charloween: (pure style)
Saturday afternoon: left Texas. Saturday night: Chicago with tourguide [personal profile] talitha78 (good times!) and then killing more time with a late-late screening of the new Jane Eyre (so much pretty*). (Technically) Sunday morning: back to the airport, and then Adventures in Dulles, and then FINALLY back to London.

*no, really. Lots of pretty. Everyone, but especially [personal profile] sesquipedaliatic and [personal profile] goodbyemyfancy: see this movie.

Back, that is, too late to catch a train properly home, so I crashed in London, where I woke up to the household rushing off to cheap pancakes at a chain pub for breakfast. I went with! Yay cheap pancakes!

Finally got home this afternoon (departing from Paddington is £13 less and takes 10 fewer minutes than going from Euston: these are my learnings), where I've showered, done laundry, knit a little and prodded at my inbox.

The conference was amazing: lots of professional opportunities, valuable networking, viable avenues for publication (including, very slightly possibly, filling a gap in an edited collection if I can get 5000 words together for Friday to send off), and good opportunities for socializing and imbibing regional specialities on a riverside patio. [ETA: Panels ran from 8am to 9:45pm. At one point there were 47 simultaneous sessions so it wasn't hard to feel like we'd accomplished nothing even though we accomplished a lot.]

It's amazing the volume of professional development one can achieve while motivated and on 4 hours' sleep.

When I finally checked my school email, I found that a) I got a paper accepted for a conference in Scotland this June and b) the journal I submitted to last week noticed a few keywords in that paper and have asked me to review another submission for the same special issue. I've now been emailed by two people I cited in my MA (without me emailing them first).

Thanks to the conference's Friday night programming special, I've had the Dr Horrible songs in my head for days. "Brand New Day" is not something to sing under your breath while going through airport security. I hummed it instead.

This week should be relatively quiet; just a few things on (like seeing Macbeth at the RSC, yay flatmate-with-comps!). The week after is my Week of Awesome (and Moving). After that it'll be in the neighbourhood of mid-May. I should really figure out when I'm going to Portugal... June?
charloween: (Unimpressed)
I've been in England for a few weeks now, long enough to have done laundry and have had to tidy my room (how I tend to mark time when I move, I guess), and after almost two weeks of introductions, orientations, first meetings and other preliminary stuff I am finally going to get started.

I have a small stack of books, a few dozen half-sized ideas, and a 80K word Contribution To Knowledge due in just under three years.

*cracks knuckles*

Alrighty, then. Monday morning. It's on.



In other news I had a job interview today (yes, on a Sunday). I'm not sure if I looked like I cared too little about the job )



My house's washing machine is a DEMON MACHINE. Ugh, I miss my old apartment laundry room. Never thought I would say that. )

In contrast, Tesco self-serve check-outs have (so far) been exceptionally co-operative.

Luckily it was a gorgeous day today - sunny and warm! properly warm, t-shirt weather! - so I guess things aren't that bad.
charloween: (watch all the vids!)
Oh yes. I have internet again. It's not that I'm utterly addicted to my digital life (it kind of is). It's that I normally use the internet to stay connected to the people I care about. And I've moved to a different continent. So. *waves hands*

Even though it seemed (still sometimes seems) like the Android phone was a frivolous purchase, its mobile internet powers kept me connected for the past few weeks. ♥ Now that I have a real internet connection and a screen where I can type with more than my thumbs I expect the phone will be used for more phone-ish things (and Twitter*).

*Twitter is an excellent medium for lurky fangirls. It's also great for SMS-style communication that ignores network barriers. Two great tastes that taste great together.

When I opened this tab I had a lot more energy and brainpower and was planning to make a much longer post. We'll see how this goes. Pre-emptive cut, just in case I get going )

ALSO: I must re-rec a vid that was rec'd to me by the always-lovely and rec-ishly reliable [personal profile] serrico... Whole New Way by [livejournal.com profile] mresundance - whole lotta Holmes and Holmes fandom going on in this one, all set to a Scissor Sisters song. Very yes.

It reminds me I haven't watched Sherlock nearly enough (though enough to be a little weirded out by black cabs forever - which reminds me, I'm currently registered as an MPhil and after a year there will be an Upgrade Meeting to see if I can be Upgraded to a full PhD registration, and this is standard procedure. HOWEVER every time someone's mentioned this over the last few days, I immediately think OMGWTFCYBERMEN).
charloween: (bookstack)


Courtesy Wondermark and whoever (er, I forgot who) sent it to me back in May.

SUCCESS

Aug. 23rd, 2010 06:45 pm
charloween: (watch all the vids!)
THESIS APPROVED!

NO REVISIONS!*

*Commas need wrangling, but otherwise... I HAS AN MA!

And while the committee was deciding my fate, I checked my email: UKBA issued my visa!

TODAY IS THE BEST MONDAY EVER!

Okay, nap time now.
charloween: (Default)
I saw four plays at Stratford in the last five days. More on that later. Rather than thinking about that I'm obsessing about tomorrow morning: visiting the UK Boarder Agency for the dread biometrics appointment. Idk, the UK wants retinal scans or something.

