February 12th, 2003

Fishy Circumstances


The wind is strong and fierce today, and very cold. I'm not particularly looking forward to going out through it.

We've moved on from the Magna Carta now (which I rather enjoyed, give or take all the vocabulary I didn't know in English, relating to the finer points of feudalism), to papal letters. I heard tales from last year's class of their difficulty and it's true, they are. The sentences are long, clause-intensive, and full of general words, legalese to cover all future instances of a situation.

Tutorial, however, will be full of quite specific vocabulary, to help make up for the generality of today's Latin.
Fishy Circumstances

On consulates and finances

I heard today that the Italian consulate in Toronto will probably be closing next week since they haven't received their paychecks from the Italian government. (Note that this doesn't mean it'll necessarily be closing for long, just until money comes through and they can operate/pay their staff again.)

In constrast, the U.S. consulates clearly do have enough funding, and are receiving their paychecks. Today's email brought news that, effective immediately, "all applicants for the
U.S. visa between the ages of 16-60 must now be interviewed in person." That implies a whole lot more in the way of interviews than they have been doing, and lots more interviewers to do the work. Obviously, this change doesn't apply to people who don't need a visa in order to enter the U.S.
Fishy Circumstances


This song has been going through my head for the last week or two, but I only knew the chorus and first verse. I first heard it at Ad Astra the other year, when Charles DeLint sang it at the lovely concert he gave.

In days gone by when the world was much younger,
Men harnessed the wind to work for Mankind.
Seamen built tall ships to sail o'er the oceans.
Landsmen built windmills the corn for to grind.

And around and around and around went the big sails,
Turning the shafts and the great wooden wheel.
Creaking and groaning, the millstones kept turning,
Grinding to flour the good corn of the field.
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Fishy Circumstances

Interdisciplinarity and a mock exam

It's very cold out. This wouldn't have mattered so much if the streetcars hadn't been delayed on the way home. After a 20 minute wait in the wind, four of them finally showed up all together. I was coming home later than I had intended to since, in the end, I decided to go to Jill's talk, entitled "Climates of Collaboration." The title is only a good one once you know that it's about theories of interdisciplinary work and collaboration by scientists, and that her example is a group working on climate change. Jill's a good speaker and, despite being theory heavy, I did enjoy it.

I'm interested in the idea of interdisciplinary work, especially as contrasted with multidisciplinary work. The former is a buzzword. The later is usually what it turns out to be, but that's no bad thing. Bringing the skill sets of multiple disciplines to bear on a single problem can yield rich results, but it's not the same thing as applying the skills of one discipline to another, or finding skills which lie between the boundaries of disciplines.

Anyways, all this meant that I arrived home late and frozen, and am only now getting around to taking the mock latin exam. Better later than that I miss the deadline entirely.