Posts Tagged ‘grad school’

Reading Week

Well, it’s reading week – and so far, that is about all I have accomplished – reading. I need to get WRITING!

I have a 20 page psychology paper due by the end of this month. Plus a musical and 3 more major papers all due by Dec. 6 which sounds like it is a very long way away but with the speed that this semester is flying by just isn’t enough time. If that was ALL we had to do that would be one thing – but every class requires weekly readings, presentations, shorter papers, etc, etc.

I am barely keeping up with that day to day stuff right now – if I don’t get a jump on all of it, there’s no way I’ll manage to get everything done by December 6 – at least not well enough to suit me!

So – the plan is to get the psych paper DONE and emailed to the prof so that I don’t have to think about it any more, and to get all of the reading and papers done for the next 2 weeks, and to do as much of the prep work as I can done re: the major papers and the musical (it is well underway, actually, although sans music).

Tomorrow I have to go to Peterborough for the last bit of our TA training – I wouldn’t bother but I need a few more hours to have enough time in to get the certificate for it. And will probably hit Oshawa and deal with kids’ computer issues, briefly. Really not liking my kids much right now; I am so tired of the hysterical phone calls and ongoing stress that they seem determined to cause me. They are both supposedly grown up – but sure can’t tell it by me right now.

I am hoping that they will soon both get jobs – which will reduce their stress AND MINE – and mean that they are both out working rather than at home together fighting. I can dream, can’t  I?

Also, Ross & I are likely going to go to Toronto to see the Art of the Book ’08 show at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery. I can use that for one of the assignments I need to do for my Public Texts course – and it looks interesting, even though now that I’ve looked at all the thumbnails online, I hardly feel the need to actually GO to it. But it will be good for Ross & I to take some time to go DO something together. 

We did go out yesterday for a bit; to the courthouse in Orillia to ask to have his ticket reduced. That was so stupid! Not the trip to the courthouse – that was very worthwhile – but the ticket itself. In previous years, when the kids were up here more often, we bought their fishing licenses. This year, they were hardly here at all and we just never thought about it. So Thanksgiving Day, we had some time to kill and Ross offered to take the girls fishing out in the boat, just in front of the house. Never even crossed his – or my – mind that they didn’t have licenses this year.

Thanksgiving Day on Georgian Bay Chatting with the OPP

Thanksgiving Day on Georgian Bay Chatting with the OPP

Sure enough, they got caught. Didn’t even get a nibble before the OPP boat was making a beeline for them. Much lecturing and bull**** – and they gave Ross a ticket for having 3 lines in the water (i.e. his own and the 2 girls’). Cheaper than giving each of the kids one – but still …$180 ain’t cheap! The girls got an order to buy their licenses and fax them to the court office, which we did – but the cop also told Ross that once that was done, he could go into the courthouse and plead guilty with explanation and ask to have the fine reduced.

So we did – and the very nice Justice of the Peace accepted “stupidity” as a valid defense and wiped the fine out. So all we ended up paying was the $40 for the useless fishing licenses (they’re only good til the end of ’08). And for the gas and lunch, of course 🙂  But that wasn’t much, since both of us are sick and food doesn’t taste good anyway, so we just went to Harveys.

Well, time I was getting back to work on this essay, I suppose! Lots to say … just having trouble focussing enough to actually WRITE it!


Getting organized

I am actually making progress!

Found a huge binder to use for my readings… so that when I photocopy or print stuff, I have a place to put it so that I will be able to find it again.

Of course, the damn thing is about full and there is still tons more to add to it… but if need be, will get another and split it into 2 … for now, it will do.

In addition to putting everything in alphabetical order, I am adding tabs to each document that give the author name and the date/course it’s for…

A lot of the stuff I need to photocopy is in folders in the grad office at school – I keep getting caught without the reading I need when I read it…so now, I figure I can spend an hour or two at the photocopier tomorrow…copy everything I haven’t yet done, label it and put it in the right section… and then each week it will simply be a matter of pulling out the readings for that week and putting those into the specific course binder.

Would rather spend a couple of hours getting it all sorted and having it all organized than continuing to be so stressed looking for things I KNOW I copied already but can’t *^%&%$& FIND! when I need them. At least that is the plan.

