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Reflections on a Wednesday morning

February 22nd, 2006 (11:49 am)
contemplative

current mood: contemplative
current music: Traffic on St Giles; and the hum of the Sun workstations

The banquet is still catching up with me, I think. I didn't reach the office until 10.50am and so will have to be here until late in the evening. Yesterday will have to be written off as a day off, as I didn't do anything for TGW as planned. This is a pity as there is so much I'd like to get done in the flat; even when I manage a weekend without anything happening it takes a while to adjust to not being TGW-PK, or DSoc-PK. The latter incarnation is one I'm particularly keen to relegate to the back-burner, which was part of the thinking behind my becoming senior member. I'm really pleased that there is a new generation coming in, and I really want them to seize the reins and do what they want to do; but (as I might have said before) I feel a real clash between my sense of fan culture and that of the rising crop of undergraduates. There is no hostility, just a contrast between someone who grew up in the world of print, and a group of people who grew up with the internet, video and multichannel. I can only bridge the gap up to a point.

Tomorrow I'm off to the north-east, as it's my goddaughter's third birthday on Saturday, and I will take my place among the supervising adults at the leisure centre as the children devour various items of food, with the fruit and yoghurt alternating with chips, jelly and ice cream. It's good to go and enjoy being in an environment where priorities are different to those in Oxford; my cousin and her husband are busy in the day to day life of work and bringing up children and aren't assailed by the difficult intellectualizing that Oxford people can't avoid by our nature.

EDIT: I can only bridge the gap up to a point.

I think I'm wrong about this, or hope I am. It would be a pity if I can't adapt and stress common ground over differences in method. I'm retreating into a monastic cell again, and that isn't where I belong.

Comments

Posted by: Disparate Housewife (wryelle)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)

Hope you have fun! Small children can be refreshing to be around, I find.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC)

I was just thinking of something my goddaughter did at New Year. She was in the middle of eating custard (another story), and tapped the china bowl experimentally, and then a nearby glass one. The sounds were almost the same, and she declared that the china bowl must be made of painted glass. I explained what clay was, and she listened doubtfully, before returning to the custard with the satisfied words "This is made of eat!"

Posted by: pyotr_stolypin (pyotr_stolypin)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)

Any time you start to feel old, just have a gander at the pics in any publication of the Oxford Society. Instant rejuvenation.

BTW, it's my impression that students are - how can I put this? - happier, than in my day? I don't know if you've any opinion on that, and of course you postdate me, youngster. But I'd be interested. Perhaps my impression comes from having mixed as a student with good people who happened to be going through rough times at that point.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)

Any time you start to feel old, just have a gander at the pics in any publication of the Oxford Society. Instant rejuvenation.

So it once was; but there are a growing number of pictures of fresh faced things encouraging alumni to give their money to the university.

I'm not sure if the students are happier; and it often strikes me that I have really so little insight into their lives. I see the SocT and DSoc people, but don't share their essay crises (I only think I ever had one of those...) nor their tutorials, lectures and seminars, nor do I read the student newspapers and magazines; but nor do I feel threatened any more by the ambitious who are struggling to direct or star in three plays a term. Then again, it's questionable how far I was really engaged with student culture, as my devotion to essay research meant that after the middle of Michaelmas I stopped keeping up with my college contemporaries, and fell into the embrace of DSoc.