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yes brain, you can has

April 2015

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The Blogger's Prayer

Lo, there do I see my posts.
Lo, there do I see my tweets.
Lo, there do I see my gifsets and my picspams.
Lo, there do I see the line of my blog, back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them on the Internets,
Where the geek may live forever.

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astro_noms: (that's captain asshole to you)
I bought Bucky a dangly toy on a string recently, and he loves it SO MUCH OMG. It's kinda freaky to see your cat's eyes dilate ALL THE WAY as he prepares to pounce on it. But while I'm super glad he loves it, I'm kinda starting to regret it, because he wants to play with it ALL THE TIME, and when it's put away, he goes around the house looking for it and yowling at the top of his lungs. I guess there's still a bit of training to do with him, to get the concept of "quiet time" across to him. On the other hand, when we do play with him, it's a good way to tire him out and get him to sleep through the night and let us sleep in the morning, rather than waking us up at 5 am.

We'll be looking at changing apartments at the end of this school year, to get something a little bigger and nicer (this apartment isn't bad, but the administration is HORRIBLE and full of useless putzes who barely get anything done), and when we have something, we'll probably get a second cat. And then we can look at building them a cat tree with dangly toys attached. Of course, knowing my luck with cats, Bucky will completely ignore it, and who knows about the second cat? I mean, Bucky doesn't even react to catnip the way a cat should. We've tried a spray and the regular dried stuff, and nothing, he just turns his nose up at it and avoids it. *hands*

Now that I have a PC, I can play games, and I've been using gaming as a way to keep from going insane with all the stress of school and stuff. So far, it's working great! I've got about 2/3 of AC: Brotherhood to go, plus the Mass Effect trilogy, and a few others I've been picking up here and there (mostly at Steam sales) with the hope of being able to play them sometime in the future. Well, now I can! *evil laughter* If anyone's interesting in some Star Wars games, Humble Bundle has a really good deal on SW games: right now there are nine games, with more coming soon, including Knights of the Old Republic I and II, Force Unleashed I and II, and a bunch of others. As it stands, it's $115 worth of games. I installed STFU this morning, and wheee, I missed being able to go around Force-blasting stormtroopers around. :D :D :D

I've got three out of four grades for this term already (including my MA seminar, thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster). The fourth one is my French grade, which theoretically should be only the exam grade, but the instructor's convinced we're supposed to get a semester mark and an exam mark, so who knows. The exam is made up of four parts (writing, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and oral), so she's split it up into two parts: today is part one, and then the second one on Tuesday. And then I'm done with the semester, whee! Not sure how much "free" time I'll actually have, since I can't really just take a week off entirely, but hopefully we can unwind a bit and recharge for the last semester. There's a few things I need to get done over the break, like fixing my bed and organizing the upcoming translation projects, but it's doable. I'll have to go see my grandparents for a few days, so that'll be my "do nothing but try to relax" time during the break.
astro_noms: (now panic and freak out)
So the university (or rather our department) is doing its damnedest to fuck us over by introducing a proposal to change the date we have to submit the final versions of our MA theses - from two weeks before the defense to TEN WEEKS. Which means that we might have to have them ready by just after Easter, or else have to defend in the fall. Apparently everyone at the department board meeting was against it, and the dean was the one who pushed for it, they're going to have him "think it over" and issue a final ruling that nobody will be able to appeal. And to make matters worse, nobody from the student council was at the meeting, which they're supposed to attend so they can, you know, look out for our interests.

Which is, of course, bullshit. And it not only affects us but also our thesis supervisors, who have to put together the exam commissions and find reviewers and everything else that much earlier. But, you know, who cares about that? There's some office monkey somewhere higher up in the hierarchy, possibly in the ministry of education, who incidentally has no idea what the fuck they're doing, who decided to show off by submitting a proposal like this, and now everyone's running with it. Without a moment's thought for the students. And now nobody knows what's happening, and everyone's in a panic, and don't even try to figure out how to plan the next six months of your life because fuck you, that's why.

