windemere: (geekin' out)
It's such a strange thing; graduating. You've done all the work already. You've already been told you have received your degree/diploma/whatnot, and it is therefore mostly an excuse for a party.

I was really too tired today to party and it's not nearly as fun without alcohol anyways.

Day 2 of jet lag is always my worst, so I didn't sleep last night and I spent the morning going flat out - on foot - here, there, and everywhere. By the time we got to the reception I just wanted to lay down, or pass out - it was a toss-up.

There ceremony was great (short) and everyone said all the right words. It wasn't particular special (PhDs are treated like MAs are), but at least we got to go first. And then wait for everyone else to do it! The woman beside me kept up a hilariously running commentary under her breath about the pomp and circumstance so I was incredibly entertained.

We stood outside in the freezing (literally) cold too
much and my coat would fit over my robes so I was just a bit miserable. But Bob made my mother tea and is now the greatest person ever because he waited with my parents for a cab after the reception ended for 30 minutes even though he was supposed to be back at work.

Everyone was super nice and huggy and Ross said great things about me to my parents and to me. And I caught up with a lot (though not all) of friends. Not bad for 2.5 days in the city!

All that is left is coffee tomorrow morning with my 'new' twin Dr A (me being now Dr A as well) and to pay pilgrimage to Richard's tomb, something I should have done on Wednesday. Supposed to rain, so I hope our dead king appreciates my sacrifice.

I miss this part of my life already and I won't ever have it back. It was challenging and interesting and incredibly easy. Unlike the years to come.
windemere: (dreamcatcher)
Well, how about 'Summer has Spluttered'? No? Doesn't have the same ring? Well, fine, but it's true anyways.

Today it is sunny. Over twenty degrees. It is the first true, honest day of SUMMER that we have had since May 28th. Since it's July 22nd, I want all of you to think about that for a moment.

But, since it is nice outside, I can move on to other things.

Back into research and paper writing mode, which I dislike. I was so happy in May when I thought that that was it until the thesis! Ha! Should know Ross better by now. This paper doesn't have to be long, but it is the least interesting topic ever (research methods in humanities). Not finding much in the way of sources either, and even less for examples. Not fun! Will have to plow on starting tomorrow. And also get back to my ethics forms. At least I managed to email the people I was supposed to email last week. Even heard back from one of them. Things are progressing.

Writing on the fic front is not going well. I hit 5500, and I know I will get to 10k before the end of the month. Unfortunately, I still have 7 chapters left to write, so the number of words doesn't matter. The fact that it is almost physically painful to write is what matters. I only write fic when my characters are talking to me. Right now, they aren't even whispering, so writing conversation is just a lesson in agony. And it ends up sounding horrible. This fic will suck. Which annoys me, because I try to put my all into my work. But this year, I don't have time. Last fic for quite a while I think! How depressing.

Also, will be going to London August 2nd. Yes, that's right, I'm braving the Olympics. I have decided not to care if a)my train is delayed, b)the Tube isn't running or c)it rains. Just going to go, soak in the madness and enjoy.
windemere: (celebratory libations)
Someone on my f-list deserves the BIGGEST CONGRATULATIONS possible, because today they get to call themselves Doctor! And every day until the end of time! Our department is having a good few weeks on the graduation front. And people are having great viva's, which makes me feel pretty good myself.

In other news, this week is kicking my ass which is mostly because I've barely slept, half because I'm just generally stressed, and at least of third of which is because it's just exhausting. One more day! And it's a short day too. And then Liverpool!
windemere: (inspire)
I posted a message a few days ago on a friend's FB wall. We haven't probably messaged in nearly a year and with so many people to keep track of, even FB friends I know well fall by the wayside.  Anyways, they asked where I was, what I was doing (because NO ONE ever checks out your profile page first) and I told them I was back here in England 'for the foreseeable future'.

To which they responded: 'Dr. Hetherington?'

