Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Revising is Rad(cam)

I had a great start to the week with a late night ice hockey match against Warwick University which we won. They’re guys, we’re girls, so we’re pretty happy with our domination of them!

On Monday I had dinner at Teddy Hall with a very good friend of mine. They have a Michelin star chef so it’s always a pleasure, but they always offer three courses in the price, so how could I possibly turn any of it down? I was so stuffed for the rest of the evening. While we were there my friend pointed out to me the silent Polish twins that also study there. Apparently they are always together and they never say anything to anyone, not even to each other and in tutorials they say nothing and just soak up the knowledge. They came first and second in the entire year last year and, needless to say, they look exactly the same. Sometimes I wish that I was that dedicated to my work…

Obviously I had to get my weekly dose of The Apprentice last night. It’s quite a chore to watch it with me as I have an opinion on absolutely every contestant and on absolutely every decision they make. I constantly change my mind, going from extremes such as, ‘She is so foul!’ to ‘She’s so reasonable, I really like her’, and, ’He’s very clever, I definitely think he should win’, to ’No, I hate him, I actually detest him’. It’s probably quite difficult to actually follow what’s going on in the show with my constant stream of shouting so I’m very grateful to the special person who puts up with it. I think I will avoid confronting you with my Apprentice opinions and just say that I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s show and it gave me many opportunities to shout furiously at everyone on it. Satisfied.

Library Review: Lower Reading Room, Radcliffe Camera

Yesterday I spent a few hours in the Lower Reading Room of the Rad Cam. It’s definitely one of the coolest libraries in Oxford. Inside, the walls are just bare stone and there are huge pillars to section the room into different working areas. I love the big windows that are spaced out all around the circular edge. Overall it has a very dramatic look. But I really didn’t like working there. Unfortunately, Brasenose College next door is undergoing construction so there is the constant noise of machinery in the background at the moment. Despite the distracting noise, it was absolutely packed. There were people just inches away from me on every side; I’m not usually fussy about my personal space, but I don’t think it’s conducive to working for me. A lot of finalists will understand me when I say I don’t really like being that near to other people who are working too because it makes me panic that they’re working harder/better/faster than me and that I am an inferior student. Hopefully, this is all fairly illogical but I’d rather save my brain the stress so after a while I headed elsewhere.

Architecture and design - it did have ugly tables 9/10

Productivity - before panic struck 8/10

Fitties - didn’t spot any, but everyone in there was probably major stressed so not to be mean I’ll give 5/10

Harry Potter-ness - Hogwarts-esque but no actual witches or wizards (except me) 6/10

Finalist x


  1. On the theme of your previous post, I wrote a haiku celebrating the Rad Cam:

    In the square it sits
    Like an enormous stone breast
    Suckling the students.

  2. Thanks for commenting Anonymous! I'm glad my post has drawn such creativity from you. An interesting and unusual interpretation.

  3. Ice hockey, eh? My colleague who sits two desks down from me has played quite recently for the Oxford team - do you know a Rachel who plays?

  4. I've only played this year so I'm afraid I don't. If she's coming to the Alumni dinner tonight perhaps I'll meet her!

  5. disgusted finalist25 May 2011 at 23:31

    Hi Oxford Finalist,
    I want you to know I've read all of your posts and reviews. I've been reading since post four or five, roughly, so in some sense, it must be 'interesting'. But really what I mean is that I've had time to think about this and I think I have some tips for you.
    I will remain anonymous, and if I ever sound harsh, know that it's because my love is harsh; I'm trying to help you.

    So my criticism comes two-fold: 1) your blog is idiotic and 2) you are an idiot. The two are obviously connected, but not an exact identity. I'll go in order:

    1) Your posts are poorly written, ill-conceived, and really really unentertaining. They read something like a cross between 'insider exposé' and 'pre-adolescent diary'. The things you say are 'personal', which isn't bad in itself. However, they're personal in the sense of only-to-do-with-you, not in the sense of 'juicy private affairs'. You're keen to tell us that there are/are not 'hotties' in a library, for example, but you don't tell us what any of them look like, whether they glanced at you, or what you would like to have seen out of the 'local talent' and so on. Where's the romance? Where's the intrigue?

