charloween: (pure style)
I have two offers (and five rejections, boo): one offer from a Canadian school and one from a school in the UK. Even though I'll be paying international fees, for the amount of money I'm being offered* by both it's almost cheaper for me to move to the UK next year. If I get a teaching position in second year, I will probably be able to escape the degree debt-free.

So. I think the choice is obvious.

*The Canadian school "offers" the money by telling me there'll be jobs on campus. The UK school has this wonderful thing called "maintenance grant" to ensure I won't have to worry about food and housing, and also has jobs on campus.

In other news, this weekend I'm going to write another conference presentation (for next Saturday, Innis College! Not in another time zone!) and shamble together my Final Term Paper EVER. YAY.
charloween: (pure style)
The revised draft of the publication is off to the editor, hooray. Hopefully there won't be much more back and forth on this, and I can be satisfied with a job well done. (Or - a job done adequately to an agreed standard. Hee.)

The other good news is that the scholarship to the school who'd offered me a place came through; that's home rate tuition and maintenance expenses, and I just have to find the last third of the cash. Somewhere. I've heard back formally from Berkeley ("sorry, no offer; no money"), but no one else. I like this school and I'm 75% sure I'll take this offer but I'm going to wait a little longer to decide.

The funny part is the condition of the scholarship is that I participate in recruitment activities for the school while I'm there. That's how I paid for years three and four of my undergrad, so no big there.

In other news, I've been in Albuquerque since Sunday, and I'll be here through the week. It's an odd town, and there are tons of kinds of candy-with-chili. At the conference today they had apple slices dipped in chocolate on a stick as a snack. I always know I'm in the US when there's some kind of food on a stick on offer.
charloween: (Default)
I wanted to share this:

And to test my ability to embed songs in a post. It's a K'naan song ("Take A Minute"), and iTunes decided it was the thing to play back on Tuesday when I was in the middle of trying to write that email to a UC-system professor who'd kindly told me that I hadn't a hope in hell of getting into any of their schools (no matter how strong my application would be) because they're all flat broke. Since two of my (nine, so far) applications were to schools in the University of California system, I get to stack up two probably rejections without the application deadline being too far past. Boo.

And then iTunes, in its freaky wisdom, decided to play a nice little song about, like, remembering to breathe in bad times. Which is nice on its own, but when that song's from a Somalian refugee there's a whole other thing going on. Talk about putting things into perspective.
charloween: (you broke sir)
I've got three more PhD apps to mail out, for a total of 9. I'm currently revising the back end of my shortlist, dropping two-maybe-three schools and adding another one.

Also, I heard on the news the other day that this is the first November without snow for Toronto since the 1930s. I broke out my winter coat yesterday, and I think the gloves will have to make an appearance in the next few days.

Finally, New Moon turned out to be a lot more fun than expected. Everyone still seems like they're in different movies, but for a cash-grab it has fun being transparent an obvious. If the movie was a person you were trying to talk to, it would spend a lot of the conversation wide-eyed and flailing. Minimal Robert Pattinson was also a plus.
charloween: (fly)
Updates! I have five glorious completed applications and one complete GRE firmly behind me. In half an hour I'll have submitted a paper to a journal and then I'm going to grab a quick pint with [livejournal.com profile] nevalent. Tomorrow morning I'm meeting a student bright and early to tell her why having a thesis is important when writing a paper. I may even get application number 6 sailing off (flying off, I guess) to its destination.

I think I used up all my free time for this November last November when we were on strike.
charloween: (Default)
I have now applied to four PhD programs!

In celebration, I'm taking a brain break with Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra:



(And no, I haven't seen the new stuff yet. *waves hand* Four more PhD applications and a GRE test and I'll watch it.)
charloween: (you broke sir)
I've sent in the first online application to a PhD program, and have three more ready to go once I double-check with my final referee that he'll write for me. That takes care of everything due up to Dec 8. Two of the next four (due Dec 14) are mostly done, and since I'm on a roll I can probably get the final four-or-six post-Christmas ones mostly together in the next little while. It would be harder if I was generating entirely new data for each app, but I'm not. There's very little variation between the schools.

I'm also coming to the realization that I really don't know much math anymore, and as such that part of the GRE won't be so hot. I don't have time to re-learn grade 12 math (I didn't do any in OAC) and I'm going for basic, basic skills. The verbal stuff is considerably easier.