And at the end of it all I’ll have a resource that I can use again, right?

For the Law & Moral Regulation readings, I figure I will print out my notes and file them with the article… should make it easier to use them if I need them later.

Just got to stay on top of it all and it should work.

I hope!

just flitting (way more than you ever wanted to know) – crossposted from Gather

I am in the middle of doing some homework… preparing notes for a seminar I am giving tomorrow….  and then moving onto doing some work on my psychology paper… but in between points, have been catching up some on Gather

Strikes me as funny that even though I am here much, much less these days, I miss it so little. Not that I don’t miss some of my Gather friends … but beyond that, it really doesn’t much bother me not to be posting here…. nor do most people notice/care whether I’m around or not.

When I do pop in to read, it doesn’t take very much time at all either… what’s happened to all the content? Nothing against anyone still posting on Gather… but it sure doesn’t take long for me to whip through new posts and decide that my time would be better spent dropping Entrecards to promote my blogs instead. At least at they actually value my work enough to pay me for it even if I am – gasp – Canadian! There are an awful lot of interesting blogs out there, also … it’s pretty easy to find things I want to read and comment on as I do my card-dropping.

Oh well… if nothing else, I’m thinking that I might well be able to use the ICING of Gather as the subject of one of my papers for one of my courses …. it might be an interesting study in the topic of public texts. Will have to think on that some more.

Anyway… for those who are interested (but not quite interested enough to visit any of my blogs)…school is going great so far; it’s a lot of reading/writing/talking – but it is challenging and fun and I am up for the challenges – at least so far.

I DO miss Ross (and Scrooge) bunches when I’m in Peterborough … Ross is still working quite a bit even though it is supposed to be winding down now. I really only have to be away Monday to Wednesday – but because of a Friday a.m. meeting, I either have to stay over 2 more days ($80 in motel cost) or make the commute a second time ($40 in gas plus 5 – 6 hours of aggravation). So far I’m doing the latter – but once the snow flies, will likely opt for staying there (and pouting).  Am working on sorting out a way to be able to listen to some of my required readings while I drive – that would make the time not feel so wasted.

Being a TA is going to be great, I think – I really love that it is small groups and only for an hour a week – long enough to have really good discussions about the literature we’re covering, but not SO long that I have to work to provide tons of content to keep them going.

I’m really excited about most of my courses…

fiction/nonfiction isn’t AS good as I was hoping for – but it’s early days yet. Only had one class so far; I’m very interested in the topic – in fact, explored it some already while writing my Margaret Laurence paper – but didn’t get good vibes from first class – hopefully that will change.

The one I was least enthusiastic about taking is Textual Transmissions, and it is shaping up to be truly interesting and exciting! The prof for that one says we all know how to research and write papers already, or we wouldn’t be this far in our academic careers – so the course is less about writing papers and more about participation. And for the one big written assignment we have a choice – could do a research paper – or, I can write a screenplay for a musical horror (Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, 3 Penny Opera, Rocky Horror Picture Show – that type of thing). Is that not COOL? I have never tried writing a play or a screenplay …but I am excited about it. And because Ross has a background in theatre, as well as a true interest in movies and all that crap I don’t really care about, he is enthusiastic about it as well… it is something we can work on together (with prof’s full knowledge, of course; already covered – and he’s invited him to come to class as well, which is cool).  The goal is to take an urban myth/legend – like Sweeney Todd is based on – and turn it into a campy horror …I think I – we – can do that ….thinking to go with an urban  legend of the sort one finds on Snopes – organ stealing, most likely… i.e. tourists waking up sans kidneys. It’s going to be fun.

My third elective is Law and Moral Regulation in NeoLiberal Times and that one is offered through the Canadian Studies program rather than the English M.A. program. It is a LOT of work – tons of reading each week, write a paper about the readings every week, plus a major paper, and an oral exam at the end! Oy vey!!!!   But it is very interesting stuff and so far, anyway, is providing me with a whole lot of theory and language that speaks to issues I care deeply about. I don’t know that I can explain it well enough … but it takes things that I feel about how society treats people and gives me the academic framework to actually understand and explain those feelings.