I'm personally leaning towards deferring my defense till the fall anyway, because that'll give me a little more time to finish my thesis without having to, as our supervisor told us to do, cutting whatever's not needed and just getting it done. I may hate this university, I may hate my institute, I may hate my advisor, and I may hate the useless, unimaginative, lifeless husk that I call my thesis, but goddammit, I've made it this far, and I'd like for this thing to actually be something more than throwing up half-digested bits of other people's research and calling it a thesis. *siiiiigh*

We found all of this out on Tuesday, and I've been so fucking pissed off since then, I can't think straight. I have an essay to write for tomorrow, plus a cover letter and a resume to put together (also for tomorrow) so I can apply for the internship program they're offering this year. If I get into the program, it's 120 hours over two months, with the possibility of being offered a job with the company we intern with. Which means that I'll have less time to work on my thesis, which means I probably won't make the deadline, whether they move it or not. But the thing is, the internship is going to be a lot more useful to me in my professional life than a degree nobody cares about me having. So that's pretty much my decision made for me.
astro_noms: (bandom: color of danger)
I am horribly behind on reading my flist and everything else, so if there's anything fun/interesting/wanky happening, feel free to let me know, either in the comments or via e-mail, mkay? *gloms you all*

Saw Mom and Stepdad off to work, and I'm taking my sweet time doing anything, including showering and getting dressed, because it's my goddamn birthday and they're gonna be gone most of the day, so I can be a slob if I want to. I have some translation that I really need to finih, because I was supposed to send it in on like, Friday, but travel and everything kind of got in the way. And then... I don't know. It's snowing, and it's supposed to rain later, so maybe I'll go to a museum somewhere? I have no idea what I want to see.

Mom took me to her friend's bachelorette party on Saturday, we went to a concert at Juilliard on Sunday, Mom took me to Dia: yesterday, with a caveat of "I know you don't really like modern art, but I think you'll like this" (I did, mostly), and we're going to see Waiting for Godot (!!!!) on Wednesday. The tickets are like, in the nosebleeds and I think they're actually standing tickets, but given the chance, I wasn't going to miss this. We're probably going out for sushi tonight, and there's something else I' probably forgetting for Thursday afternoon, so I'm having a quite busy and activity-filled week. I'm really glad I'm getting today mostly to myself, because while I enjoy doing stuff with mom and Michael and I'm very glad I'm here, I'm getting a tiiiiny bit burned out on being social and not curling up under a blanket and not coming out. So getting a bit of alone time is great for recharging my batteries.

Tomorrow morning is registration for classes back home. We finally got the schedule late yesterday, and oy vey, it is a HUEG mess. There are classes overlapping, and they've given 5 groups of one course to one instructor and only one to another, so there's going to be a big rush on those. Assuming I get everything I'll be trying to get, I may possibly have Fridays off, which would be nice. In a small school like ours, we don't get more than one section per class, so if you want to take something, you're stuck with what they give you, time slot-wise, and there's no alternatives. And although one might think that small school = more instructor time for every student, that's definitely not the case at our institute. I keep saying we need to stage a coup and start running things with the students in mind, rather than just catering to the needs of the faculty. My mom keeps saying I should stay on and do a doctorate (at which point, because you have to teach as part of the program, I'd be part of the faculty), and try changing things from inside, but IDK...

Anyway, that's not what the crying in the subject line is a reference to, actually. [personal profile] gorgeousnerd linked to the last MCR song and video and foolishly enough, I watched. I'm jut glad that the parental units were out of the house, because I burst into tears about halfway through and didn't stop until it was well over. This band, I swear. I fought getting into bandom for the longest time, resisted listening to MCR for a while, and then when I fell, I fell hard. Waking up to the news that they'd broken up on the day I was due to leave Wales last year was hard, and getting to hear a new song on my birthday... well, it's definitely a bittersweet thing. I'll have to listen to the song a few more times before I can fully appreciate it, but I'm thinking that won't be today.

bleurgh

Feb. 12th, 2014 01:24 am
astro_noms: (vote plague)
So I heard back from my instructor, and he let me write a replacement response paper since the quote I used wasn't really crucial to the other paper. I wasn't sure I could do it, but I guess I really do have a lot to say about Don DeLillo and his "In the Ruins of the Future" essay, so I ended up writing it pretty quickly. I'm not sure how coherent it is, and I'm not really counting on anything beyond a passing grade, but at this point, I just want it over with. He offered to let me argue my case on another paper that was, according to him, pretty weak and overreaching the interpretation, but my cold isn't going away and I'm so fuzzy that even writing an e-mail to him hurt my brain, so I made my excuses and accepted the lower grade. I have a feeling I wouldn't have been able to argue my case well enough for his liking anyway.

