The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Aspiration: Loughborough is getting me down, and it would be awesome to spend the winter in Oxford.
Constraint: I really need to earn some cash.

Point: You should go to Oxford. It'll be totally awesome.
Counterpoint: But there are good reasons to stay in Loughborough.

Point: Man, screw the balrog. I don't have any friends here, or leastways no friends who'd laugh if you made a joke about General Braxton Bragg or Legolas.
Counterpoint: So stay here and make a winter of delight with nachos and Texas Hold 'em.
Point: But a full 88% of my coursemates are from overseas, and several have gone home over weekends. Chances of any hanging around are slim.

Observation: Minimum-wage agency work is likely to be as easy to come by anywhere.
Counterpoint: Look, if you go to Oxford you'll be squatting in someone else's house. You have six weeks between the end of term and the start of exams, but if you go to Oxford you'll have to leave after only four. There's just no way you'll get work for those last two weeks back in the Elbro.
Point:Yeah, but I could justify those two weeks as revision time. In fact, given the fraction of the term I've spent on Knights of the Old Republic and worrying about the future, you really should do that anyway. So it's the same.

Point:I ideally want to get a DPhil place back in Oxford. Being there over the winter might give me a chance to talk to some potential supervisors.
Counterpoint: Loughborough has a better research centre than Oxford does. So you should stay here.
Point:You dislike Loughborough now, do you really want to spend another three years here?
Counterpoint: Maybe. It'd be a fresh start.
Point: But if I'm going to teach anyone, do I want it to be the undergraduates you get here?
Counterpoint: Stop being such a snob.

Counterpoint: If you leave the Lo-brow, you'll have to miss at least four weeks of paper-rounds.
Point:The money I'll miss out on is about the same as I'd make in a single morning on the bins.
Counterpoint: Yeah, but you don't really do the paper round for money, do you? And two weeks ago they asked if you'd be here over Christmas and you said yes.
Point: It's fine, I'll just tell them somethign came up and I'm going to be away for a month. I'm not so timid that the idea of telling strangers I have to skip a couple of weeks is a problem.
Counterpoint: Uh-huh. You have no problems with confrontation at all.

Advice is desperately solicited.


At 1:00 am, December 05, 2006, Blogger Laura said...

Are their opportunities outside of Oxford of Loughborough?

Otherwise, I think for the sake of your sanity, you need some time out of Loughborough.

At 2:35 am, December 05, 2006, Blogger Peter said...

Visit Oxford, get funded for a PhD in the US. Either that or plan on investing a lot of money in video games this vacation. From what I hear, Neverwinter Nights is pretty damn good.

At 3:46 am, December 05, 2006, Blogger Laura said...

Oh, look at the university of Toronto. I just discovered it has a special fund for commonwealth students. They are just begging us to come out here!

At 10:55 am, December 05, 2006, Anonymous Ruth V said...

is the RSL / other branch of OULS in need of staff? if so, that's a job you could waltz into... I suspect cost of living in Oxford is higher, but people you know are here, it isn't eating your soul, you could do networking stuff... hmmm

At 12:22 pm, December 05, 2006, Blogger Nathan said...

Thanks for the tip, but UoT doesn't really have the kind of research I'm looking for (as far as I can tell).

The GRE makes me angry, despite knowing very little about what it is or whether I need one. Maybe because it makes me think of the GOP?

I think I'm going to spend the winter in Oxford, in all honesty. It's simply that I'm horribly conflict-avoidant


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