford Noir]
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.
I have been neglectful of the blog lately, and while that’s unfortunate for the tiny elect of readers, I have been writing all the same, just not for the blog. Here then is the February review, in all its tattered splendour.
Results from January are something of a mixed bag, but there is progress, measurable progress. February will look better because a bunch of things must be done that month. For now, this looks less impressive than it actually is.
In the last year I worked briefly as an essay tutor, travelled to France, wrote a whack of papers and things, moved to Oxford to start a DPhil, got nominated for a few graduate prizes, sat The Test, got elected to a membership at the Royal Historical Society, presented 2 conference papers, and bought far more books than I can actually afford. Here follows a slightly more specific account of the year for the sake of posterity and my spotty memory.
A short update for posterity. I have failed to get the best possible funding package for Oxford but I have gotten the next best thing. As long as the College is happy with the paperwork and the other sources of funds I am in for 2012 entry.