I'm kind of dreading the flight on Thursday, if I continue feeling this shitty. Normally I'd stay home and try to get better, but I really don't want to miss this opportunity, so I guess it'll be nasal decongestant spray for me for the next few days. I only hope I don't end up getting super sick while I'm in New York.
astro_noms: (improving morale)
So for one of our classes, with the oh-so-appealing name "Writing on the Doorstep: Dwelling and Hospitality in Contemporary American Fiction," we had to write four 1-2 page response papers to some of the texts/novels/movies we discussed in class. And throughout the semester, our instructor kept reminding us about plagiarism and the rules and basically "don't do the thing." In our last class, I handed in the last of my assignments, and we all settled in to wait for him to grade them and give us our final marks. Then a few days ago, we got another e-mail from him, saying that despite the warnings and instructions, there were still papers with plagiarism issues, and would the people who did the thing please get in touch with him and "propose a further course of action." But you know, there wasn't actually a list of people, and he didn't get in touch with us individually. I guess he was expecting us all to come and see him to pick up our papers and get our index books signed. So I decided to e-mail him and ask, because I won't be back until the end of the semester, and I'd like to know all my grades before I leave.

And you see where this is going, don't you?

He e-mailed me to let me know he'd get back to me with grades and comments today, but there's an issue with one of my papers, where I totally "misappropriated someone else's words as mine," which is, by the institute's rules, plagiarism. I'm too pissed off with myself to check what the rules for dealing with that are (it's one paper out of four, hopefully it won't mean a failing grade, but I'll probably get a barely passing one instead), and it's 3pm and I haven't heard from him yet, and it's so frustrating, because I did forget to cite the quote, and printed out that version, but then I fixed it and printed out the correct version, only apparently I got them mixed up and handed in the wrong one by mistake. *facepalm^infinity* I wrote back to tell him that last night, but he's just as likely to say "nope, sorry, don't believe you" as he is to give me a break.

So, yeah... Oops. If he decides to fail me, I can say goodbye to qualifying for a stipend. It won't be the end of the world, but oy vey, the whining from my family if I don't... /o\
astro_noms: (bandom: color of danger)
*rocks back and forth* SO MUCH SCHOOLWORK TO DO. And yet I can't focus on anything that I actually need to be doing. I should be writing a response paper for tomorrow's class, but my brain checked out on me a couple of hours ago and nothing I do is helping. *cries*

Things I need to write:

- 3 response papers for the Writing on the Doorstep class
- essay for Children's Lit class
- presentation for Life Writing class
- presentation for conversations class
- paper for translation class
- finish assignment for translation class
- as much as I can write of the first chapter of my MA thesis

And all of this has to be done before the 21st. *cries forever and ever* I'm not panicking. Yet.

BUT HEY AT LEAST I GOT MY YEAR-END MIX FINISHED.


here at [community profile] inmediasres
astro_noms: (all a little mad here)
I've been trying to put together a year-end mix, but it's just not working. As usual, it'll probably end up coming together at the last minute. *sigh* Nothing is working right now. *pokes brainmeats*

For the first line of the first post of every month thingy, I skipped my upload posts and any posts that didn't have text (like photo posts in November). And there's a couple that start off with one word, so I included the following sentence as well.

Let me sum up. )

We have a new roommate! We decided that we didn't really care if it was a guy or a girl, so I changed the ad I put online, and got mostly guys calling/writing about it. I came back to Wrocław on Saturday, and while I was on the train a guy called, and we arranged for him to come over in the afternoon. He came by, he liked the place, and decided to take the room. Which means Magda and I will no longer have to spend an extra 325 PLN each to pay for the extra room, yaaaay. Artur seems like a solid dude, so here's hoping it all works out, because I really don't want to have to move before the end of this school year. And he doesn't mind cats, so Operation I WANT A CAT might still happen.

I called a medical clinic today and booked an appointment with an ENT. Ostensibly, we have public health care in Poland, but if you want to get in to see a specialist, you're in for a long wait if you want your visit paid for by the system. If you're willing to pay out of pocket, however, you can call on Monday and get an appointment for Thursday, which I was definitely willing to do, because FFFFFFUUUUUU SINUSES. My cough is starting to come back, and I'd like to get this taken care of before I develop another case of tracheitis and have to take antibiotics. I don't really want to miss any more school, since I missed three weeks because of the surgery and recovery and the lingering sinus infection already. Here's hoping this guy will be able to help me out and soon.

