Due to switcharoos and McLeod the Roman lecturer man being unable to give his lecture on strategy, I had Rob Thompson two days in a row, which was great fun, despite (or perhaps due to) his habit of turning everything into a debate about the First World War. Lecture on total war/limited war? Ludendorff, Lloyd George and “business as usual”. Seminar on Vegetius and De Re Militari? DOUGLAS HAIG UP IN THIS BITCH.
More confident than ever that I have chosen the right course.
Returning from seminars I found a giant parcel, which was addressed to “Panzerwurst” to the bemusement of flatmates. Tom has posted me my Blastwave costume. He didn’t send the assault rifle as it was in London, which is sad but probably a good thing in a “I don’t want to get shot by the police” way. Egged on by evil blockmates, I silently terrified Flat 69. Intimidating full-face helmets, hoorah. I plan to bring this to the LAN.
Tuesday afternoon I attended a social of the nascent War Society, essentially drinking, telling drunken stories, wisecracking about war and arguing about war movies. We read and wrote in various forms to gain legitimacy from the Guild as a society and thus access to things like projector-capable rooms, decided on legal membership-fee based funding (despite the magnificent opportunities the clock tower would give us for rifle-related extortion of protection money) and are planning lists of war films to watch and possible field trips to fun warry places.
A poster on the inside door of the bike shed advertised a cycling advice thing at University Centre. So I went there, had my bike examined and oiled and brakes and gears tuned and bought a shiny high-visibility waistcoat thing (the long-sleeved kind, which they recommended, as it was the reflective stripes on the sleeves that actually mattered at night). In-the-know bike man told me that because of the older style of the brakes they’d never be as good as newer designs, but they were as good as they would get right now. His overall verdict was however “this is a good bike. Ride it till it falls apart and then get a new one.” That’s the plan, yeah.
Found myself reading Storm of Steel (memoirs of Ernst Junger, a WW1 stormtrooper) for most of the 11th. Not sure if this was a very good or very bad thing to be doing on Remembrance Day.
The rain suddenly appears in a horrible sustained downpour. Hopefully this will deter the billion and one crows who have appeared this week and continually orbit my block calling out all night and day in a deeply worrying way.
Got our essays back from Stuart today. The one I handed in, which I feared was drivel and horribly rushed due to failpacing and mental breakdowns, came out as 62*. Stuart however told us all that he had marked excessively harshly, that we could expect a grade higher in summer marking, and that in my case it anyway would be a 68 if it was a full essay rather than two thirds of an essay (I chose, when basically out of time, to polish the 1200 words I had rather add another 800 words of mediocrity, and explained this to him in a note). Spent the seminar talking over what to know to work on next time, and will get individual feedback on our essays next Thursday.
All this considered, 62 was still a low 2.1**. So I’m feeling much more confident and will begin reading for the next one forthwith.
£4.50 shiny waistcoat
£2.70 big pile of veg
£? JoCo tickets (to be paid to the Hovercraft)
* 62/100, but the boundary for a First is 70 and Stuart tells me even genius essays rarely go above 80. Here top end grades actually mean something truly notable, and “very good” is still far from “best”. This pleases me.
** For Yanqui devils and other such outerlanders, this is the second highest qualification you can get at university here; it goes:
First Class Honours (known as a First; awesome-tier)
Second Class Honours in upper (2:1, which from a good uni is a respectable qualification) and
lower division (2.2, you drank a lot)
Third Class Honours (worthless)
Pass (despite the name: kill yourself)