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Dedalus Offline
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Name: Joe
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Posts: 431
Blog Entries: 3
Join Date: January 23rd 2010

MA application crisis - November 17th 2010, 11:11 PM

I've made a bit of a balls of my Masters application to Oxford.

I didn't realise that the referees have to make a reference by the deadline - this friday at midnight! My supervisor who was helping me with it didn't realise this either, I only copped it about 3 hours ago.

Basically it wants 3 referees which are academics, i.e. lecturers, and the application is online. When you register referees (which was a part I didn't see) it will send an email to them with a link to a part of your application you can't see where they write a reference.

Now my supervisor isn't an issue. He will be very happy to do this, because yesterday I sent him my statement of purpose for him to look over. I don't think he had taken this half as seriously as he does now, because he wrote back saying he wants to see the articles I've published and stuff so he can write a letter of recommendation to Oxford - well it turns out he's going to have to do one now.

I'm worried about my other two lecturers being put out of their way to write this unexpected reference in such a short space of time.

But there's a Professor who gave me a scholarship. I'll admit that I am intimidated by him because he is so incredibly intelligent and renowned in his field of study (far too good for the university), and he said he'd be a referee. He'll definitely say yes to writing the reference and he will most definitely have it done in time, but I am worried about whether he'll be secretly annoyed or cross about it.

Then there's Dr. H. She's a lovely lady and I'm not too bothered about it, because she'll say these things happen to everyone and she won't mind about the suddeness of it. But she's an absolute scatter brains - whereas the Professor above and my supervisor wiull most certainly have it done and too a high standard by midnight I'm not confident about her.


Secondary problem you don't have to look at

I've also wanted to make a thread about the professor above. He did his BA, MA and PhD at Magdalen College, Oxford. Now if that doesn't say how smart he is, the fact that he's the leading figure in the world of Athenian Tragedy maybe does. He's lectured at Oxford, Cambrdige and Queens and he just gives off this incredible aura of quiet intelligence - and its not just me who gets this, everyone else does too. But he's the most modest man imaginable - I only know this from little bits he's mentioned about himself to me. I know he used to play cricket and he was chair of the Royal Irish Academy and head of the school of classics here until he got offered something to do with Oxford University Press and resumed to being a normal lecturer. He's also a polylinguist speaking Latin, Ancient Greek, modern Greek, German, French and Italian. There's probably far more too him that he's mentioned in conversation. I am in awe.

I mean the other day he was giving a lecture on Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus and he was telling us that as an undergrad he couldn't quite figure out the structure of the play and the movements of it. He divided it up into five segments and identified the principle theme of each to draw an idea of the play. When I was reading the play I found the same problem, but it wouldn't occur to me to do that. I don't know if I'd be able to - yet he was doing this kind of stuff as an undergraduate.

But anyway, I know him reasonably well and was bitterly disappointed when he wasn't my supervisor. He invited me to the Royal Irish Academy colloquium, but he didn't really talk to me at it. He saifd a couple of things, but he didn't waste any time. I had talked to him quite a bit last year and at the start of this year, but I felt a bit of a distance recently. He sent me an email last week asking why I hadn't been to any seminars. I went up to his office to see him and I thought I was in trouble. I explained that I'm really busy and don't find the seminars very useful and he just said he was worried about me considering he knew I was very keen on the subject.

Anyway, there was a classical society thing last week and he was speaking at it. We all had coffee afterwards and were standing in groups and I was talking to two PhD students. Anyway that conversation ended and he comes over to me and starts talking to me - our first conversation that wasn't based on the classics or academia.

To be honest I feel quite chuffed about it. There were a number of other lecturers there, the whole case of PhD and MA students and yet he chose to leave whatever group (lecturers I think) he was in to come over and talk to me.

Secondly, the undergraduate he's supervising says that he's not interested in him. This undergraduate is a mature student, and to be honest he's not very good. An MA tutor told me she couldn't correct one of his essays because it was too intense and all over the place. Yet the Professor will find the time to come over and talk to me.

Now, the problem is I always feel intimidated and I don't really view him as a person. I'm always shocked by how different he looks from when he's lecturing to standing there talking to you. He also has a very dry sense of humour so its hard to knock a laugh out of him or realise when he says a joke. I don't know how to deal with him and certainly lose my confidence around him.

Any way I can address this?
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