Monday, February 27, 2006

Gar, grr, argh, haaaaaaaaaaar

That's pretty much how I'm feeling today.

There's no point in going over WHY I failed my workplan so miserably last week. I'll just chalk it up to exhaustion and forget about it. The reading list is nearly complete, but the Dracula paper remains phantasmagorical. Today I've yet to do a single productive thing, unless you count paying bills online. The hubster was in a car accident this morning on the way to work so the car may be a write-off. It's grey and cold out. Green Shield health care sucks ass, I slept like ass last night and my morning bagel was hard and cold.

On the bright side of things, I received my copy of The Fiddlehead 226 late last week. Four of my Picchu poems were published so I'm now officially a poet.
doctor T 3:15 PM | 4 comments |

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New Exam, New Work Plan

Now that the major field exam is over, I have to prepare for my final candidacy exam -- my special topics exam. My special topic is (tentatively) 19th-century riots and public protest in literature, but that title and the scope is sure to change once I actually get off my ass and revise my reading list. I have a working bibliography but some of the readings are too sociological and I don't have enough fiction or prose on the list -- it's mostly theory and criticism. I was searching the VICTORIA listserv for anything on mobs but keyword searches on listservs only go so far. My goal is the have the list done by Friday so I can relax over the weekend before the new grind begins in full. I also have to contact my committee members and ask if I can write my exam on June 15th instead of May 15th because I have two conference papers to write by May 1st and, realistically, they won't get written if I'm knee-deep in exam prep.

I still haven't heard a peep about the schedule for INCS in July or ACCUTE in May. I think those will be the only two conference I'll be presenting at before the fall. Conference travel is expensive and this summer is promising to be particularly crazy. I would really like to have a draft of my introduction ready to go by the end of August but that really depends on where we're living, when we move and whether or not my brain has exploded.

Daily goals for this week:
I'll post an update in a couple days.
doctor T 3:53 PM | 0 comments |

Friday, February 17, 2006

Exam Results Are In....

I passed! My supervisor let me know this afternoon. I won't have the comments for a while, but who cares? If I didn't fail, and I didn't get distinction, I don't want to know the comments until after I've spend at least a weekend celebrating. Comments are inevitably full of criticism and with all the anxiety I felt over this exam I need some nerve-free relaxation time.

One more flaming hoop cleared on the path towards academic fame and fortune (ha!)
doctor T 4:24 PM | 5 comments |

Monday, February 13, 2006

More Exam Anxiety

I am feeling really, ridiculously anxious about my exam on Wednesday.

The hubster has told me repeatedly that I know this area inside-out, backwards-forwards, upside-down and right-side up, and that I could have written it five years ago and kicked ass. So why the anxiety? Why this feeling that no matter what I do, the outcome will be shit?

I think it's partially because I thought I did really well on my last exam but the markers seemed to think otherwise. I also think it's classic exam anxiety over how unfair a huge cumulative exam seems. I know more about Victorian lit and culture than anyone I know, except my supervisor, but if I just have a bad day, or crack during the writing, or get confused or don't sleep well, I come out looking like shit.

Maybe it's to my advantage that I have this nasty infected left hand. Maybe if I go into the exam with a sling (which I have to anyway, as I can't keep my hand below my heart or it throbs horribly) they'll pity me and be sympathetic if I write a pile of shit.

Oh for the days when I could spit on paper, throw a comb over it and get an A-. Doctoral studies are harder, if only because my own expectations of my performance have changed.
doctor T 7:49 PM | 3 comments |

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pre-exam bitch session!

My cat bit my hand last night. I moved her while she was asleep and she flipped out a bit and sunk a tooth into me. It was a just a little puncture wound, so I did my best to clean it out and bandage it up, but within an hour it was swelling up and going pink and my hand stiffened up. It was 2am. I had no car as Mike took it to the ferry. I had been reading queer theory articles and the Trials of Oscar Wilde all day and had yet to change out of my pyjamas. How sad is it that the only trip I made out of the house yesterday was to the ER at 3 in the morning? Le sigh.

Anyway, it's infected, so I'm on antibiotics and the lovely hospital staff gave me a tetanus shot as mine was out-of-date. The good news is that the bite is on my left hand so I can still write. The bad news is I didn't get home till after 6 this morning and didn't get up today till 3:30pm. I have two full days left before my major field exam, and if my sleep schedule is fubared I will a)not have much energy to do a good review/read session, and b)will likely get a shitty sleep the night before the exam.

Bleargh. I could really use a pint right now.
doctor T 7:02 PM | 2 comments |

Thursday, February 09, 2006

On Friends and all that


Seeing the recent posts of Foxy and siouxcitysue on the joys of friends made me all nostalgic for the days when K.K. and I used to hang out and drink wine into the wee hours and make asses of ourselves. I just got off the phone with K.K., who is now far, far away in the East. In honour of our very silly friendship, here is a picture to remind everyone what grad school is really about.
doctor T 1:19 PM | 0 comments |

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Exam = Illness

Apparently my body doesn't like candidacy exams. My major field exam is in a week and yesterday I was hit with a cold. It's worse today but I'm hoping that enough drugs and rest will keep it from progressing into something nastier.

I feel like I'm 5 again. When I was a kid I would always get super excited about any upcoming holiday, birthday, event -- any excuse for an event -- and I'd work myself into illness. Many a Christmas day found doctor T lying on a couch at whereever dinner was taking place, with a bucket for vomiting and Blue Bear tucked in at my side. I have no Blue Bear now, but I do have a couple of pretty cuddly cats and a nice big bowl in case of pukage. It's good to know some things never change, but it's sad to think that I now get over-excited about giant doctoral exams rather than parties and holidays.

Please send healthy vibes in the general direction of the Island, and let's hope I'm healthier for my final exam in May.
doctor T 2:48 PM | 1 comments |

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Links -- What the Hell?

I haven't been doing this blog thing for a long time, but I've been doing my best to make my blog thematic, pretty, and decently entertaining (for me, at least). But I'm still at a loss as to linkage -- I mean, what the hell am I supposed to link to? Lately I've expanded my linkage to include some Victorian lit&culture links, primarily for my own ease but also so anyone interested in what I do can have a looksy. I've got a big 'ol list of Bloggin Bitches from my internet-hangout, but I must admit I'm tempted to trim them as some of the bitches aren't keeping the blogs up-to-date. The buddies category is made up of people I know in real life or otherwise whose blogs I read. The newest category is Bloggin in the Academy, as I wanted to keep university (and specifically humanities) blogs in a special place. But I don't read a lot of blogs, so the category looks pretty sad. But what's the point in linking to a whole bunch of blogs that I found on the blogs I read? That's like stealing linkage, and it seems fraudulent to me. I think I've got some bizarre ideal about organic linking and honest blog reading. I'm slowly trying to expand my blog world, but what I really want to read about -- other English academics slogging through the ivory tower life -- is hard to come across organically on the net. If anything can be organic on the net, it sure as hell isn't humanities scholars, as we're predominantly a technically-retarded bunch.

I think I'm putting a bit too much thought into this linkage thing. Hell, I think I'm putting a bit too much thought into my blog lately and not enough into the Rossettis and the Victoria prose genre. And hell, I say hell too much.
doctor T 2:15 PM | 4 comments |