I got absolutely NOTHING done over Christmas. It wasn't actually that stressful, since I was able to get away and do some calming breathing/tension relieving screaming into a pillow/walking the neighbors' dog when I needed it. I think I'm still a bit frazzled from the translation, but I need to get my ass in gear and get back to work. I'm floundering a bit over my MA thesis, but I'm hoping that once I get back into the swing of things, everything will sort itself out and I'll get back on track. *deeeeeeeep breaths*
astro_noms: (fly away)
Is there a name for that feeling of "what do I do now?" that comes with the end of a work project that previously took up all your time and now that it's done, you have other stuff you want to do, but you just don't have the motivation? Because that's pretty much how I've felt this week. I have fun stuff I could do. I have school stuff I need to do. I have movies to watch and TV to catch up on. And all I've done is go to class, get through the day, and then come home and nap. :\

I know it's probably normal for my brain to need to rest, but it'd be really awesome if it could also shut up with all the ideas and little reminders that yes, my thesis advisor is going to expect me to come back from the Christmas break with at least a few pages of the first chapter written, and hey, I'd better get on that, pronto. Every time I look at my computer, I'm reminded of all the stories that I haven't finished, and all the ideas rattling around in my brain for new stories.

I had a meeting with my advisor on Monday, and while I didn't come right out and say "I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing," I kind of hinted at being a bit lost, and he helped me lay out a bit of a path, so there's that at least. Hopefully I can actually manage to pull my shit together over the break and cobble together an outline and maybe actually start working on the first chapter. Because our MA seminar group was assembled after the semester started, we don't have any formal classes with him this term. I asked him what his requirement for our grades is going to be—some seminar groups have a 10 page research proposal due, others have a title and a bibliography, others just have to have an idea about what they're going to write about and start putting things together. He said "I don't want you to just talk about what you're going to do, I want you to do it." I'm going to aim for an outline and getting the theory basics down into something coherent, and possibly go and see him after the break to make sure I'm on the right track.

My author sent me another partial payment for the translation, but since she lives in France, the bank transfer takes a while, so I've been sitting here, refreshing my bank website, waiting. She sent it through Monday night, which means it was sent through on Tuesday morning, but it takes, in the words of a bank customer service rep, "up to four business days" for them to go through. I'm pretty sure the last time it took like, a day, but I could be wrong. I just really really really hope it gets here tomorrow, because I'd really like to be able to get some food and also get a ticket to go home for Christmas. I was hoping it would get here today, and had been considering getting a small Christmas tree for the spare room with some random decorations for it, but it's probably a good thing that it didn't, because if I'm going to be gone for over a week, the thing would just dry up and shed needles all over the place and nobody wants to clean that up.

[redacted "ugh, going home for Christmas" rant because nobody wants to see that, including me] Let's focus instead on the possibility that I might (MIIIIIGHT) be able to swing going to New York for the winter break in February. I've never been there in the winter, and I imagine it might make a nice change from the OMG DYING heat of July/August. And if I can manage the tickets (next month, though, so the prices will probably go up, but alas, I can't afford it right now), I'm totes calling it a birthday present to myself. Cross your crossables, folks!
astro_noms: (fuck you because unicorn)
So after my visit to my doctor last week, I came out with a prescription for antibiotics, a throat rinse, and nose drops, and a referral to an ENT specialist because of chronic sinusitis, which is what was causing my trachea to get super irritated and inflamed and hence all the coughing. So I started calling ENT doctors, but the public health fund is limited, and getting an appointment that's covered by the fund towards the end of the year is hard - I kept hearing "we've got openings in January or February." I could have paid, sure, but I figured I'd try and see if my aunt could get me in with her ENT doctor friend. It took a few days, but she got back to me and told me to call him, because he was asking if I wanted it done with full anaesthetic or just a local. Cue me being all ??? because whoa, whoa, I was expecting this to be a visit to check what's going on in my sinuses, and possibly determine a future course of treatment, nothing more (mostly because of the tempo at which the Polish health care system moves, but also because I figured he'd want to see me first and then make a decision).

So I called him this morning, and he's all "when would you like it done?" and I'm all "ASAP, of course." After a bit of hemming and hawing, he told me to come in Monday morning and then I should be good to go home by Wednesday or Thursday. O_O I guess sometimes it pays to have ~~connections?

