Monday, October 03, 2011

At the deep end

We start term a bit later than most UK universities, and the term only lasts for a full eight weeks of lecturing, but once it starts it gets going very quickly.  Yesterday, the new first years arrived at the college and within two hours were all gowned up and photographed.  Three hours later they were in the hall having a formal matriculation dinner (with pudding in kilner jars...  yum).

And this morning they have to run around sorting out all they need to get going with work tomorrow.  So we don't really do 'freshers' week'.  Or, if we do, we pack it into two days.  It's all a bit manic and I really don't know how anyone gets through it intact.  But perhaps because there really is no time for anyone to sit in a corner of an unfamiliar room and get lonely most people do fine.

As for me, I've seen about half my tutees, my philosophy students get going tomorrow, and the MPhil seminar begins on Wednesday.

So, I've mostly been fielding emails for the last week.  And haven't had much time for my own research.  But I've been thinking quite a lot about Philebus 41e-42d.  It all seems very complicated or perhaps I've just confused myself about something that is much more straightforward than I think.  But I have signed up to do a little talk at a new discussion group with some of the college's other fellows; we realised that we spend a lot of time together, mostly arguing in meetings about the cost of various things, but don't really have much of an idea what the others get up to in the secrecy of their own office or lab.  I'm going to introduce the argument against weakness of will at the end of the Protagoras, with marshmallows.  It's not quantum physics (that's slated for next term) but it's a start.

1 comment:

RJR said...

That discussion group sounds cool, it's a shame it didn't happen while I was there.

By the way, now that I am a sort of educational Tiresias I can confirm that start of term is much more fun for students. I always suspected as much.