That's the first time anyone has written it down. And I just had the most AWESOME moment of OMG IN THREE YEARS THAT'S WHAT I'LL BE CALLED!

You are all going to have to call me that, by the way. Consider this fair warning. I will refuse to answer to anything else.
windemere: (inspire)
I know I have a good life. I don't like it when people remind me, because I'm just like everyone else in that I'm not always happy with my lot in life. That's pretty much human nature. I've gotten better in recent years though. Love what you have and all that.

But there are days when I don't need the reminder, because it's slap bang in my face how amazing my life is. Yesterday was my grandmother's birthday. Now, she died 7 years ago, but we tend to visit the gravesite (the family plots) on that day, mostly because it's a great time of year to clean the garden area up and plant. [And because the other date of choice is May 16, which is about 12 hours too close to my birthday to warrant spending time in a graveyard.] So, yesterday, my mother, aunt and I went off to Toronto to Park Lawn to clean up the gravesite (there are four gravestones in the family plot area, as my great-grandparents are burried there on both my mother's sides). Then we went to our favourite Bloor Street restaurant for lunch and met up with one of the cousins who lives up the road (she's my favourite - shush!). We had a great catch up over pasta and veal and then drove back to my parent's house.

That would have been a pretty good day right there, because there were no arguments or yelling! [Or deaths] But then I took my little baby and drove out to Brantford following my aunt to the airport (airfield) there. And then she took me flying in her adorable little Cessna up to Owen Sound to find the [cousin mentioned above]'s farm they bought a few years ago - to be close to the ski lodge in Collingwood - and took pictures. Cousin's husband has wanted a flyover shot for a while (he used to own a plane too and is in fact putting in landing stripe on the farm property because a lot of his friends have planes). We managed to find it first, which was pretty good from 5000ft I think! Then we flew a loop back in very bumpy winds (oh well) and I still made it back to Burlington for 6pm.

So, really, a spectacularly awesome day. I know that.

5 days left. Big thing I've been putting off to do. Oh, and that book review that's due to the museum journal in June. Oops.

Oh, and I may have gotten a new computer. Completely accidentally.
windemere: (Easter eggs)
It's sunny outside. I was out in t-shirt and skirt for the second day running. It's been a quiet Sunday and I slept really well. Gone are the days when such little things were enough to make everything alright!

I managed to get nothing done this morning, partly because (with the clock change) I slept until 10am, which rather destroys the vast part of the morning. And then I watch telly and ate a begal. After that I forced myself to go to the library instead of eat lunch (2 hours after breakfast). I was doing great, until Anita (one of my flatmates) presented me with Easter chocolate eggs. So there went that idea out the window. However, I never ate lunch, and only snacked at 3pm on crackers and cheese and a plum, so on the whole I'm doing not badly. So long as I can go the rest of tonight without more snacking, but the fajitas were rather filling, so there's hope.

Yesterday I bought the Hunger Games (1st book) with firm intention to wait until I saw the movie on Thursday to read it. Wow, I suck at best laid plans. I have promised to only read Part 1, however, because I pretty much know what happens from the trailer and hype anyways. But the rest...I'll hide it if I have to. And I have no time the next 3 days anyways, really.

Speaking of the next three days...tomorrow is an 8 hour day. Tuesday is a 13 hour day. Wednesday is another 8 hour day. Normally, that means lots of actually free time, but I have research that I need to do when I'm not at the conference presentations, other grunt work and I want to go to the Brown Bag Wednesday, so I won't even get lunch off that day. Thursday I will either pass out or be really productive. Could go either way. Could be both, in fact. But then there will be Hunger Games if it kills me (it may just).

Saturday, I plan to take the day off. I don't have high hopes of that actually happening, because I will probably realise how much work I have to do and only a week left to do it and panic. And panic is a really good motivator for working.

