Week in the life of a finalist
Coming back from a year abroad that was incredible, if not the most intellectually taxing, the start of final year has been a rude a bit of a rude awakening. The jump from second to final year in History especially, and politics to a lesser extent, is relatively large anyway, but having not had class from the 21st January until 9th October I was very rusty for my first week or two.
Things have settled a bit now, though I do have three essays totaling 6000 words due in nine days and my dissertation proposal, as yet unstarted, due in two, which is probably why I’m writing this now. However to give you a taste of a what it’s like to be a finalist at Warwick in a pandemic I thought I’d run through my week last week.
I don’t have any classes on Monday so I should be doing research for my dissertation, job applications, reading for a seminar or writing an essay. Instead I had a lie in, went for ‘working coffee’ with a couple of mates, as most students know, meeting friends to work in a cafe rarely goes well. Though I did manage to write a skills and experience section for my NHS management graduate scheme application. When I got home I had a meeting with a potential dissertation supervisor about looking into cricket as a tool in Pakistan and India’s proxy war, especially in regards to their neighboring countries. Then it was off to campus for Rugby League practice, was a fun couple of hours before driving home singing along to Tokyo Drift, inexplicably our club song. In the evening I had a zoom meeting about being a Jnetics rep, running a free genetic screening to uni students with one Jewish grandparent.
As I have four hours of seminars on Wednesday, I spend Tuesdays reading. I had five reading across the two seminars so about 200 pages in all. It ended up being one of those days where I would stare at the page for half an hour and be none the wiser, so all in all not that productive, as interesting as reading about how winds shaped imperial Portugal was. I went round to one of my mates houses in the evening, they love to cook a made a delicious baked Camembert (yes they were French), before cycling home down a deserted parade at 1am which was eeire as hell.
Had a 9am History of Migration seminar online, as my history seminars alternate with one week in person, one online. It was quite nice having a seminar in my pajamas sipping my cup of tea, and the department have done a great job on sorting out online seminars, however it still isn’t quite as good as in person seminar in my opinion. Then I was off to campus for an in person seminar on the Port City of Canton, the seminar was on Portuguese entry into 16th C. China. Was both interesting, and as it was in the council chamber (I didn’t know Warwick had one) incredibly comfy. Had a housemate’s birthday today as well so went off to Bedford Street for their evening jazz jam, which was lovely, there were also half price cocktails which is never an issue.
Started thinking about maybe starting one of my essays. Took my tests for AstraZenneca grad scheme, didn’t finish the second one so assuming I won’t be working there. I have my Energy Politics seminar on Fridays so had to watch the lecture for that, then do three readings and prepare to case that ‘National and Sub-National actors are the key players in global energy governance’. Then it was off to tag rugby, a mixed local non-contact rugby league, it was really good fun but my team, the St. John Wurlawara Dragons, is still awaiting its first win three or four weeks in now. After rugby there were socially distanced, rule of six abiding, drinks at a friends house that meant I didn’t get back till 3, having walked home via a toastie a friends house and the Leamington industrial estate.
Lovely wake up at 830 for my 10 am on campus. The seminar was in person, with masks ect and as interesting as a seminar on global energy governance can be. Then found a spot in the library and finally started researching my essay exploring how the misunderstood tributary system leads to misconceptions of the PRC, before writing a the start of the essay. Fridays are a long day on campus for me as I get there at 10am and leave at 10pm, as I have rugby practice 8-10, but it means I am occasionally productive then.
After a quick trip shopping to aldi, back to campus to try and break the back of my essay. I mainly managed it, finishing it bar the conclusion. Then it was off to a friends house to watch the six nations and make some sushi, before getting home to some beers and cards against humanity.
Quickly finished off my essay before deciding that I could take the day off, so watched Ready Player One on netflix, read a bit of Rates of Exchange and met some friends for a coffee. On Sunday evenings one person in my house cooks a meal for everyone. My housemate went all out American themed, making a menu (below), making burgers and chips, buying crap beer (Bud Light) and putting on a diner playlist. Was a lovely way to end a relatively busy week.