tropiavera: a woman x-rays her chest to display a heart ([❣] the heart is not coal)
Happy birthday, Future Self. You're 26 now! Holy shit! That feels waaay older than 25, right? It's scary, mostly because you are now the age of the bloggers you used to read in high school, right? That's pretty weird. But you do grown-up stuff now, too! Stuff like drinking wine and owning your own coffee maker, and having multiple degrees! MULTIPLE DEGREES! That took you almost seven years to accrue, because, as I might have mentioned earlier, you are a grown-up now. And what do grown-ups do? That's correct, they write vaguely self-indulgent letters in the form of lists.

1. Did Mom send you a cake? I bet she did. Hey, this year, remember to light the back candles first.

2. Hey Future Self, I know you're probably unemployed, extrapolating from the three rejection notices Current Self got this week, but that's okay. You remember how you haven't actually had a significant break since you started grad school, right? Three years ago? It's okay.

3. I don't know if you have a diploma, yet, Future Self, but I hope if you do you still pet it reverently every couple hours, because that's what I'd do.

4. I mean, in the sense that I don't know when they are mailed out, not in the sense that I don't know if you passed all your classes. I hope you did.

5. Even if that literature review was shaaaky, I'm still confident you passed. (Most of the time.)

6. So go and pet your diploma for me. Or if not your diploma, AT LEAST your progress report.

7. Have you started going to yoga yet? Your joints are probably losing flexibility or whatever as you read this, so I hope that Bikram trial you and K signed up is working out well. PS: Future Self, you're doing couples yoga. If that doesn't make you grown-up, I don't know what does. (Dentures.)

8. I hope all of your miscellaneous injuries have healed. Between the chunk missing from your index finger, the burn on your arm, and the scratch across your nose, I think people were starting to get a little concerned.

9. In general, though, this has been like the healthiest year ever! AN ENTIRE FALL WITHOUT GETTING SICK, whaaat. It's kind of sad that all it took was drinking more water and taking your vitamins, but on the other hand, at least it worked. +10 self-care points.

10. Speaking of self-care, I'm serious about that whole taking a break thing. Go to a movie or something. Remember movies? Remember going out to movies? Try that. Go on a self-date.

11. Self-dates are important for self-care as well!

12. Okay, Future Self, I know that's starting to sound awfully euphemistic, but I hope you know where I'm going with this. I mean, yes, that other thing is important too, but so is taking yourself out to a movie or dinner or a hilarious jazz performance of a ballet you like.

13. Remember how awful fall semesters always are? They are terrible! I kind of don't know how you managed it three times!

14. Other than with the support of your family and your wonderful amazing loving friends.

15. Seriously. I don't believe that friendship is transactional, but it's a good thing I don't because I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO REPAY all of the incredible support over the last couple years. Being able to look at my twitter replies, or responses to the holiday meme, in the wee small hours of academic desperation has made all the difference.

16. On that note, Future Self, you should probably also thank your parents. I mean, they'll probably demur, but it's still important.

17. Also: that goofball who left Skype on all night on Wednesday so you wouldn't be by yourself while finishing your paper.

18. What I'm getting at, Future Self, is that I'm glad you have the support system that you do today, especially since that was part of what made undergrad so difficult, feeling isolated so much of the time. So I'm glad you've found this for yourself.

19. Future Self, this is a really long list. I don't know if I have that many more things to say, especially since despite sleeping for ten hours last night and then taking a nap, I'm still kind of tired.

20. I hope you're back to a reasonable sleep schedule and consuming things other than caffeine now, though.

21. Like, I'm glad you were able to conduct your pioneering research into what happens if you only drink coffee for days at a stretch for the benefit of future generations, but the personal cost in nausea was pretty high, was it not?

22. It was.

23. So even though this wasn't where you thought you would be in high school, or where you thought college would take you, Future Self, I'm glad you have found the success and happiness you have.

24. Especially because there have been times when you thought you would have neither.

25. I am so proud of you, Future Self. Even if you convince yourself that you are a terrible and irresponsible student and/or person, you have accomplished a lot of excellent things so far.

26. Don't forget about 16-year-old self or 22-year-old self. They're in there too.
tropiavera: karen eiffel ([✍] once upon a time)
School is a thing, huh? IS IT EVER! It turns out that a semester in which you are looking for work + taking two classes is quite a bit different than a semester in which you are working + taking three classes (+ planning a wedding)! This is brand new information, I am sure!

Ugh. I have been feeling the burn this last month, and I think it's been taking its toll, emotionally speaking! It doesn't help that most of my classmates have graduates, so the people I see in class and around campus are largely strangers, on top of K being gone on research semester most of the time. I've been trying to push myself to go out with people a couple times a week, but that's, you know, exhausting, particularly since I usually feel like I am not someone who gets much past acquaintance very easily. You know? Whatever the opposite of growing on people is.

Anyway. I tried out Pan-Am and thought it was campy but fun, behind on Fringe/Nikita/Downton Abbey, and some goofy looking British sci-fi (I guess?) thing, The Fades (The Faces) that [identity profile] sainfoin-fields.livejournal.com and I are partaking of, as soon as I stop being an antisocial study mess.