More importantly, it's where I can drop off all my paperwork and supporting documents for my visa. It's also where I can beg to pay to be one of the day's 20 priority applicants, to see my visa before the end of next week. Versus in four weeks, right before I travel.

It feels a little shady and a little Eastern Bloc to pay to jump the queue. If I didn't, though, I'd be unbearably twitchy and nervous for the next month.

If all goes as planned I'll only be unbearably twitchy and nervous until Monday afternoon (defending The Thesis!), with sustained moderate-to-high twitchy-and-nervous in the forecast until next Friday (by which point I might have the visa in hand and thesis revisions completed*).

And then: packing. Augh!

*I am starting to believe it might actually be not terrible. It being the defend-and-revise coda to my last two years.

News!

Jul. 14th, 2010 08:05 am
charloween: (Default)
Yesterday, I (in chronological order):

1. Visited the Museum of Inuit Art.

2. Sent off my thesis* to my supervisory committee, who'll then recommend it (yes! they will!) to for an oral defense and then I get to send it to two other people. I will not open the file to make changes** until after mid-August when the examining committee gives me revisions (yes, they will).*** Thank you to my cheerleaders and comma-removers! Couldn't have done this without you.****

3. Bought and started playing Lego Harry Potter for DS. So cute! Though I've decided not to think about how satisfying it is to get Harry to wear his school uniform while running around the Dursley house using spells to smash everything.




* Which includes: lots of Doctor Who, a little gratuitous Batman, and a substantial section talking about "Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros". There's also Kirk/Spock, All My Children, and lots of theory about watching television. Among other things. \o/

** Except to reformat my haphazard and inconsistent bibliography.

*** See **.

**** All 37,000 words of it.
charloween: (pure style)
Before breaking for soccer* I spent the morning finding more-academic ways to say things like:
1. "self-aggrandizing claims of bad-assery"
2. "textual cockblocking versus denial of a continuing relationship"
3. "this connotation is aided by the diegetic tea"

At one point, I ran downstairs to ask my mother what a good synonym for "chutzpah" would be, because I wanted to say that when someone said a character was "having a ball" there was a triple-meaning 'cause he was a) having fun, b) had a sphere beside him, and c) (as per Mum's suggestion) was audacious.

I've been keeping a post-it list of the bits I've had to reword.

...back to it!

*The Dutch obviously had a Don Cherry's Rock'em Sock'em marathon before the match. Disappointing. But listening to the BBC's commentators snark through the match was fantastic.
charloween: (arty TARDIS)
My thesis has a lot of Barthes, in fact, the theoretical foundation is pretty much the way captions, as he says, "help choose the correct level of perception" when you're looking at a photojournalism. It's all very political.

My thesis also has a lot of Doctor Who, in fact, the episodes I picked (thinking that one show would be as analytically fruitful as another, all things considered) are the ones that use "perception filters" as an important plot point. It's all very sufficiently advanced tech = magic.

This is either awesome or horrifying.

I can't make it all about the perception filters (or about the idea of a fluid, postmodern identity vis-a-vis regeneration), but I probably can add an apologetic appendix to the thesis declaring I totally didn't mean to pick examples that explicitly address the same themes as my thesis. It was an accident, I swear I wasn't trying to be coy.
charloween: (fly)
The directed reading, with its tidy allotments of work (one chapter, one summary, etc etc), is DONE. The summaries plus the summaries' summary (executive summary? overview? lit review draft?) total 32K words.

The thesis needs to be 30K.

That's what I'll start on, tomorrow. *cracks knuckles*


But now: I will get dressed and start shifting boxes to the front hall so Mum and I can have an easier time of it, dragging everything out to the car. I've been slowly moving out for the last month. (It's getting a bit ridiculous.)
charloween: (Default)
Joss Whedon snuck into my thesis. (Fun fact: "snuck" is apparently a Canadianism.) This latest summary was of an article about Buffy/Spike, Buffy/Angel and Spike/Angel and I happened to have a good vid with those three that I could use an example. That means I got to write:

Angel is distressed that Buffy's carnal inclinations are directed to Angel's former student and rival.

It's like the bad described-audio version of Angel's epic man-pain. I want to write more in this style, but my tone already wanders between silly, angry and overly-casual... so maybe not.

Hey piratefanatic! Click here to live vicariously! )
charloween: (Default)
Question for those of you in fandom (those of you not in fandom, please feel free to scroll on by): a theorist I'm reading says that fans "use the material created by the dominant class to express their resistance and overcome feelings of subordination and powerlessness".

I don't think this is right. Do you think this is right?

Why I'm asking )

ETA: Have just spent 45 minutes blogging and not writing. Bad! Must write more in the other window. You know, the one where I'm supposed to be writing.

ETA 2 (12:30am): Went back to writing, oh-so diligently, and finished another summary! So I started on yet another! Wahooooo!
charloween: (fly)
Today I bought my one-way ticket to the UK (and moved another load of stuff to my parents' place) but mostly: one-way ticket to the UK.

