I started this blog in the middle of a rather busy time for me, the beginning of the semester. Today I had an in-class examination on the theories we’ve covered in the past two weeks’ readings, which totaled up to more than 1,000 pages… just for that class. I also had reading for two other seminars, never mind the 10 hours I have to devote to my assistantship every week (I’m a research assistant)… and the fact I have a house to maintain, a cat to take care of, and a boyfriend who is not a roommate, but bless him, he has allowed me to treat him like one the past 12 days.
Things have smoothed out a bit now that today’s over… the problem with doctoral level exams is that they’re far from straight forward, and you really don’t know what to expect upon entering them. And, they’re almost always essays, and that is the rule for any major seminars (major meaning those taught in your department, not major as in Big Deal… though I guess they are that, as well). Today’s essay was more or less, “Write as many pages as you can discussing the two main perspectives and their theories we’ve learned about, then pick and three theories and apply them.” It’s closed notes, so you have to remember all the citations on your own (about 15 this week, I believe, which is honestly cake), and you get one hour; I got about five pages done in that time. I would like to think I did well, but honestly, I will not be sure until I get the comments back from my professor. You honestly never know what to expect.
This is a “lighter” week for me; I’m to about 500 pages of reading to do this week, as opposed to 700. Honestly, I would really like to go back over the previous two weeks, because it’s all material I need to know for my comprehensive exams next summer, but for now I am just trying to keep up. ANYWAY. All of that is a long explanation as to why one starts a blog and then does… nothing with it.
Eventually I might consider writing the About page, but that takes things like time and effort, and I don’t have much of either to spare. Besides, it gets rather dull talking about yourself when your life feels like the movie Groundhog Day. I don’t know what to tell y’all other than that I have a cat to feed, an apartment to clean, and a never-ending pile of reading. Congratulations, you now know my whole life! Who needs an About page?
Since the week is sort of coming to a close, I don’t think it’s a horrible time to write about resolutions. Boyfriend and I managed to spend an hour together playing Lego Batman on the XBox earlier this week, and Saturday evening we’re going to the movies, so we will more than meet our “quota.” It sounds really ridiculous to schedule time to hang out with your significant other, but last semester, I really just allowed my relationship to fall to the wayside in favor of my schoolwork. Which, my boyfriend was more than understanding, but just because I KNOW he will always be there does not mean I should stop nurturing our relationship. I am hoping I will turn this scheduling into a habit, such that spending time together becomes more natural than it feels right now.
I haven’t read anything non-school related, but I think I can be pardoned, given that I’ve had over 1,000 pages of academic reading to deal with. It’s just way different from “regular” reading. The concepts are heavier, the language is more dense, and there’s more to it than just reading the information and retaining it. I also have to think as I read: how could I apply this to my research interests, how does this fit in with my current knowledge of theory, are there any gaps, is it at odds with anything else I’ve learned about, on and on. Never mind that reading also involves making a detailed outline and summary; of course, those things aren’t strictly necessary for class, but they will be helpful to have when I get to comps and have to study all the material I learned. Anyway, I can get about 20-30 pages read with notes taken every hour. Meanwhile, I can read 100 pages of a “regular” book for pleasure in that same amount of time. You can do the math to determine how much time my academic reading has taken away from me. Then factor in the 9 hours of class and the 10 hours for my research assistantship… and well, you get the picture.
I have made no efforts toward the bread-baking, for the same reasons stated above. I do think I will do the reading I mentioned above this week from my Bread Bible (a Christmas present from my boyfriend) so I can learn more about the science of bread baking. I don’t know if I will actually get around to baking any — though I might make one of the breads I am more familiar with, I think my boyfriend misses the regular loaves of bread of last semester. At the very least, I will kill two birds with one stone by reading the Bread Bible: my efforts toward learning how to bake more bread, and my goal to read something not about organizations.
My other resolution was about shaving my legs. I have things to say about this as a feminist that I will discuss in another post, but just to keep you apprised of the situation, I have not shaved once in 2012. I do think I will tonight, though, because I actually have the energy to do more than put shampoo on my head and rinse. Shoot, I might even put on lotion! God, I am so fancy.
… I just read over this post, and it is so weird. I’m writing like I’m talking to someone. But I know nobody is listening.