I did, however, pack for Canada today, because I'm not taking back anything I need, just some stuff I haven't worn and lots of presents and such. That was relatively painless, as packing goes. The return trip will not be.

Two weeks of hunched over a desk reading and typing has led to a permanent ache between my shoulder blades that no amount of stretching or pilates has cured. It's not painful, but it is damn annoying and does twinge if I twist the wrong way. As the next three days I really need to be in decent shape, this is a bad thing. Amazingly, it hasn't led to a headache yet. I'm just waiting now...

I am watching a BBC version of the love story of poet John Keats. God is it boring. It's not a good weekend on BBC, apparently. I might have to try ITV!

I really need it to be April 7th, because then my work will be done, for better or worse and I will be about to go to London and the V&A and then on a plane! And even though it's Canada, travel gets me excited. And the first 5 days will be really good...
windemere: (Default)
Step Number One:

Volunteer for lots of things you have no time for.

Step Number Two:

Make yourself known. Other people will like you and recommend you for other things. Some of them might even pay money.

Step Number Three:

Write lots.

Step Number Four:

Take a holiday. You've worked hard and you need a break. Also, have a hockey player for a cousin.

And then you will get away with things like:

'I need to move my essay deadline. I was think March 5th.'

'How about the 9th? That works better for me.'


Road to Happiness addendum:
1. I am grateful for cranberry juice.
2. I am grateful for the nice weather we are having.
3. I am grateful that it took four months for me to run smack into my former supervisor. And I'm even more grateful that he has no idea who I am.
windemere: (Default)
Great news! I have a (volunteer) job as one of the official (in fact the first) postgraduate bloggers on the Leicester website! I get my own WordPress blog to post about studies and academic life for the whole world to see.


Anyways, this is awesome news, as I am also soon to take over the official duties as the moderator of the Attic blog for the department AND Alex and I will be running the Studio meetings starting in March. Yikes! I was going to volunteer as student rep too, but...maybe not. I'm still going to apply for Ambassador again, and then get a part time job this summer.

I worked on my finances last night and, baring disasters or things I can't currently think of that might go wrong ::knocks on wood::, I am hopeful that I can finish second year only $30,000 in debt. Which would be AWESOME. That's actually doable. Of course, the last year may double that, depending on things. But even $60k is a lot better than the $100k maximum. Much calmer now. For now, at least!

Just had a very yummy goats cheese and cutney panini for lunch. This is not important, except that it was yummy!
windemere: (winter trees)
Literally, 'to travel through thick and thin'. )

ETA: Pictures now up.
windemere: (tea is hope)
I hesitate to say this, because Fate doesn't like me all that much and just saying it on a blog might be enough that it never happens.

But Ross said there might be a chance for me to go to Denmark in November to meet with a prof and some of her phds for a few days...funded!

WEEEEEEEE!!!! As the prof is one I referenced in my last paper, this would be awesome. Also, Denmark. Also, FUNDED.

It so won't happen now, but I can dream (and wish and pray).
windemere: (tea time)
I love reunions. I get a little giddy and silly when I catch up with old friends, and this weekend there was a lot!

Miriam arrived on Saturday. She did her MA with Jenny, Steph and I, so we had a fun afternoon kicking around the city centre and then Steph's house (with lots and lots of tea, cocoa, and treats (and cat)) before heading to the Guildhall for a play (Click here for a picture). The play turned out to be an awful panto version of 'A Winter's Tale' with actors who couldn't sing. But it was hilarious. Hilariously awful!

Sunday I invited the gang 'round for lunch. Nick (also former MA peer) came in for the afternoon as well, so we had a great time watching the mayham in Block K (across the parking lot) as someone burned down a kitchen. There were many cute firemen and we entertained ourselves a bit too much (considering the circumstance). We whiled away the afternoon and then went to see 'Arthur Christmas'. It's a great movie, I suggest you go! I don't think I stopped laughing the whole time. The kids in the audience didn't think it was as funny. ;)

Then we had dinner down the pub and, after Nick left, Steph, Miriam and I caved on dessert. It looked big in the menu picture. It turned out to be HUGE. But we ate it all!

