Saturday, October 18, 2003

Hoist by my own petard

Ooookay, then.

So I’m meant to be busy with this Masters study thing and all.

(I do indeed have a dissertation proposal that I’ve whipped up on a Saturday night before going down the pub, which may get posted later this week as a blog on efforts to contain North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction with a naval blockade.)

But I wanted to throw myself into student life while I was here.

One of my achievements to this end has been becoming temporarily, until election time, Secretary of the Middle Combination Room. Not sure what possessed me to get involved with a committee again, but as the streaker said to the judge, "It seemed a good idea at the time, your honour."

I also went and auditioned for a few plays, not expecting to get any roles.

I even went and joined the Cambridge Union and decided to give debating a go again after only 6 years out of the field.

Surprise the first: I have now been offered a part in a production of Albert’s Bridge by Tom Stoppard, running from 19-22 November as part of the ADC Freshers’ Plays.

Surprise the second: Today, after a gruelling amount of waiting, interspersed with some debating that I genuinely enjoyed, I was offered a part-funded place (ie airfare) to attend the Worlds Debating tournament in Singapore on a Cambridge representative team. It looks like I will be in Singapore from 27 December 2003 – 3 January 2004, debating, socialising and sight-seeing.

I would have trouble emphasising just how much I am loving this experience, how wonderful it is to be excited by ideas again, how interesting it is to be surrounded by graduate students from all over the world who are just passionate about their field, and how refreshing it is to throw myself at activities with a “frankly, I have nothing to prove but just want to have fun” attitude - and then to succeed beyond all my expectations.

Anyone might think I had a talent for communication … But sweet Santa, if I thought I was behind on my reading before all this ...

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