    You constantly give us the raw facts--the 'what happened' of your days. But you almost always lack the psychological element, the reflective 'how it made me feel'. This isn't to say anyone would find this interesting either, but surely your family and friends would like to hear more of your inner thoughts and less of your own little metanarrative of false beginnings and endings. If forced to choose, the best thing about your blog is the library drawings: you could easily find a google image of the rad cam or even the American Institute, but instead you draw them, as you see them, in a strangely internalised (even expressionistic) style. Once again, neither your internalised 'how I felt' moments nor the external 'this happened' would be even slightly interesting to anyone outside your circle of 8 followers. But as it stands now I can't imagine that most of them even are able to read a post of yours from start to finish without getting sidetracked by, say, the sound of low-flying aircraft or being swept up in the examination of their own cuticles.

    This leads to the second point:
    2) Fundamentally, your blog posts betray the ugly character trait of a person thinking their life is interesting. It isn't just the way it's written that makes it boring for the reader. It's self-aggrandising tendency implicit in someone talking about themself--externally--and nothing else. That anyone but you would want to read this shit out of anything other than a schadenfreudic impulse is unfathomable. You're blog is not just generally idiotic. It's idiotic in a 'personal' way that forces the reader to assume its author is an idiot.

    I'm trying to help you, Oxford Finalist. Change what you do, or keep it to yourself.

    ^ This is what a rant from an Oxford finalist looks like. What you write is something else far more mundane and unthoughtful.

  6. Dear me, disgusted finalist, don't you have the courage to show your face, when you're going out of your way to make boring, nasty spiteful comments? You must have such a dull life when you take the time to write a long whinge on a blog that you say doesn't interest you.

  7. I think what he means Julie is that the blog is interesting, but only in a train-wreck/freak show kind of way.

  8. wow, disgusted finalist, that really was a nasty message. Don't pretend that you're "trying to help" - if you truly were you wouldn't have written it in such a spiteful way.
    Personally, I enjoy reading Finalist's posts. If you don't, I suggest you stop reading them.

  9. How very ironic.. disgusted oxford finalists, you seem rather disgusting! I hope your lack of revision due to time spent writing nasty messages causes you to fail.

  10. Woo Finalist, you now have your first 'hater'. You have a lot of options on how to deal with this, but definitely the best will be to record a 'diss rap', where you say that all y'all haters don't know shit or something like that.
    Use this as inspiration:

  11. why would you post that..? Its just mean. I like the rap idea prior anonymous!! x

  12. Disgusted finalist, what you fail to realise is that in reacting to the blog like you do - you are taking an interest in what finalist is saying. If you truly found it 'boring' then you wouldn't have bothered to write out that spiteful message.

    As has been said above, I enjoy reading the posts, if you don't then don't come on here and definitely stop writing such 'helpful' messages in future.

  13. entertained finalist27 May 2011 at 16:23

    Dear disgusted finalist,
    My criticism of your 'rant' is twofold: 1) your post makes you sound like a wanker, and 2) you are a wanker.
    From your post it is obvious that you suffer from the unfortunate tendency of self-satisfied humanities students to assume that weight of argument is proportional to length and obscurity of synonyms used. If you write like you are pretentious, people will assume you are pretentious. If you write a tirade of unfounded abuse directed a female maths student who is clearly just trying to get used to writing again after three years immersed in numbers, people will assume that you are sexually frustrated, and thus, literally, a wanker.
    This brings me to my second point: you are a wanker. You're [sic] post is not only wankerish, it's wankerish in such a spiteful, bilious way that it is obvious that it came right from the bottom of your cold, black heart.

    If this sounds harsh, it's because I think you're a wanker.

    Oxford finalist, keep up the good work! I'm very much enjoying the revision breaks your blog provides. xxx

  14. Disgusted finalist,

    You write "Change what you do, or keep it to yourself." I think you need to take your own advice, you massive cock.

  15. haters gonn hate