I had a talk with my advisor, because I was supposed to have a loose sketch of the first chapter of my thesis ready for Monday, but obviously I won't be there, and I haven't really had time to do a lot of research what with the book translation still going. So I mentioned that I'm running behind on the contract, and that I haven't had much chance to read, and he suggested that I focus on finishing the translation, and start reading some Nabokov (because that's probably who I'll be using for the analysis portion of my thesis) in the meantime. So I picked up the Polish translation of Pale Fire and The Origin of Laura, which are two books he suggested, so in the event that I'm too out of it post-surgery to do translation work, I won't feel totally useless and can get some reading done. Not that I don't have eleventy metric fucktons of reading to do already, because hoo boy, do I ever, but maybe fiction will be a bit easier to focus on than dry academic texts. This will also be interesting, because I don't usually read fiction in Polish, and my advisor suggested reading the translations first.

Tomorrow I'm going to a The Day of the Doctor viewing party, and before that, I'm going to try and get some work work on the translation done. And then I should figure out what to pack, because there's a possibility I'll be getting a ride to Lubań with my aunt and cousin, and they want to leave early, so I need to be ready to go. I guess I should make a list of stuff I need to do, like charging batteries and loading up files and everything, just so I don't forget anything. I should try to get some work in tonight, too, but I had to go to the doctor's office to get the hospital referral form (because everything here runs on fucking bureaucracy) and I'm so cold that I'm finding it hard to even contemplate coming out from under the blanket and being productive. *shivers*
astro_noms: (you sparkle; we should frolic)
So my regular Wednesday class was canceled yesterday due to the instructor's illness, and thank goodness, because it meant that I didn't have to read the stuff that was assigned and also didn't have to write a response paper on it. Unfortunately for me, I spent most of the day fighting off a migraine for the second day in a row and didn't get as much work done on the translation as I'd hoped. I'm so far behind on it, it's not even funny, and it sucks because the very thought of the book gets me going in a full body shudder. :( I just want it to be done and over with, so I can focus on things that don't make me physically ill, like, oh, reading the eleventy hundred pages of possible research material for my MA. *headdesk*

But! I also had the fangirls over for dinner (we had the baked orzo with eggplant and mozarella and some pumpkin cheesecake for dessert), so that capped the day off nicely.

Unfortunately, this morning I woke up with another migraine, and while yes, I've already taken a migraine pill and I can feel it working, it's going to leave me woozy and muddled for most of the morning, which will make class kinda awful and I'm seriously considering e-mailing the instructor and letting him know that I'm very sorry but I can't make it. Hmm.

I'm also supposed to be getting a call from my aunt about when the ENT specialist she knows can get me in to see him. Getting an appointment that's paid for by our public health care with any specialist towards the end of the year is pretty close to impossible, because all their funds are used up and "I've got a space open in February!" I could pay and get in sooner, sure, and while I don't normally go the "hey, friend of a friend, can you do me a favor?" route, I figure this is pretty important. I'm so tired of this sinusitis, if they can do anything to get me better, even if it means actual surgery on my septum, fine, let them do it, I don't care, I just want to be able to breathe normally again and not have the fucking cough rattling me like crazy.

I think I'm going to go get something to eat and see how I feel. I have a couple of hours before I have to make the go/stay call, and as much as I'd love to just curl up under a blanket and not go anywhere, leaving the house would probably do me some good, so I should probably consider it.
astro_noms: (fuck you because unicorn)

The best thing to happen this year.

When I first planned to do this challenge, I was still in the throes of the "omg, I'm going to grad school!" high from the beginning of the summer. And then time passed, and I came face to face with the bureaucratic fuckery that is the higher education system, and a lot of the shine has worn off. So I'm gonna go with finishing my B.A., and getting to go on a road trip through Europe with my mom. :)

Mirrored from Tangents and Digressions.

astro_noms: (by the light of the blood moon)
(Yes, I know the full moon isn't until tomorrow, but I've got an almost-full moon shining through my window right now, and I couldn't resist the subject line. And for once, the keywords for this icon, "by the light of the blood moon," are appropriate, since the October full moon is apparently the Blood Moon.)