Today, Collections Trust arrived for a fun-filled week (well, for me, not for the MAs!), and so I caught up with Nick and Alex for a brief chat, and then had a nice long tea break with Laura. So great to see them all. I'm definitely going to have to get down in the new year to visit and see the new offices.

Now it is horribly windy out and very wet and I'm hoping it's all gone by 11am tomorrow when I have to go out.

And the paper is going blahblahblah. But it is 5000 words now! Just 5000 more to go... :|

Bed! Book! Heat!
windemere: (genius)
Right, so yesterday went pretty good. I think. I mean, day off, so nothing got accomplished, but that's okay! Ross didn't seem terribly surprised or concerned to hear I'm doing 10-4 6 days a week instead of 9-5 5 days a week. Work schedule set!

Well, I've handed in my official work proposal for the next 6 (7) months. And it's been accepted with only one small correction (in fact, one small subtraction, so one less thing to research!). I feel pretty good about it, until I actually look closely at it and notice that according to my timeline, I am already behind as of 9am this morning. Which is less comforting, but at least fixable. Research day today! And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. May not make the training exercise tomorrow afternoon, except that I have to go to the library anyways, so why not? We shall see.

So, I may have stayed up last night to write fanfic. ::headdesk::
windemere: (Default)
I can still do 'NaNo'! Not this year, of course, but next year and the year after!

Someone should get an award for this idea:


Academic writers are saved!
windemere: (Default)
[Proper use of icon For The Win]

I managed two days of research. I actually managed to read books/search for books/review books/research websites/read articles/and download stuff to appropriate folders for two days. Now I just have to do that for, oh, another 1000 days more and I'll have a written thesis!

Research is going well, though. I think I have a good segway into my first paper (first proper paper, as the one I'm currenly writing is just really defining the topic and reviewing my 12 month old proposal), which will hopefully lead to one into the second and then the third. That I will worry about next year. Or maybe before Christmas. Still, that's like, two months away! [Yes, there was sarcasm there; nicely spotted.]

Tomorrow I have library work, essays to pick up, essays to mark and maybe another book to read (if I'm lucky). Tuesday I will have to fit stuff around classes. At least I am no longer going to London on Thursday, so that's another day free. I've got to the 26th to figure a workable plan in my head. And then 5 days to write it. Anyone up for a quick edit on the 30th?

I'm poking at my interlibrary loans quota and wondering how many trips to the British Library I'll have to make next year. I may get things organised for mid-December, as the MAs are going down to visit CT (we never got to do that!) so I can hop a ride, meet with the gang (one bird - one stone), visit the Science Museum (two birds - one stone), and then go to the British Library for a couple of books (three birds - one stone!). And maybe visit Chooe. And a museum I've never been to before. I'm sort of aiming for Wellcome.

In other news, I have now topped 326,000 words on, so I sort of can't stop grinning like an idiot. I mean, that's not a very good milestone, but I was aiming for 300,000 and completely forgot to check on it. It was probably about 4 days ago, since the last chapter of Ten Weeks was 9,000 words. I am very proud of myself. Now, for half a million. Maybe I'll do another BB next summer? I might make 400k by this time next year, if so. [Not to mention the 30k of academic writing. By September 2014, I hope to have written about 150,000 words of academic writing, just as a point of reference.]

My Dad put a camera in their house. And gave me the access code to view it online. I am...not sure what the point is, but I can watch the snow fall all winter and enjoy the pretty, without the cold. And I guess if someone breaks in, I'll know about it. Not that I can do much from an ocean away.


Sep. 30th, 2011 03:12 pm
windemere: (Default)
I think this is worse than the Califonia jet lag. I just felt really tired after that. But with the luggage and all, my shoulders really ache and I don't get to sit around for 6 days and do nothing! I'm not going to make it to the city again today, though. 4 miles is more than I have in me. But I seem to be getting the grocery shopping stuff done, at least.

