Month: November 2013

Paris and London Desks

Grateful Graduate Project 2013:  Reasons 276-285 of 365 to be thankful     Much of life as a student in Paris and London is spent behind a computer, on the desk. The desks become unique spaces that say a lot about the differences between the two cities as places of study. As I look at my desk in Paris and miss London, I think of the unique aspects of each desk that I am thankful for, inasmuch as these small things  create a sense of place. They also give ten more small things that I am grateful to have as part of the daily experience of study in these two great cities – Paris desk A Vintage radio tuned to ‘radio classique’  Candles from ‘Cire Trudon’ and a small lantern  Place mats fro the last meal – the table serves as the dining room table as well  – and a red coffee mug waiting for the next refill. Moleskine notebooks with notes written in pencils Several yellow wooden pencils sharpened, that add to the sense of …

Studying in London – thanksgiving list

A bit more to be grateful for the opportunity to be a  grad student in both Paris and London, in a spirit of Thanksgivingn here are a few thins that I am grateful about the London side of the grad student experience — The academic culture in London is robust and demanding – the quality of academics is often impressive. You always feel enriched with every contact with fellow grad students and faculty. The widespread embrace of eccentricity – I love that being eccentric, and unhealthily immersed in one’s studies is implicitly supported by the surrounding culture. Public Lectures – there is a strong culture of academic engagement  with the public and a wide variety of famous academics speaking and presenting lectures very frequently. This adds to an already stimulating academic context. Pubs and sociability – pub culture make it a much easier place to make and maintain friendships. Only here have I been out with professors and seen some of them sloshed. This has only served to increase respect and trust in colleagues and …

Studying in Paris – Thanksgiving List

In the spirit of thanksgiving, here are a few aspects of Paris that make it a great city in which to study and a great city to study. Among many other reasons to be thankful for being a graduate student in Paris, a few reasons be grateful are –    Academic liberty in French PhD programmes in the humanities: there is a greater sense of liberty to take charge over your work, greater latitude to be in charge of your thesis. The several small museums around the city that work as spaces for inspiration and enlightenment. The sense of history in academic institutions – Very few places feel entirely new, it is perpetually  inspiring to have access to the resources and institutions that have been key to this city’s progress and human history. Extensive archives in Paris thanks to a legendarily bureaucratic state and a long history. There is remarkable access to old records and documents ranging from police records to maps.  A pedestrian culture makes the city an interesting and accessible field to study. …