Bits and bobs

Here I am, to join the crowd (everyone else has been doing this). You can make yours here. (Or you should be able to, at least. The link isn’t working for me at the moment.)

Just got back from a ride. Think I overdid it – feeling slightly flattened. I’ve been experimenting with going quite fast up the first long hill – what’s a bit of leg pain and bursting lungs? On the way back some race-bikes overtook me but I managed to tail them for quite a way. Still can’t keep up with M. The race-bikes couldn’t either. We’ve cycled 150k since getting back from Austria a week ago.

In other news…

I have an external examiner! Much excitement. And many thanks to certain Australian medievalists who suggested him.

My introduction is getting written, one block at a time. I’ve come up with a much clearer structure than I had a few weeks ago. I wish I was quicker at this, though.

I am taller than 98% of German women, and 80% of English men. How about that.

We’ve been watching the first series of The Street. Slightly harrowing, but very cool. The red brick terrace made me somewhat nostalgic. Timothy Spall is my hero.

One of the characters was drinking his tea out of my favourite tea cup. This made me happy.

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8 thoughts on “Bits and bobs

  1. no, but i have added it to the list! thanks! (off to the uk next week so i can stock up on dvds. well, that’s not actually the purpose of the trip but rather handy all the same.)

    i love him in ‘secrets and lies’.

    and in ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’. (we’ve watched every single one of these – absolutely gorgeous.)

  2. How exciting to get your external examiner sorted out. It makes it all seem so much nearer to those magic letters after your name.

    I like Timothy Spall as well and I particularly loved ‘Secrets and Lies’. He’s always so good in everything he does.

    All that cycling – you’ll either be ‘fit as a butcher’s dog’ or absolutely exhausted. Are you planning on the 2012 Olympic Games?

  3. Cool avatar! You look most inscrutable, I think.

    Very pleased about examiner, though sounds so odd, here, where the anonymity of all examiners is one of the university’s most sacred principles, the violation of which is punishable by death, etc.

  4. heh. inscrutable is something i’ll never be. i tried looking ‘mysterious’ once in high school, and everyone just thought i was in a bad mood. it’s also missing all my moles. though as michael has discovered recently, moles are dispensable through photo shop anyway. we look so much younger without them for some reason. i’d also look more like my avatar if i ever wore eye make-up. anyway…

    it’s funny how each country seems to do the examination thing differently. what happens in the viva in australia – do you just turn up not knowing who you’ll be talking to? we get one internal and one external examiner, which we know in advance, and get to make suggestions as to who we would like. but we don’t have contact with them/get advice from them before we submit, which seems to be the case in america from something i read on ‘quod she’ recently.

    (though often the internal examiner is the same person who examines our ‘upgrade procedure’ nine months into our candidature – so they will have seen the project at a very early stage and given advice at that point.)

    it took us a while to sort out the external examiner as the first people we thought of weren’t available for various reasons, and they had to bend the rules to accept the one i’ve got now. but i’m very pleased with how it’s worked out.

  5. Psssh. I moved to Belgium the day after Christmas 2007. It’s taken me 8 months, 6 of which have been spent with daily classes in Dutch. And I’m just now to the point where I don’t always have to switch to english when talking to people like secretaries or doctors. It takes a long time.

  6. Well, in Australia, the examination process is completely separate from the supervision process. At Melbourne, you have a principal supervisor, an associate supervisor (who steps in at various hurdle points and if the principal goes away), and also a third member of your “advisory panel”, all from the department. When it’s time for examination, you can suggest names, and veto any, but the whole thing is done in utmost anonymity. There are two examiners who are probably non-Australians. And they often suggest re-writing and re-submission. No viva, though: too expensive to fly people here. It’s quite different from the UK and US system, isn’t it? When the entire process is complete, the examiners can decide whether you know who they are or not (mostly they are happy to let you have their names).

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