The flight over was decent. Drank a bottle of free champagne (Go Upgrades!) and I guess that helped, because I got a few hours of restless sleep. And then I had coffee for breakfast. Probably all that got me through until late afternoon when I napped before meeting Chantel (yeah for mini-Laurier reunions. Twice in a week!). The girl beside me was going to a wedding in Leicester, ironically, for a cousin. She hadn't been back to England in 20 years. We chatted quite a bit while they served dinner, which I didn't eat, since it was 10:30pm!

I am moved into my term time room. It was available before they thought it would be. There are only 2 other girls in the flat so far. One is from Wales and is in the medical department, so she started 3 weeks ago. The other is from southern Pakistan, but has family in Edmonton! She knows all about winter in Canada. They should both be relatively quiet people, especially the one in medicine (research oriented). The others should be in by Sunday. Guess they might not be international students, since they aren't here yet.

Registered and paid for accomodation so far. Settled everything I think I need to at the uni. Campus is a disaster zone. The city is replacing gas lines all the way along University Ave and, of course, it's not finished on time. The entire road is dug up and construction vehicles are parked on campus. And the 'reno' they have been doing to the outside of buildings on campus is still a work in progress, so there are baracades up everywhere. Nixon is finished, in so far that the buildings are done and open, but the landscaping is a work in progress. They are hard at work on my little back corner, and the forescast is to finish by Sunday. At least they go home between 6pm and 7am. Because it's LOUD. But once they do finish, it should be quite quiet back here, as it is the far corner of the property and doesn't back directly onto anything except that large white roofed warehouse, which I've now been told is the offsite storage for the library (who knew?). You can hear the trains when they pass by, but they aren't breaking or whistling, and they pass quickly. Like GO trains.

The room is decent. About the same size as Opal, but with more storage. It looks well lived in, but it's very clean, as is the kitchen. All new appliances in there. It will do. Especially for the big difference in price from Opal!

Had a good visit with Chantel. Uni has made changes this year for the sub-wardens and everything is much more complicated and involves a lot more of her time, which in her final phd year, she doesn't have much of. Will be busy for her, but I'm sure we'll do evenings together on occasion. She gets half-price tickets to the theatre at Morrisons, so that's good! If only there were good movies out...

Went grocery shopping today for the week. Cost £23, so I am hoping I can do groceries for the week for under £50, including a night out. Food isn't any more expensive than last time, which surprises me. And I can live without alcohol and meat quite well. Some things are ridiculously cheap; like cereal and eggs. Good!

Will have to do bank and cell phone tomorrow. Hopefully I will have the energy by then.

Have already added a desk lamp and laundry basket to my room. Everything is unpacked and hopefully I'll get to the office store tomorrow for pins so I can decorate the room and it won't look so boring! I'll need a fan if this weather continues. 30* humidex today...without air-condioning and I'm on the sunny side of the building. And it's really loud with the window open. Hopefully better by next week. 16* and the landscaping should be done! One of the lanscaping crew is Scottish and he's hilarious to listen to, at least. Another has to be from Yorkshire, I think, and is barely understandable.

Bon Voyage

Sep. 27th, 2011 02:44 pm
windemere: (Default)
Off to London Town! (briefly) It may be a few days before I have internet again.
windemere: (Default)
I'll be homeward bound in a few hours. Well, I say 'homeward' when I really mean 'back to my Parent's for a few days before I FINALLY get to go HOME to ENGLAND!

I really hope it takes many less hours to get back to Toronto then it took to get to San Fran last week. I can't deal with another 18 hours in airports just to fly 3/4 of the way across the country.

Posted via

windemere: (Default)
Protocal question for academics:

(Mostly for future reference.)