In happier news: I'll probably get a new bed sometime around the middle of next month. With my sister moving to Mexico and all, I get to sponge off furniture they're not going to take with them. For the past (nearly) five years, I've been sleeping on a crappy futon. I'd bought it second-hand off of a friend when the Ontario Renaissance Fair closed. Yes, I've been sleeping on a bed meant for temporary on-site summer-weekends-only use. It's lumpy and uncomfortable and dips in the middle. It's almost out of my life.

Out of everything else, this is possibly the best news of the week.
charloween: (Default)
...but I durn forgot that there was new Doctor Who this weekend. In some form.

I'm in the middle of revising my MA Thesis proposal (I swear, the amount of paperwork that this program makes me do...) about why I should totally watch Saxon/The Master vids for my thesis, so I should probably have better DW radar. Uh. I have no excuse. Except for the excuse of "I'm too busy writing about old episodes to watch new ones"? IDK. Mafia Wars has replaced all my critical abilities with a clock-watching mania of digital bloodlust.

Speaking of being out of date, I'm rocking out to Prodigy. Yay 1997! (Oh hai next track: Nine Inch Nails from 1992? Yes please! Ug, some of these tracks have been on my computer since before Metallica got angry at Napster. Okay, back to work. No, really. *goes*)


ETA: I actually Accomplished Stuff today, you know. I finished a solid draft of something I'm going to send to a journal this week and it'll double as a writing sample for PhD apps. It's not just all Facebook games and Professor Layton on DS. Not all.
charloween: (Unimpressed)
The b**** who lives upstairs refused to turn the bass down on her stereo after I went upstairs to ask her to please turn it down because the levels were high enough to rattle my teeth. It's down to its normal loud-enough-to-identify-the-song levels, not at teeth-rattling levels.

Also: after a full afternoon of researching, I've determined that the communications/media studies programs in the UK do in fact tend to focus on audiences and screens (ie: film studies, television studies, all of the above + internet), whereas the ones in the US display a rather creepy tendency to characterize audiences as markets, and to lump the whole thing in with journalism. When they deign to study popular culture, that is.

There are a few of the ivy league schools who look at American culture (or "American Civilization", lol+wtf?), but they're dreadfully stuffy. When I peek over at the anthropology programs, the websites are full of pictures of soulful brown dudes being all tribal; sociology seems to be all about development studies.

In about half of the schools I looked at, to study some combination of media + technology I'd need an engineering background. Somehow I don't thing "knowing a few engineers" would cut it. There are a few places with exciting-sounding film programs, but so few that I'm wondering if I should cancel writing the GRE and set my sights on the ol' mythic motherland rather than that big scary land south of the border.

...The bass is still blaring. I swear, I think I can handle another hour of this effing bass before emailing the landlord. If I can't have peace and quiet (or reasonable levels of not-quite-that-loud-kthnx), I can at least leave a strongly-worded email in the landlord's inbox. I don't think a post-it reading "What part of YOUR MUSIC IS TOO LOUD, PLEASE TO TURN IT DOWN don't you understand!?" will be as productive.
charloween: (you broke sir)
Brain = broken.

I had my ass kicked heavily motivated but good today by my supervisor and a former prof: I now have nearly every book ever written on fandom to read by, oh, Tuesday (it feels like), and I have a shortlist of programs I'm applying to for that giant and scary PhD.

And the funding applications. Oy, the funding applications.

My competition will all be people like me. But all the other nerds might be better at time management, which is where I always need heavy motivation/ass-kicking. This is not the place to fret about all of that. This is the place to declare my intention of carpet-bombing these applications to as many places as I can... provided I can afford the application fees and can find people to write reference letters for me.

In less-stressful news, I really enjoyed Glee tonight. Big thumbs up.
charloween: (Having a bad day...)
Still haven't seen last week's DW ep; school Hates Me and my thesis is like my own personal Terry Gilliam film. If you don't know what that means, google "Lost in La Mancha".

In the grad school epic saga, I can report that I've been denied every single major award I've applied to, barring the one that's only tenable inside this province. It still may be marginally possible to get to Glasgow next year, but at this point it looks like I'm taking a juicy scholarship at a competitive grad program (the York/Ryerson joint program in Communication & Culture). The courses sound really cool ("Reading Television", "The City As Cinema", "Advanced Communications Technology") and I'll be very comfortably funded... but it all feels not-quite-right. It's a good decision, but I'm not entirely convinced it's the right decision.

