Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
October 2009
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A dangerous place

I let myself visit the main Blackwell book store in Oxford today.

There are actually several Blackwell’s stores in Oxford, with a variety of specialities including rare books, music, and fine art, as well as regular books. The main store, in Broad St, has several floors of books, spread over three buildings (with a pub sandwiched between). […]

Is this a five minute argument or the full half hour?

I’m feeling a bit exhilarated at the moment.

There is a famous mathematical/philosophical book called Proofs and Refutations by Imre Lakatos, that looks at the nature of mathematical proof, reasoning, argument, refutations, counterexamples, definitions, and a whole bunch of fun fundamental mathematical things. It’s set up as a script, with a (very clever) class debating about a […]

Quirks 5

1. The streets around the Department of Education at Oxford University are very quiet and therefore dangerous: the local driving schools see them as ideal for learner drivers.

2. The list of events around Oxford this week advertises a seminar about groundbreaking aerial photography.*

*Think about […]

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

As mentioned in an earlier post, one of the other visitors here at Oxford is from Monash University (she’s in early childhood education). There is supposed to be a rivalry between our two institutions (Melbourne and Monash), which includes paying attention to who does better with teaching and research and winning grant applications.

Like me, she was […]

A stroll around Todmorden

Sunday 25 Oct

After the exertions of yesterday, and a pleasantly late evening, I confess I was a little slow to get going this morning (but, fortunately, didn’t stay abed so long that my appearance occurred after the post-dinner-party washing up was done!).

Nick’s daughter Nell was then quite happy to completely thrash me on the Wii (I […]

Oop hill ‘n’ down dale on t’ moors

Saturday 24 Oct

I’d been hoping for great weather this weekend, but I woke this morning, looked out the window and was greeted with typical Yorkshire sunshine: it was raining very heavily. Clearly we would not be rushing off on a trek across the moors, and so I headed downstairs for a leisurely start to the day.

Here […]

Great train journeys of the world

Friday 23 Oct: Oxford to Todmorden (Yorkshire) via Birmingham, Manchester Picadilly, and Manchester Victoria

Definitions in alternate universes

When I booked the ticket for this afternoon’s journey I asked for a forward facing seat, and this was duly marked on my NON-first class ticket. When the train arrived at Oxford station we were told that first class carriages […]

High class tart

(My apologies for the cheeky heading!)

Thursday 22 Oct

I didn’t have to go hunting for a lemon tart in Oxford (see my earlier account of the lack of these culinary delights in Hobart and the reason they matter); instead, it came and found me.

Anne is a fellow of Linacre College and had invited me and a couple […]

Autumn contrasts

I looked out the window at work today (the paper I’m writing is driving me nuts and so I needed a contemplative time out!), and I noticed two different species of ivy growing up the wall.

They provoked an “oh, wow!” reaction in me, so I had to go out and take a photo or three.

There was […]

Collaborative workspaces (part 1 … because there might be a part 2 someday)

Linguists talk.

I shouldn’t be surprised by this.

I’m all in favour of collaboration, but if I’m not in the group that’s collaborating, I do quite like to get on with my work in peace and quiet. And I’m sure the collaborators would quite like to have a free-ranging conversation uninhibited by the fact that there is an […]