Swiv's Idea of a University

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Food For Thought

Remember how last week I was going to go away and read something resolutely non-academic?

Well, that was the last time I picked up my novel. I have an essay due on Friday, so by the time I've done a pile of reading for that every day, almost the last thing I want to do is read any more, even a fantastic book like The Scar. So I've developed an addiction to watching Alias - I just wish they wouldn't end the episodes on cliffhangers.

Anyway this essay, it's evil. Really, some kind of demon has got in somewhere and screwed everything up. I have a title - vaguely - something to do with the nature of the optimate-populares divide in the Late Republic, and I have the first thousand words. If you want to know about Cicero's conception of the optimate-populares divide in the pro Sestio then I have a thousand very good words on the subject. Took me a couple of hours yesterday morning.

Then writers block hit. I know what I want to write next - I want to write about how the divide played out in late Rome, what the difference between the two groups were, and how rigid the split was. But can I get there? Oh no. I sat at my computer pretty much permanently from 1pm till 9pm, with a break for food and a charge across town to drop salads off for the student Alpha course, and I wrote approximately 300 words. I think I might have broken through it now - I'm going back to it after lunch - but it's still going to be a wonderfully disjointed essay. I'm trying very hard to give up caring.

Incidentally on the subject of lunch - I'd forgotten the horrors of Hall food after a year in a house. I mean, Jack's corned beef hash was pretty bad - but at least the meat had a passing relationship with an animal. We had 'Roast Beef' for Sunday lunch, and I don't think it was from any kind of cow at all. And now the dishwasher has broken, and we're eating off polystyrene plates. It's wonderful - fried breakfast on picnic plates.

I have a sneaking suspicion that after I've finished this essay I should probably think about doing some work for my modern history course. There only seems to be one person in my class who knows anything about any of the historiography stuff - and she knows everything. The rest of us are sitting there going, 'Ah well, we'll pick it up, got three weeks till the first essay is due, the exam's not till May, we'll get there.'

Actually, after I finish this essay I'm taking a day off. I feel the need to be a delinquent fourth year, and spend far more time in the pub. So far I've got about as delinquent as a trip to see Finding Nemo - which I must say, frightened me at points. No way should that film be classified as a 'U' when it had me trying to hide behind my knees to escape the shark... So as of 11am on Friday - when the essay has to be in - I'm doing no work till at least Sunday, and probably not then.

I think this essay's probably too much on my mind. I'm going to find chocolate and get over it.

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