sang like a sparrow in the pouring rain

Back to tiny, dingy, not-nearly-enough-marble-Lenins-around England, and things are going well; fears that academics would seriously mind my disappearance were allayed with a hearty “Welcome back! How’d the invasion of Russia go? Did you leave it as you found it?” in my first seminar back. Should’ve bought them souvenirs.

My first essay mark of the year (an unassessed about battle tactics in the Peninsular War) has come back – 68%, annoyingly short of the First I want will have come hell or high water want. But only 2% short, and one of the two problems with it (a poor footnoting practice that no other tutor has gigged me for in the last two years) is easily dealt with; the lack of specificity will be harder, though I think I can work on it. Dissertation wise, the thesis I really needed for my research has finally come through from the British Library, so I’m seriously getting to grips with that and hope to have an introduction and possibly chapter done for the week; so far, so good, though several of the sources I need will either have to be bought at considerable expense or visited in a library somewhere. But I was going to have to do a research trip to London at some point anyway, and if the sources are in Leeds I am totally happy with doing the Royal Armouries again.

Last weekend was spent visiting my doppelganger (a friend through Siz, who is disturbingly like me in practically every respect save for being a foot shorter and a lady) at her stable in Tonbridge. As she was laid up from a horse-related injury, we happily squandered the weekend lazing around munching popcorn and watching Venture Bros and Generation Kill. It’s very nice just chilling in someone’s company without feeling any obligation to do or be anything. The only cloud was that I managed to leave my flask behind, but I made do while it was in the post (accompanied by some sublime flapjack) – ‘making do’ included bringing a mug and teabag to my special subject lecture/seminar and begging some boiling water off Dr Snape. (Who gave us all teacakes that lecture; I’ve said “our academics are cool” before and you can be damn sure I’m going to be saying it again.)

You may recall [oh god has it really been] two years ago, me getting into a flat panic about my first ever piece of serious uni work. My first-year flatmate went through the exact same thing over her first essay this week. So I sat down with her, reassured her of the non-worthlessness of everything and helped cut 3k words down to 2k; there is a pleasing circle-of-life aspect to this. (Now, I am the master.) Besides that, Mason is crawling with wannabe RAs intriguing for votes and handing out sweets door-to-door in some surreal reverse Halloween.

Filming completed on the two GTV productions I got bit parts in; when the episodes go online, I may post links if they’re not terminally embarrassing (chances are low). I went to see a student production of Trainspotting (starring a chap I know from school) which was very good and very grim, though there’s a very strange dissonance when you facebook-stalk the cast after the fact and see people who you only know as a violent, threatening Scots psycho frolicking in happy-hipster duds or playing ukuleles. The future is so weird.

Redbrick won a Guardian Student Media Award for Best Website! While I’m very hesitant to claim any responsibility for that – pretty much everything I did on the site, Chris H came along and did better – the (mostly unspoken) consensus is that our coverage of the Birmingham riots was what put us on the radar, and I was part of the team that pulled that through. Also on the society front, Tea Society had their AGM this week; the committee were unanimously re-elected and the one contested position was a very close-run thing. All in all a thoroughly civilised affair with nice cups of tea everywhere. Law for Non-Law Society are tooling up for our Christmas Networking gig, inviting lawyers and attempting publicity everywhere.

It’s coming to me now that this really is the beginning of the end; that I’ve got, essentially, one term left at university before real life comes. And that’s vaguely terrifying.


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