I also found out that I have a college* at Cambridge willing to take me. Now I'm just waiting to hear back on the money issue, so it's unlikely I'll be adjusting my plans.

*One of the really old ones! Woo!
charloween: (Unimpressed)
That's right: done.

Demon paper, paper from the darker circles of the Inferno, paper on political economy: done.

It's isn't technically my Last Term Paper Ever in this degree, but I'm expecting my directed reading to be: a) fun, b) not dealing with systems of knowledge that resist making sense no matter how much I whine about them, and also c) useful.

(Not that this paper wasn't entirely un-useful. It made me re-read Stuart Hall's "Encoding/Decoding" and I found something there I'd missed before about the dual nature of media consumption: that it happens both materially - buy a newspaper, watch a tv show - and also discursively - make what you read/watch meaningful in the most basic and also complex ways possible. But he argues that the material consumption is meaningless without discursive consumption, meaning that the study of media content is just as important as larger structural issues. ...I like theory. *happysigh*)

And then it's Thesis Time. If my previous thesis experience is anything to go by, I'll either disappear until it's done or spam this space with daily page count updates and moanings about my scholastic inadequacy. (I suppose my ability to use a phrase like "scholastic inadequacy" means I'm probably playing in the correct league. Also, *points to previous paragraph*)

Just, you know, FYI.

...I'm going to get another beer, open that Ben & Jerry's Brownie Cheesecake ice cream I paid $9 for, and finally watch the new season of In Plain Sight. Maybe just one episode. Or two. 3x02 is called "When Mary Met Marshall". ♥
charloween: (Unimpressed)
It's been a long term. It's been a long degree. Long but productive. Since I started this program I have achieved:
a) six conference appearances,
b) two publications - both still "forthcoming", and
c) a well-funded offer to a foreign PhD program (I'm pretty sure I'll end up playing around with the history of the BBC and/or fandom studies).

I still have yet to achieve:
a) one final term paper (I'm at about 3800 of 6000 words, but tomorrow is a Library Day) and
b) one directed reading, both of which will roll over into:
c) The Thesis.

When I get the term paper done, I'm going to see what I can Frankenstein together to get a rough idea of what The Thesis might look like. There's an extended metaphor here that involved The Thesis killing everyone I know and then running off to the Arctic (jeez, read the book!), but I don't think it'll come to that. It seems I have more written than I thought. That Research Methods course seems to have been incredibly useful, in hindsight.

Somewhere in there I managed to run two tutorials and take a bunch of classes. This year I've also gone to the symphony a lot.

*points up* If I'm a little scattered, that's why. The plan is to get all this done with enough time to use August and September for sitting and knitting on my parents' back deck.

(Thanks for listening reading, guys. I know this is kind of dull but I have nothing else to share at the moment.)
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: (pure style)
Now I have two forthcomings on my CV. Hooray!

This one is about The Fall, and is going to a film journal (not saying which one until I see it in print, though - I'm paranoid like that). I'll try and make the minor revisions as requested on the plane tomorrow, and have it emailed back to the journal asap. Hooray!

I wrote this paper for a class, and the writing of it made me freak out in a bad way, and when I took another look at the beast of a thing with an eye to submitting it for publication wowza it was bad. I totally deserved my A- in that class.

After some serious revisions, it's nice to see that it's getting new life. This is my philosophy of term papers: if they don't end up as thesis chapters, conference presentations or publications, you've picked the wrong topic. Both of my forthcoming publications (woo!) are adapted from term papers. I am playing the academic game, hooray!

Also this, my friends, is why obsessively re-watching movies is okay. If you're lucky, you end up with another all-important line on your CV.
charloween: (Unimpressed)
I've got to write four presentations (one tonight for sure, the others hopefully ca. Tues/Wed), fake some kind of test prep for my students, and do a massive amount of laundry: I leave for a week in New Mexico in the wee hours of next Sunday morning.

(Mum wants to go shopping in Santa Fe, I want to stalk the production of In Plain Sight oh and that sure-to-be-sucktastic wacky road trip movie starring RDJ - we'll come to a compromise, I'm sure. :D)

But until then, I've got to figure out Tuesday's presentation. I don't think it'll take all that long to pull together, but I just need to start working at it. I think I can manage the one-liner version (Jameson's article works to shift the definition of "postmodern" away from referring just to a cultural style, and towards a broader understanding of the term which brings together the economic/political expression of late capitalism with the realities of production within the cultural realms, and specifically an expansion of the idea of the culture industry) but I'm not sure how to expand this into a presentation that's only 15 minutes long, and neither am I sure what the heck a four-page (double-spaced) summary will look like.

Even though the professor for this class keeps ducking my attempts to ask for help, I found a fellow student who's been helping me through navigate the historical positioning of Marxism vs postmodernism in the early 80s. Apparently this particular article is an attempt to reconcile two warring factions in cultural theory, and a treaty can look really weird if you don't know what the war was about.

As for the test prep, well... this quarter we've covered No Logo, Vietnam, Sesame Street and the Mission: Impossible television show. This week we're screening stuff from Paper Tiger Television. *throws up hands* IDK.
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.

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