P.S. Self! Finish this season's Pretty Little Liars ladyedit already, Jesus. This is embarrassing.
tropiavera: Margaret Olson (a nameless)
So we're coming up on that magical time when long-distant deadlines are starting to loom horrifyingly close, exhibits a-f in "where I have been". (Exhibit g is tumblr.) Two of said deadlines are this week, and since I'm living by myself for the week, I would like recs from you! Because I find imagining ways to spend all the spare time I don't have to be relaxing for some reason.

SO, what media would you recommend me for all of my hypothetical viewings? What have I been totally ignoring as a massive oversight until now?* I'm currently watching (for various values of "currently" and "watching") The Wire (season two! for the first time! no spoilers! lol mcnulty, i'm sorry your life is so bad all the time!), Shameless (I hate like 75% of the things this show chooses to be), Pretty Little Liars (finale tomoz woe), Parks and Recreation (:DDDDDDDDDDD), Nikita (:DDDDDDDDDDD), The Vampire Diaries (we're in a fight right now), and Sexy Tudors (this show is terrible, but it's a warm-up for when Sexy Popes aka The Borgias starts up whenever Showtime decides we are prepared for those levels of historical sexiness).

OR ALTERNATELY: So, drabble prompts! Those are a way to get into the momentum of writing memos, yes? Yes.

So this isn't an entire waste of a post: last week I babysat for a friend (daughter, 3; son, 1) and it was the cutest thing that has happened to me in a long time. She is in the process of learning her numbers so counting is VERY EXCITING and it kind of blew her mind when I showed her how many fingers old I am (my hands + her hands + one of her brother's). "So, so, when you were a baby, the dinosaurs were still alive!" Yes, they only died out super recently, you just missed them.

* With the exception of DS9. I know. I know.
tropiavera: Margaret Olson (Default)
Lord, today.

In lieu of a thesis, my program has students take a seminar and complete a self-directed group project (group-directed?). I did mine this semester, and it has been...

Everyone in class has done a remarkable amount of work, and I think our finished product is interesting, but every one of the thirteen of us wants to strangle our professor. Her approach to giving feedback and advice has basically been, "Well, this is self-directed, but don't do that."

Today we did a dress rehearsal of our presentation, going a section at a time and then giving concrit. The chapter I was working on is the last one, so I get to see how the process is going to go for the other five. It was basically the class giving encouragement and some moderate concrit, and then our professor being like, yeah, it's okay, but this part is conceptually wrong, don't do that, or this is boring, you need to spice it up. I go up and talk for my eight minutes, get my suggestions for how to change the language, and then professor weighs in:

"You're going to need to redo all of this. Nothing here is going to work." And then sits watching me absorb that silently for another twenty seconds.

Haha, thanks! Fuck you too! She's so bluntly harsh about feedback that I wasn't even upset because it was SO OVER THE TOP. For the record, the things that didn't work: I spent too much time talking unnecessarily about a couple methodologies [which I wrote about for the chapter but did not mention once in the presentation]; needed to link it back to the other chapters [which I explicitly did at the beginning by discussing the rubrics of analysis the other groups used and how that affected our chapter's conception]; needed more maps. Oh, okay, sure! I can totally see how it was a complete failure then. For fuck's sake.

To her immense credit, one of my friends in class came in with "I think saying none of it worked was overstating it a bit, I think a lot of it worked, like..." and listed a couple parts, because she is awesome. We also spent about twenty minutes after class breaking it down, all "And then when she said that thing about the chapter one presentation?! OH MY GOD."

Two weeks!

an update!

Nov. 15th, 2010 10:57 pm
tropiavera: Margaret Olson ([✁] leslie monster)
How is it almost Thanksgiving? Sweet Jesus, I have too much work to do before then for that to be possible.

I haven't been around a ton lately (aside from my dogged pursuit of the Drabblevember trophy, which, we'll see. I've almost reached the point where I dropped out last year, both on the calendar and in total) as a result of being massively swamped with work. I've started getting responses and making actual progress on a lot of my big semester-long projects, thank heavens, if I hadn't I think I might have melted into a puddle of stress. The proposed methodology for my GIS final project was approved by my professor, a relief, and she told me it sounded interesting, DOUBLE RELIEF, even if she was just saying it. I was really worried that it wasn't terribly creative or relevant - I'm going to look at the relationship between population shifts and public transit - in comparison to some of the other projects in class (for example, one of my friends is doing a project in support of a larger proposal he has to overhaul property taxes in blighted areas). As the semester gets more and more ridonk, I cannot describe how relieved I am that I dropped that class. Just thinking about having another thing to worry about stresses me out.

Ugh, just sitting here I remembered that I haven't slept for more than four hours in like a week. WAKE UP, SELF. Finish your rough draft! Only a month until vacation! Filibuster!
tropiavera: Margaret Olson (Default)
This semester has been kicking my ass pretty hardcore this semester, I won't lie to you guys. I'm used to having, like, three ridiculous weeks of work hibernation, but this semester! Every other week with this shit. It's been particularly frustrating because I feel like it's quiz after quiz and paper after paper into these voids, but I finally got some work back and got a B+ and A- on my two midterm papers. I had like three dreams last week where my professor told me how terrible my idea was, so that was reassuring.
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