A night out

Aug. 6th, 2007 10:34 pm
onefixedstar: (mystery)
Six weeks since my last update...I'm turning into a bad LJer. I'm going to blame my lack of presence on running up against program deadlines. I hit the summer and suddenly realized that I had four months to study for and write my second comprehensive exam, and prepare my proposal. My own fault, for dithering and delaying on a topic (which in turn delayed my comp area was supposed to be related to my thesis topic). I ended up picking a very broad comp area (culture) that I thought related to the general topics I was interested in and that I already knew fairly well from my TA work and running with it. I managed to prepare for it in about half the recommended minimum time, at the rate of one or two books or 5+ articles per day most days. And now that's over and done with, and I'm working on my proposal and changing my research question every other day as I read further in the literature and then go back to the available data. I came up with a new topic today...I'll see if it sticks. (I ended getting a two month extension on the proposal, so I now have until October 31st to finish. I'm aiming for mid-September, though, as I'm tired of having it hang over me.)

With the comp out of the way, I've been going out a little more. On Thursday, B and I went to the new Annex BBQ restaurant, Cluck, Grunt, and Low, where we had a rather unusual experience. They'd been getting good reviews, and the place was packed when we got there. Rather than wait for a table, we opted to sit side-by-side at the counter, facing out onto Bloor Street through a large open window. B ordered ice tea in place of the sweet tea we'd been hoping for, and sat drinking it while we waited for our ribs. A few minutes after it arrived, with scarcely more than a sip gone, a man passing by on the street reached through the window, grabbed the drink off of the table with a grunt, and kept on walking. The man walking behind him paused, looked at us incredulously, and asked if that had really happened, to which we could only shrug and laugh. What else can you do, really? The dry rub ribs were generally good (though the BBQ sauce could have been smokier), and the server replaced our iced tea for free once we convinced her that it really had been stolen, and we'll definitely be back at some point to try the pulled pork. B, Southern boy that he is, has been lamenting the lack of good Southern food for a while, so it's nice that something opened in the neighbourhood.
onefixedstar: (cherry blossoms)
I'm back safe and sound from San Francisco, having seen almost nothing of the city itself. We got in one good day of touristing before getting sick, and ended up spending the rest of the trip (once we were able to leave the hotel bathroom) in the suburb's visiting B's brother. Not a bad way to spend the time, I suppose, but I'm sorry I didn't get to see more of the city itself. I did get to watch a tremendous amount of Ultimate Fighting Championship, so I suppose I can add that to my cultural repetoire now. I'm actually rather curious who comprises the main audience for UFC--in what context is knowledge of UFC valuable cultural capital? Mind you, I'm not curious enough to do any actual research on it, but maybe one of my culture students will write a paper about it. (Last year, two people wrote about wrestling, so it's certainly possible.)

In other news, I passed my theory comp. Yay me! Frankly, I'm a bit surprised, as I thought my answer to the last question (of three) was terrible. But I'll take it. Even if it wasn't unanimous, I'll take it.
onefixedstar: (academic)
I'm now finished with comp decompression, and onto catch-up-on-everything-that-was-put-on-hold mode. Today was Laundry Day, and I think tomorrow will be Errand Day. Also Library Day I. To be followed by Library Days II, III, and IV. I have a whole lot of books to take back.
onefixedstar: (academic)
I'm done, I'm done, I'm done.

Actually, I was done Friday at 4:00. Yes, I handed it in early. I could have edited instead, but I decided that what I could accomplish in an hour wasn't worth the mental stress. And then I stepped away from the computer, and hung out with my roommate for the night--she introduced me to one of her favourite French bistros--and yesterday I went shopping with B. (It seems that if you want to get out, in the rain, shopping is one of the few things you can do.) Today I'm off to see my parents and sibs. (The local ones, anyway.) And then tomorrow, I'll consider getting back to work. Maybe.

A month or so from now, I find out if I passed.

Comp update

Sep. 1st, 2006 10:03 am
onefixedstar: (sandmanweber)
Seven hours hours to go. I've finished two-and-a-half questions, with only a few more pages to type and I am so sick of it. I just want to sleep, but alas, I cannot. I must finish.
onefixedstar: (academic)
Actually, it began about twelve hours ago, when I picked up my comp questions. They aren't too bad--a lot of "relate this book to the wider field" type questions. As long as I can stay focused for the next four days, I should be fine. I hope.

Eeek!

Aug. 25th, 2006 05:20 pm
onefixedstar: (sandmanweber)
My comp starts Monday at 9:00am (or whenever I pick up the exam). I don't expect I'll be around much until it's over on Friday.
onefixedstar: (academic)
Wow, my blog is dull these days. I read, I read, and I read some more. The lively life of a graduate student! And then sometimes I curse my broken graphics card (I'm definitely taking it in for repairs this week), and I read a bit of the news or check if my flist has been updated, and then I go back to reading theory. I suppose I could post book reviews...anyone want a review of Blumer's Symbolic Interactionism?

