Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rest and Dead-Week

1:25 PM Posted by Patrick , No comments
I almost feel guilty when I hear about the daunting mountain of homework that Win is laboring under. Almost.

Self study for the final is not exactly difficult. Two or three hours of my time, at my leisure and good pleasure, seems easier than the hour and fifteen minutes spent in the company of the professor. Here I have endless supplies of coffee. I may stretch and walk around when I please. I can even listen to my music while I am working. It is an easy schedule and I find myself unwinding very nicely from all accumulated stress that I collected during my research process.

However, not being in the presence of the professor does make it difficult to drag feedback out of them. I am still waiting for a certain professor's feedback, in light of which I was supposed to begin my revision on a certain paper. While there is oodles of time before I really need this info, it is usually my preference to get all this nonsense out of the war early. I dislike last minute jobs.

Having finished Rutherfurd's New York, I am pleased with it as an effort overall. Though, I couldn't help but notice, Rutherfurd dragged this piece into the present and, in the process, was unable to keep his own political views separate. I think it a pity. Rutherfurd usually keeps everything so objective and adding political tones takes away from the grand scale feel which his books carry, and which this book carried until he got closer to modern times. Part of the mark of a good historian is the ability to veil opinion and present subject matter objectively, with the only opinion that matters belonging to the parties involved. The material in this book must have come to close; it shows in the way it colors his language and characters. I am afraid that his mask cracked on this one. Let us hope he sticks to history next time.

...I should mention that it was a pretty good read until it got to the twentieth century. Politics don't enter until much later, but the characters in the twentieth century are sort of flat and weak, somewhat petty. I would have been better pleased if I just read the first two thirds...no I wouldn't, I would have been curious. I just wish now that I had stopped then. ;-)

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