I am at my grandparents' this weekend, because Grandpa is going to visit his sister (Gran has refused to go, so much so that the mere mention of the possibility of her going is met with I'M NOT GOING AND THAT'S FINAL STOP BOTHERING ME), so I needed to come down and spend a couple of days with her. I'm hoping to get some work done tomorrow afternoon, hopefully, because the last few days have been a disaster where that's concerned. I've been feeling under the weather and fighting off a cold or some sort of plague, and so I've been ending up lying down "for a short nap" and sleeping through the afternoons. Hopefully the tactic of letting my body rest as much as it wants and keeping it warm and full of vitamin C and cold/flu meds will help. My cousin/roommate is sick, taking antibiotics, and barely functioning, and I really don't want to get sick, too.

I have a meeting with my thesis advisor on Monday, for a preliminary discussion of my thesis, and AHHHHHHHH, I have no idea what I'm going to say. Generally, I know what I'd like to write about, but I need to sit down and like, plan out what I'm going to say so I can be coherent and not ramble on like I usually do. I think he'll approve of the general topic, and I hope he'll be able to steer me through the "omg what do I do?!" minefield. The biggest possible problem I can see is that he's an anthropological linguistics specialist, and I'm not really on friendly terms with linguistics—or, well, I like reading about it, and talking about it, but actually learning the stuff and then having to demonstrate my knowledge in a test? GET IT AWAY FROM ME KILL IT WITH FIRE. But the approach I want to take to my thesis is closer to anthropological linguistics than it is to literary theory, which is what I've focused on up until now, so hopefully we can make it work.

Annnd I just realized why the entries crossposted from my other blog all turned up with the same icon—my DW account expired, so not all the icons are there. Boo. That's going to have to wait until next month, at least, since I'm kinda skint broke right now. Bleh.

Tomorrow morning, I'm going grocery shopping with Grandpa before he leaves, and I've decided I'm going to pick up ingredients for this yogurt chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. I may go crazy and bake the orange yogurt cake with Grand Marnier and dried cranberries (also linked from the first recipe) and take it with me when I go back to Wrocław on Sunday.
astro_noms: (fly away)
Haaa, almost missed the deadline (maybe I did jinx myself yesterday), but nyah, there's 20 minutes left in the day, so there.

What is your proudest moment?

I... can't really think of one moment of personal pride I'd put above all the rest? Most recently would be getting my BA, I guess. I've recently finally picked up my diploma (because they don't issue them right away), so I've *officially graduated and everything. :D?

image


For some reason, they printed the diplomas without our middle names on them (I don't know if it was across the board, or just a few people, but I know I'm not the only one). Technically, that's not a problem, but since my official government ID has my middle name on it, I could run into someone somewhere who decides to give me trouble because they don't match. I don't use my middle name, like, ever, so it really doesn't matter to me, but I need to decide if I want to get it reissued with the proper names listed just to avoid having possible bureaucratic problems later on.

Mirrored from Tangents and Digressions.

astro_noms: (fuck you because unicorn)
They've announced that "due to administrative issues" they're not going to extend the number of spots in the translation seminar, so those of us who didn't manage to sign up are SOL and have to sign up for other ones. I managed to snag a spot in the "Friendship in 19th Century British Literature" group, which is... well, sucky beyond belief. But in the interests of keeping my sanity and actually being able to function and attend classes, I'm going to try and make the best of it. I need to go to the dean's office tomorrow to find out how it works when you have someone else as your advisor (because it's possible to do that), whether you have to basically do double the work—both the seminar stuff in something you're not interested in, and the research for the thesis, or whether your advisor grades your work and the other instructor just inputs it, or what.

If it's possible not to do double the work, I'll have to do some more work over the weekend and write an actual thesis proposal so I can take it to the instructor I want to ask to be my advisor, and then get started on formalizing the paperwork. If it's not possible, I may attempt it anyway, provided I can get a clear answer on the "how does it work" front. And the worst case scenario is that I won't do a translation MA, and will have to redirect my efforts and try to get a bit more interested in literature again.

I read the seminar description in more detail tonight, and if I get stuck in the worst case scenario, there are possible glimmers of hope in the part about what we can write about:
Friendship in 19th-Century British Literature
In the seminar, the emphasis falls on the literary realizations of the theme of friendship in 19th-century British fiction. However, the modernist and contemporary realizations of the theme of friendship will also be considered. Thus, with the theoretical basis in cultural studies, the students’ theses can also be written with the focus on contemporary popular fiction as exemplified by the works of Tom Holland (retreat into coteries, secret societies in contemporary gothic: The Vampire, Deliver us from Evil, Supping with Panthers).

