PhD postcard

Dear friends,

I've begun my first year (they call it the probationary year -- you'll only be officially registered as a PhD student once you pass the first-year assessment) of PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. Really, though, my research is historical (as opposed to being a study of politics...and...international studies. I've been to three separate sessions on methodology so far and now, more than ever, I find it hard to say "historical" (and a host of other terms) without weighing in the ways people have defined it/them.

Ideally, this post would be a letter with many snapshots enclosed. But (a) I no longer have a camera except for the one on my phone and (b) I can't transfer the phone photos to my laptop at the moment, but I managed to e-mail this photo from my phone before the tech-y problems arrived:

I bought a whole salmon at ASDA and cut it up to be frozen. This is much cheaper than buying salmon fillets, I wonder why we never thought of doing this in London.

Sorry my first photo from Cambridge is of a fish. The past few days have been spent in mapping out where the books that I need are -- this university has more than a hundred libraries but I'll probably only frequent 4 or 5 of them, and it's not like we get access to all the libraries anyway --, and then sourcing books than cannot be found in any of the Cambridge libraries, ferreting around the internet for human sources of information, plotting a realistic plan for the next several months of research, and getting used to living in Cambridge. Haven't bought a bike yet. Or a duvet. I made some laundry detergent, though, and I'm quite happy with the results so I shouldn't need to spend so much money on regular ones any more :)

Remember me in your du'as!

Until next time,
Maryam
St. Catharine's College, Cambridge

0 comments :: PhD postcard

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

PhD postcard

Dear friends,

I've begun my first year (they call it the probationary year -- you'll only be officially registered as a PhD student once you pass the first-year assessment) of PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. Really, though, my research is historical (as opposed to being a study of politics...and...international studies. I've been to three separate sessions on methodology so far and now, more than ever, I find it hard to say "historical" (and a host of other terms) without weighing in the ways people have defined it/them.

Ideally, this post would be a letter with many snapshots enclosed. But (a) I no longer have a camera except for the one on my phone and (b) I can't transfer the phone photos to my laptop at the moment, but I managed to e-mail this photo from my phone before the tech-y problems arrived:

I bought a whole salmon at ASDA and cut it up to be frozen. This is much cheaper than buying salmon fillets, I wonder why we never thought of doing this in London.

Sorry my first photo from Cambridge is of a fish. The past few days have been spent in mapping out where the books that I need are -- this university has more than a hundred libraries but I'll probably only frequent 4 or 5 of them, and it's not like we get access to all the libraries anyway --, and then sourcing books than cannot be found in any of the Cambridge libraries, ferreting around the internet for human sources of information, plotting a realistic plan for the next several months of research, and getting used to living in Cambridge. Haven't bought a bike yet. Or a duvet. I made some laundry detergent, though, and I'm quite happy with the results so I shouldn't need to spend so much money on regular ones any more :)

Remember me in your du'as!

Until next time,
Maryam
St. Catharine's College, Cambridge

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