I do occasionally take breaks, mind you. Last night, for example, we watched The Return of the King, and B laughed his way the through the ending, decreeing that it was too long to be touching. Tonight I think the big adventure is going to be my first attempt at making pesto. We have a thriving basil plant that's just crying out to be used, so it seemed the logical choice. But for now, it's back to reading.
onefixedstar: (academic)
I have set a date for my theory comp. I will be writing in the last week of August. I have about forty books to read between then and now. Should be fun.

In other news, every time I hit any keys that are not letters, I bring up the search bar in Firefox. No idea why, but it explains the lack of contractions in this post.

Links

May. 4th, 2006 06:27 pm
onefixedstar: (mystery)
I've been rather negligent about updating my journal for...well, the past few months, at least. Rather than try to actually write up a proper, essay-style post, I'm going to post a list of facts instead. I may even try to relate them.

1. I've decided to try to finish my theory comp before B's family comes to visit in June. It's not looking terribly good right now, but I'm trying to remain optimistic. (Not looking terribly good = haven't read one word in three days.)

2. Even if I get my comp done, I'm not sure I'll be able to go to Ottawa with them (if that's where they end up going) because I have agreed to TA for 101 yet again this summer. I'll probably end up in a tutorial position, which is fine--better than marking in many ways--but it ties me to the city for 3+ months since I'll have to be here every Monday and Wednesday evening.

3. That's all assuming the funding for the position comes through.

4. It probably will, because the Undergrad Chair had a great deal of trouble finding someone to teach 101 this summer, and one of the incentives she ended up offering was extra TA support.

5. On the plus side, a return to Wednesday night tutorials could also mean a return of Quesadilla Night.

6. I need a TA position, because it looks like my RA job is pretty much over, apart from the possibility of being called in for occasional work. Our last meeting was interesting--it was supposed to be a wrap-up meeting as most of the team is no longer being paid (they were on salary for the term), and yet somehow it ended with all of us being assigned more work: collect more email addresses, write a cover letter, follow up with more analysis...

7. I've recently started watching "House." The plot structure is terribly predictable, but the characters are entertaining, and I think I may try to catch up on it this summer. As long as it's not airing on Monday or Wednesday nights.

8. Something else I'd like to do this summer is starting reading recent issues of the top journals, to get a sense of what's being done in the field, and to seek inspiration for a dissertation topic, because it's getting kind of ridiculous that I don't have one. (I did, but then the person I came here to work with said he didn't have time to be my primary advisor, and the person he sent me to instead said it wasn't a topic he felt he could properly supervisor. I could find a new advisor, but I really like the person I was sent to and think he'd make a good advisor, so I've decided to find a new topic instead.)

9. My lack of dissertation topic is one of my main reasons for not wanting to attend the department potluck tomorrow: I don't want to explain to the faculty who are there why I don't know what I'm doing. Roommate is organizing it, so she's really pushing me to go, but I may refuse anyway. I haven't committed to bringing anything, and we're holding a houseparty here for the graduate students after the potluck, so I won't be completely left out.

10. I'm getting small red dots all over my screen. They show up in multiple programs, on white backgrounds, but they aren't always there. I'm not sure what's causing them, but they have me somewhat concerned.

11. I wonder when they're going to turn on the a/c in my building.
onefixedstar: (sandmanweber)
During my last massive effort to gather my comp material, I made a lovely, colour- and symbol-coded list indicating which books and articles I had, which ones were available to take out of the library, which were short enough to be photocopied at the library, which I would have to order in through inter-library loan, and which I'd have to hunt down through second hand stores. It's a great list--I have every item covered. The only thing I didn't include was a legend, because I figured I'd remember.

Right.

I fervently hope truly believe that if I sit down and stare at the list long enough, eventually it will come back to me. When it does, I am going to write down what every one of those colours and symbols means.

Argh

Jan. 22nd, 2006 12:21 am
onefixedstar: (sandmanweber)
I spent several hours last night downloading material for my theory comp. Today I discovered that, yeah, JSTOR's pdfs? Not so much working. Oh, files download okay, but each file is 7 or 8 kb big, and contains absolutely no information. So I spent several more hours today redownloading all of the articles and book reviews that I thought I had downloaded from JSTOR last night. In tiff format, since the pdf files aren't there. That'll be fun reading...

In other news, I've watched Serenity approximately three times in the past two days. I still need to go through the Joss-commented version, though, to find out why he did what he did.

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