Theoretical references: In the seminar the discourse of friendship it is approached (1) from the critical perspective of cultural materialism and New historicism, as a cultural, historical and political construct, and (2) from the philosophical perspective, as an important concept in ethics. Thus, it is viewed as a concept evolving in the debate conducted within the sphere of philosophical ethics beginning from the classical ideals of friendship (Plato’s, Aristotle’s, Cicero’s) , to medieval Christian (St. Aquinas), to Montaigne, to Kant’s taxonomy, finally, to contemporary consideration of friendship in the works of Gadamer, Derrida, and Agamben. However, there will also be considered works of the philosophers who do not discuss friendship as such, but rather human relationships within a broader ethical perspective of responsibility (Levinas) and solidarity (Rorty). The philosophical questions concerning friendship will include the problems of taxonomy of friendship and other relationships (C. S. Lewis, Aristotle, Kant), and the issue such as, for example, utilitarian and ideal friendship, disclosure in friendship, ending friendship, another self-in friendship, moral limits to friendship, self-sufficiency, celebrating sameness and difference, self-love, self- delusion, pride, vainglory and justice in friendship.
So, you know, if contemporary popular fiction is allowed, maybe I can do something with that.

*cries* I should have known something like this would happen. I got my hopes up, I got too far ahead of myself, and now I'm paying for it. But I'm not going to let the last three years go to waste, goddammit. I will not let this get to me. I WILL NOT LET THIS BREAK ME.

And if it doesn't work out my way, maybe I'll just set the building on fire.
astro_noms: (dinosaurs can love too)
It is now after midnight, so this totally counts as a Monday post.

On Saturday, I went to Wrocław to look for a place, and managed to find one! My cousin and I are going to be renting a place together. It's a three bedroom apartment on the lower floor of a two-floor house, and it's kinda awesome. It's a little expensive, so we may end up getting a third person to take the third room, but for the moment, we'll try it this way. We may have to eat a bit more ramen than normal (or bring bigger care packages from home), but I'm optimistic about our chances. She's a lovely girl, a bit of a fangirl too, so we'll have things in common that way other than just being family.

I'm hoping the place will work out. We have to go over there tomorrow to pay rent and probably sign some sort of rental thingy (things like that aren't formalized here in Poland, so IDK what the lady owner will want to do), and then she's going back home because her classes don't start until Wednesday. Neither do mine, but because I'm starting my MA program, I've got an organizational meeting on Tuesday.

So far, registration for classes has been a disaster. They divided the number of students by the number of seminars they're offering and ended up with 12 spots for each one. The problem is that there's only one translation seminar, but a lot more candidates than just 12. Put together slow internet + buggy browser with everyone trying to register all at once, and the seminar filled up in about a minute and a half. And there's no provision for setting up a second seminar group, or extending this one. Even though there is one seminar that's completely empty because nobody wants to pursue "second language acquisition studies" apparently. So there's been a lot of frustration this weekend, and people telling me that this is normal, that it's always messy like this at the beginning, that master's programs are always geared towards the instructors' interests and not what the students want, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that university is free in Poland. But the advantage of having to pay for my classes is that I get what I pay for—and I can demand to be treated like a paying customer, instead of being told that I should be grateful I'm given a chance to study. What's there to be grateful for if I'm forced to study something I have no interest in because the administration wasn't competent enough to ensure that there would be enough seminars relevant to people? *sigh* I've got a request letter I'm going to drop off tomorrow that basically amounts to some fancy begging to please let me have a spot in the seminar, because otherwise I'll be stuck with "Friendship in 19th Century British Literature" with a professor I don't really enjoy having classes with, and I really fucking hope I can figure something out because I really don't want to have to write an MA thesis on literature when I've spent the last three months gearing up for writing one on translation studies.

BUT. First things first. Moving tomorrow! Apartment, unpacking, then locating a grocery store and getting settled in. then Tuesday I'll go to the meeting and we'll see where things go from there. Good thoughts re: school will be appreciated this week, though.

ETA: Oh! I forgot! Because there's no internet at the new place yet, and all I have is my mobile router with a limited amount of data, this week's uploads will probably be a bit late. Sorry about that.
astro_noms: (nobody puts baby in the corner)
Well, not quite, because we don't get the diplomas til September (I don't know why, possibly they're waiting to print them all until the fall exams are done?), but:

I PASSED MY BA EXAM


So theoretically, I am all graduamacated and everything. Of course, a BA in Poland isn't really worth much, and a lot of people from the older generations don't consider you "done" with university until you have an MA but w/e, w/e, I am calling this one a win.

