Wednesday, November 30, 2005
A Whole New Kind of Hell!
Yes, C is the major reason, but what would you do? I was pretty pissed off after the last exam, but maybe with different expectations I will perform better -- fuck that, I will be graded better if I do the on-campus exam. The major downside is that the exam will be a whole new kind of hell, one I've never fully experienced before. One that will involve much less anxiety during the actual writing (I won't have time to be anxious in a measly four-hour time slot) but perhaps much more afterwards, when the markers may decide that I didn't write off the top of my head but more out of the ass region. Good news is I get to use the department's Apple Powerbook to write, so I will be able to email myself a copy of my answers and reread them obsessively while I wait for my mark. If one considers that a good thing, of course.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Nothing to do with School but...
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a memory of you and I. It can be anything you want - good or bad. When you're finished, if you so choose, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people remember about you!
So go to it folks.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Possibly a Good Omen
In going over your SSHRC Doctoral application, I notice that you have not included a Bibliography and Citations page as required. Could you please prepare this and send it to me by Wednesday of this week.
Thank you in advance.
I have never included a bibliography and citations page before -- it's something you do when you're in the more advanced stages of your project. Hell, I'm at the beginning of my second year -- I'm not even writing the prospectus yet. But this might be a good sign. The last two times I submitted a SSHRC application it didn't make it through the uni and it seems that this time IT ACTUALLY WILL. Which is effing amazing. I may actually get a SSHRC this year!
Friday, November 18, 2005
English Majors Get No Respect
From Toothpaste for Dinner
Although I can't speak for all the English Majors out there, I can honestly say that I found grad school far more alcohol driven than the undergrad years. I think this is because when you decide you want to attend grad school, and in English you tend to figure it out fairly early, you almost always have to commit to an Honours undergraduate program. That's a lot of work, but one is usually still filled with a naive enthusiasm for English and the importance of the humanities to society. It doesn't take long for this feeling to fall away once grad school begins, in part because you see so many social science, science, business law and medical students getting way better funding and being written up in alumni mags and campus newspapers. They make the money, after all, and even some social sciences are borderline in that respect. One will also inevitably butt heads with one or more idiotic, self-important, pompous profs in the first semester of coursework, after which one will come close to complete nervous breakdown, post nasty comments about them on ratemyprofessors.com and begin to question the purpose of getting this stupid effing degree in the first place if one's colleaugues will potentially be just as assoholic. Hence pub nights, potluck nights, mixers -- whatever -- and 3 am pizza on the streets of Kingston in February when it's -30 and noone wants to go home yet. Aww -- sing it with me, Archie Bunker: "Those were the days."
Oh, and yeah, one eventually does get over the MA negativity. Or you just forget it and decide you're ready to commit yourself to 5 more years of grad school because it'll be different during the PhD. Yeah. Or not so much.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Happy Birthday Mike!
It's also my gramma's 91st birthday today. As she says, any day above ground is a good day, and I think that's a pretty good philosophy to have.
I'm supposed to make a fancy dinner for Mike tonight but he has not told me what he wants to have. I'm betting it will have something to do with chicken, though, and perhaps pasta. It'll probably be a weight-loss disaster recipe, but you only turn over-28-but-under-30 once, right?
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
What I Should be Doing...
It's not that I don't have an idea -- I do, and it's a decent, interesting idea that totally fits into the proposed panel. And I've got an excellent chance of getting accepted. The problem is that much of proposal writing involves arbitrary nodding of the head to what other people have written on the topic, or what they have written on topics tangientially related to the topic, or not related at all but I have to mention just so people know I've read them. It's a bloody annoying hoop to jump through, and it's a huge part of why I love my dissertation research, which is almost entirely unresearched. My reasons for disliking graduate courseowork were hugely related to the silly nodding procedure that profs expected, especially in courses on subjects I did not intend to teach or research in the future. In three months, do they really expect you to become an expert in a field you really couldn't give a damn about? Well, some profs do -- and they are usually very boring, pedantic, self-important folks with no respect for fields they aren't an expert in because that would mean they can't lord their self-importance and impressive knowledge of a subject area over your head as an intimidation tactic.
Perhaps I should see what happens if I just write the proposal I have in my head and submit it as is. The worst that can happen is a rejection, after all, and I'm barely affected by them now. Oh what a couple years in academia will do for your emotional armour.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Life is Calm
Friday, November 04, 2005
They Aligned After All
Year of coursework = 1 part
Secondary field candidacy exam = 1 part
Primary field candidacy exam = 1 part
Special topic candidacy exam = 1 part
Special topic oral exam = 1 part
Dissertation prospectus = 1 part
So 6 parts total to reach ABD (all but dissertation) status. Then the joy (really!) of writing begins.
I have this weekend off, although not really -- I have no conference to attend, no grants to write and no immediate exams to prepare for. Mike and I are going to read, hang out with the girls, sleep in and enjoy some of our newly bottled wine.