I've been working in communications/marketing for two full years as of next week, and will be full-time in the same office over the summer. I love new media technologies and cross-disciplinary work, and like being able to get involved in a whole bunch of different things. I'm sure I could enjoy myself quite a lot in that program. On the other hand - I'm getting a little sick of York. I've had a lovely time, but I'm ready to get on and do something else now. Go to a different school, experience different things... live in a city I wasn't born in, maybe?

I'm starting to get the fear that if I don't get out now I'll never get out.

For now, I'm going to stop listening to Joy Division ("Isolation", lolz) and keep bashing my head against this effing thesis.
charloween: (Having a bad day...)
The plans, you can read about them. You can read about the plans: now with more interactivity! )
The one certain thing out of all of this mess, though, is that Mum and I will for sure be going to England to see David Tennant and Patrick Stewart on stage in Hamlet. Whether this is a vacation, separate and complete, or the two of us taking a week to do tourist things before I go up to school, it's a locked deal. Maybe we'll see it twice! Bwahahaaaa.
charloween: (Having a bad day...)
1. Everyone needs to find and download a movie called Blue/Orange. Now. Brian Cox, Shaun Parkes and John Simm (all three ♥) in a room, acting their pants off. Fans of DW will dig it for familiar faces, fans of In Treatment will dig it for the psychiatry stuff and fans of acting and writing will dig it because even in the first conversation, there's energy that's like arcing electricity between these actors.

2. Six papers and one exam left in this degree. It remains to be seen whether any of them will be done on time. This Othello paper isn't probably going to be ready for tomorrow afternoon. Well, if pigs learn to fly overnight. I've also misplaced one of the two films I'm to use as my material. Also I'm supposed to have read The Tempest for tomorrow's class, but as I'm not using that play for my final assignment I'm not exactly motivated to go beyond the outline.

3. Dylan Moran has a great bit in his stand-up routine about how people judge how grand a night out was based on how fucked you feel the next morning. And that's all I'm saying, 'cause I may have let slip the location of this blog.

4. Got a call from the Grad Program Director for York Film while I was napping this afternoon. Looks like I'm in, which means I don't have to hang my next-year hat on something that's as yet financially unattainable. It's a great feeling, and takes the sting out of the fact that I don't have a job for the summer.

5. Well, I think I could keep my current part-time job, but I should be able to find something that's better than part-time at $10/hour. I don't have a full-time job lined up, which sucks. Anyone got a hook-up? Alas, if only writing cover letters was among my hobbies.
charloween: (Ianto has a plan)
Grad school saga update: I have a little list and may none of them be missed, may none of them be missed. )

ETA: have mailed/dropped off/delivered everything. *slowly slides down the wall and slumps to the floor* Nap time.
charloween: (Default)
I'm finally back home (yay).

I had some great meals these past few days, got to spend not-enough time with Bill and Brenda, got to see a teeeeeeny bit of Ottawa and took some tours of Ottawa universities. The UofO tour was extremely disappointing and the campus looked like Ryerson, only more smooshed together. The Carleton tour was better, but she didn't go out of her way to show off the nice sides of the campus. Even still, it was a nicer and quieter campus than the UofO.

The UofO tour guide was a bit arrogant in that he took it for granted that we were going to pick that school (naturellement) and didn't try to tell us what made it special other than that it was old. The Carleton people were friendly and enthusiastic and the tour guide tried to give us a sense of student life, using examples from her experience.

After all that, it looks like Brown is still at the top of my list, even though it would be fantastic to live in Ottawa for a while. To be able to run over and bother Bill and Brenda at any time would be excellent (seeing as it'd been two years since I'd spent any time with either of them).

Dad's home from the hospital: he was any extremely lucky bugger. His heart attack managed to leave no muscle damage and the arterial blockage somehow bypassed itself which meant they didn't need to perform any kind of bypass surgery. All that means that he's disturbingly chipper and back at work. EDIT: I forgot to mention that despite this, he spent ten days in hospital.
charloween: (indeed)
After work yesterday (after it had stopped raining) I hopped a VIVA out to Markham to see the lovely [livejournal.com profile] aoshi. We went shopping, watched the first half of Batman Begins and then passed out (we both had to be at work early this morning and we’d been at work all day already). Solid fun. We watched strange performances from those rock star audition shows. Dilana is scary, but “Lithium” is hard to screw up. I came home (as I always seem to whenever I visit her) with another three complete anime series to watch. Tonight [livejournal.com profile] philthe25th and I have a VMars night planned, but we might go see Brick instead. I might be too tired to do much more than stare at a TV and knit, so we’ll have to see.

”Weekly )

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