Wednesday, February 20, 2008

'twas the night before viva. . . .

and I have a glass of red wine handy. The chatty lad at the wine store is a natural-born salesman and got me on two bottles with a description of chocolate, currant and pepper notes - nearly lost me with the story of how it reconciled him to his girlfriend's parents (or was it the girlfriend?) - re-engaged with the recommendation of a 70% dark chocolate to go with the wine. . . . and ultimately held me captive with the very sad story of his exam failure that will necessitate another repeat in 'mats' (meaning 'mathematics') and his enthusiasm for his preferred course of study: law, politics, and economics.

From there, it was a hop, skip, and a jump to stem cell research, the ethics surrounding recent legal pronouncements in in vitro case law, and the politics of funding and public disclosure, not to mention the inside information he was privy to, which might come from his mother, but then again, he didn't want to say, precisely, although he wouldn't deny it (he said) and she did work for the Attorney General's office. . . . I'd say he'd made the trip to Blarney a time or two. He never met a topic he didn't like, or wouldn't be amenable to wax prolific on.

Luckily an elderly chap finally entered the store, and I was able to leave before that gentleman realized his peril.

Actually, the saleslad was rather entertaining, but I had reached my limit and wanted to get back to the flat, pour a glass of wine, and take a peek at the two articles Magda sent me away with.

"But perhaps you won't have time to read these, but they will be handy for later, if you need them. And perhaps you will look at them, briefly, in case you need to refer to them. . . ."

By which I take it that these would be good to refer to at the viva, even though I did not refer to them in my dissertation, because they weren't out then.

If you get my drift.

Magda is some kind of wonderful supervisor! It's just taken me some time to be able properly to translate her sometimes, and my early dealings with her suffered I think, accordingly.

By the way, I am staying just to the right of the bridge in the foreground, which I can see from my room, as well as the green dome which is across the river. . . .

Anyway, there's not really much more I can do tonight. I'll have dinner with some friends and then do a bit of reading and try to hit the sack early. The king arrives at about 8 am - so I can't sleep in, as I have to meet him. He doesn't know the city that well and we won't have mobile phones as a back up if we miss one another so I have to make sure I'm at the meeting place. It's a bit hair-raising. . . . but I'm sure it will come off with no problems.

Then, the exam is at 2:30. All I have to do in the morning is come up with a 5 minute introduction of my work (10 max, but no longer), and then be prepared to answer questions. Then it's done. And then we'll see what we'll see!

Till tomorrow, then.