1) Is it acceptable to cancel a meeting with a supervisor for a good reason? What if it is on the day of the meeting? What is the most polite way to contact the person, or does everyone just email these days and expect people to check their mail regularly?

2) What if your supervisor schedules a meeting and then forgets? I ask, because this has happened to me before and I had no idea what to do, so I made it sound like I had the time wrong (he showed up an hour late). How do I tell a supervisor they were in the wrong without making it sound like they've screwed up my day?

I am so out of practice with this. October is going to be a nightmare!
windemere: (Default)
SPRING! You've come! *hugs* Please don't leave again! There is Easter coming and then my birthday and I'd really like to see summer this side of the solstice. Pretty, pretty, please?

Well, I stared at the computer screen for half an hour this morning until I forced myself to type the first sentence of my proposal. Which ended up being less typing and more copying and pasting from the other university's application. But it got me started. I'm still not thrilled with it and I sort of hate my academic writing style more than ever right now. I am trying very hard not to panic about, you know, having to WRITE A THESIS.

The Muse has still not returned. I rewrote the first Twilight fic three times and she's still not talking to me, so I'm really beyond knowing what to do. I tried to poke at a DW plot bunny, but it didn't do anything other than stare at me, even after I watched a bunch on interviews with the cast about the new season.

Maybe things will be better after April 15th?


Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:14 pm
windemere: (Default)
It's been one of those awesome weeks where I get to do fun and new things every single day! Okay, not so much on Tuesday, since I've flown both on my own and on this same route to Florida before.

Monday was not a good start to the week. I found out I didn't get my funding for my PhD and immediately reacted according to my New Years resolution which was 'don't panic, things will work out'. I was rather proud of myself, even if I didn't sleep all that well that night.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I got to go flying in a 4 seater Cessna with my aunt as the pilot! Did a tour east and west along the Emerald Coast and got to see the Hilton resort from the air, as well as Seaside, which is the town that was constructed for the movie The Truman Show. I saw it from the ground last year, but it looks much more familiar from 1000ft! I backed out of the offer for my own flying lesson, though; I'm not quite ready for that yet!

Today my aunt took me to the driving range. I've never swung a golf club (outside of the mini putt), but I think I did pretty well after a short lesson! I actually hit the ball down the fairway a few times, tried out different clubs, and then on the green I managed to put 3 holes in one! My aunt says she's quitting the game now, I made her look bad. It was probably beginners luck. I do know that there are muscles in my back that I have never used before today. Tomorrow will be a painkiller day! We're going to go again on Monday, if the weather holds. Today was very windy, which didn't help my swing. The aunt has even said she might take me shopping for my own clubs, so when I do lessons this summer I won't have to rent or borrow hers (which aren't good for me and didn't help my aim today). I get why people find this fun! And I like a new challenge.

Tomorrow we are taking a rain day and driving out to Alabama (it's only 2 hours away) to tour the USS Alabama in mission. It's a huge museum complex and then there's a few other cultural things we might try out, depending on the weather.

Sunday there is a dog parade in the town centre and we are going out to a really good restaurant for dinner with Todd's family. Must go shop and find something to wear! We did a bit of shopping today. There's a great kitchen store here, so I bought some stuff for mum for xmas for the coach. Also, there's a great fitness clothes store, so I got some new things there (much cheaper than lulu!) which are proving very comfortable on the sunburn I managed to get. I sat outside by the pool this morning for an hour and a half and tanned, then went to the range and burnt! Oops! Must be more careful on Monday. Next two days of cloud will actually be a blessing.

But the great thing about this week? My aunt told me that I am going to England NO MATTER WHAT. Even mum admitted that her comment last year of 'if you don't get funding you aren't going' changed on Monday to, 'well, we'll see if we can help you out, but you better get something in second and third year'. My aunt was all 'don't care, you're GOING' which is FANTASTIC!!!

I'm off to England in September!


windemere: (Default)

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