Saturday, 10 May 2008

random points

1- I've got my annual thesis progress meeting next week. It's not part of the assessment, but I'll no doubt face awkward questions from an early modern historian who won't quite get that there simply isn't as much evidence for the eleventh century as for the eighteenth.

2- I've got a copy of Satre's being and nothingness lying around waiting to be read, but since it's one of those books no one ever seems to finish, I don't know how far I'll get. Though why I've got this sudden interest in philosophy, I don't know.

3- There was only one other person fencing last night, and after we got bored he mentioned that he was going to be swapping a bit of basic fencing training for some martial arts tips with a friend of his, so it kind of broke down into me running him through some basic self-defence. It's amazing how few people bother to learn to protect themselves. This is, surprisingly, especially true of men. We might not suffer the severity of assaults on average that women do, but we are almost twice as likely to be attacked in some way.

At the risk of being drawn into the frankly childish 'my way is better than yours' debate, what makes me angry is the number of places still teaching complex 'first you twist the wrist that way, and then you manipulate the elbow like this' stuff. It seems irresponsible to teach someone something complicated when they simply won't be doing the level of training required to maintain the skill. It might seem irrational, and irrelevant here, to go off on one about this, but it worries me when I catch a glimpse of one of my local self defence classes practising an aikido style move that I can't make work despite a few years of training in it. That seems a recipe for getting your students hurt.

4- I've come across the national archives online latin course, and learned more in a couple of days than in the last three years. For anyone with a sudden urge to learn their declensions, it can be found by going to the national archives' page (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk I think) and typing latin into their search box.

5- One of my cats has taken to going to sleep in the flowers just outside the window to this room, he's currently curled up behind something I can't remember the name for, presumably waiting for something edible to wake him up.

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