Then I have my 2 required courses. The main one in Public Texts is a tad intimidating at the moment – I don’t have a clue where to start re: the assignments or major paper we are to do – but I keep telling myself that I’m in it to learn – it is not expected that we come knowing all this stuff already, right? I’m hoping that it will become less intimidating at some point and I will feel ready to tackle some of the assignments… there are a lot of possible activities – we only need to do two of them (although in true keener fashion, I’m thinking to at least try most/all of them – then hand in the 2 I am most happy with). Can’t hurt, right?

The other course is divided between the research project component in which we discuss our research projects and get/give feedback re: our proposals. We met for the first time last week – I think it is going to be both very helpful, and also very interesting. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my first draft re: my research plan was well received – or that we spent more time in a bar (where the prof paid for our drinks, even) than in the classroom.  The colloquium component of the course hasn’t met yet, but my understanding is that mostly, it involves guest speakers coming in to speak to us about various aspects of public texts and publishing. No idea if we have to write papers or whatever for it …but wouldn’t surprise me any 🙂

Anyway …Ross’ daughter just called and invited us down to their new place for dinner… so I’d best get my rear in gear and get my seminar notes for tomorrow finished. Sure wish my camera wasn’t broked! Might have to dig out my old one so that I can take pictures of the babies. Kodak customer support sucks, I am finding. Should have researched that before I bought yet another Kodak, I guess… both the camera’s I bought for the kids are Kodaks…and so are both of mine… would have been good to know before we had paid for so many. Of course it would be the most expensive of the 4 that is buggered 😦    I’ve broken my Palm LifeDrive too …. the first week of school was VERY expensive! No idea how/where to get that fixed… guess I should find out.

It’s only for a month…

Whinging Alert

Whinging Alert

And I’m a big girl…really.

I’m perfectly capable of managing on my own. I did it – for years & years before I met Ross.


Less than a month until I start school. In Peterborough, which is a little under 3 hours from here. It really is too far too commute – especially given my schedule – but don’t think I have not considered it! Not for ever – but just for the first month, when Ross won’t be able to come with me. He’s working at least until October 1; possibly a bit longer, depending on the weather, and bugs & bats & other assorted creepy crawlies. 

It is good that he’s working.

And it is good that I have the opportunity to go to grad school.

But it really, really bites that in this case, good + good = bad. Thank God it’s only a month though; it could be so much worse!

And I signed up for my TA training sessions this week and for the first week, I really only need to stay over 1 night… I start Wednesday @ 1 and am done by Thursday @ 3 …so I s’pose I shall have to postpone my whinging and angst a bit 🙂

Psychology paper… choosing a topic

Well dang…that didn’t work … lost what I’d done… trying again without the comments for now

Stephanie & I have been discussing my psych paper – and my longer term plans for grad school – elsewhere … reposting here in hopes that shakespearemom might be inclined to stop by and give her input 🙂    YOUR input is welcome and will be much appreciated even if you’re not shakespearemom though 🙂


So …I’ve decided to go with quick and easier … rather than do the interview/research option, I think I’m just going to write a research paper – can get it done faster – which given how quickly the summer is flying by, is important… I need to have it done before I start at Trent.

Well … not really …but I very much want to have it done before then…

so …. need to come up with a topic.

Ideally, will be something I can use when it comes to my MA/Phd work…. so something re: fictions and adolescents would be good…

The guidelines …

Topics should be related to one of the following themes reviewed in the course:

  • Social problems and adolescent delinquency
  • Gender and adolescence (i.e., the experience of growing up male or female)
  • Identity development during adolescence
  • The role of culture in adolescent development

 I am thinking I could maybe go back to the issues I addressed in the first theory paper re: Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet – the one re: fiction & kids in care – focus on the psychology stuff rather than on Anthem….  ?  Tie it somehow into treatment programs for juvenile delinquents, i.e. the first bullet option… therapeutic recreation …

Thoughts? Questions? (Questions are the thing I most miss from my collaborators, actually – it’s usually your questions about what I’m doing that help me to frame where I’m going)