We had a bbq yesterday with the family next door, and my grandfather opened a bottle of champagne that he was theoretically saving for when I finished my MA, but then he got all paranoid about how he'd gotten a bottle from someone else some other time and it went bad before he opened it, and this one was already four years old, so screw it, we're drinking to your BA instead. I was a little worried that it might be bad luck to toast it before I had the results, but everyone was all "pfft, as if you didn't pass, shut up." Then I spent the night waking up every two hours to check whether they'd been posted (I don't know why, it's not like the IT guy would post them at 4am, but apparently my brain didn't get that memo), and then fending off four or five super short but intense nightmares of different scenarios in which the results were posted and it turned out that I didn't pass.

The results finally went up at around noon, and while I didn't do awesomely on the exam itself (I scored 76/100, which is a 3+, so I guess the equivalent of a C+?), my diploma mark (which is 75% average from the last three years, and 25% the average from the two parts of the BA exam) works out to a 4.5 (so a B+, I'd guess, or a 2-1 in the UK system, but IDK, I wish there was a uniform worldwide grading system, because this is ridiculous), so I'm actually pretty damn happy with that.

Now I'm going to take the next two days to pick up my paperwork from the uni, pack up the rest of my stuff, clean out my room and settle my bills/rent, and then on Thursday I'm going to have to get to work on the translation. I have the MA interview in a week, so I still have to prep for that, but I'm trying to think positive, because I really really really REALLY hate interviews and interview-like things (the prospect of having to do an MA defense absolutely terrifies me), and considering that I almost bombed the last interview I had (the Erasmus qualifying interview), I'm more than a little nervous. But THINKING POSITIVE, dammit. I can do this, I can do this, I CAN MOTHERFUCKING DO THIS. *resolve face*
astro_noms: (so tired zomg)
Welp, I'm done. I wrote the BA exam on Wednesday, but we have to wait till Monday for the results. Assuming I pass, the lowest final grade I will have on the diploma will be a 4 (the equivalent of a B). If I don't pass, the make-up exam will be in September, so I'm not going to worry about it until then. And today, I handed in the research proposal that's part of the application for grad school in our institute (our actual BA grades don't matter, just the grade we get for the proposal and the interview). The interviews are on the 16th, so I have a week and a half to read up on that and make sure I have more to say on the subject than what I wrote. According to the registration timetable, the results of the interviews will be announced by the 19th, so on Monday I'll know whether I should bother going to the interview, and, in the event that I passed, in two weeks I'll know whether I got into grad school. *nervously chews nails, obsessively refreshes results page hoping they'll get posted early*

In the absence of anything better to do, I think I'm going to crawl into bed and have a nap, since last night I got about 4 hours of sleep and I'm not really coherent enough to be fit for human interaction. Possibly later I'll see about packing up my stuff and go home tomorrow or Sunday, since there's no point in hanging around Wrocław anymore. I don't really want to go to my grandparents' yet, but there's nothing to do here in town anyway right now. Maybe I'll go see World War Z tonight, IDK.

Goodnight, listeners, goodnight.
astro_noms: (send in the clones)
Do you ever have a conversation with someone where you touch on various topics, and it's a really good and thorough talk, and you feel good after having it, and then you get an e-mail from that person and it's like that talk never happened? And it feels like maybe, just maybe, the conversation you had was with some alternate version of that person, because nobody could forget everything you talked about that quickly, unless it actually wasn't them you talked about it with?

This ramble brought to you by late-night school writing, and possibly too much Night Vale Radio listening. Last night I dreamt I was a Rule #63 version of Cecil, and when I woke up, my heart ached from the ferocity of my feelings for Carla, perfect Carla with the perfect hair, who smelled of lavender chewing gum and who sat with me on the hood of my car, our fingertips touching as we looked up at the lights above the Arby's...

And then I woke up and it was hot and sticky and miserable and not at all like the dry desert heat in my dream. And then I had a couple of hours of panic when I thought I'd lost my ID card, which would have been very double plus ungood, but then I realized that the last time I used it was when I went to the reading room at the library, so I high-tailed it over there and thankfully they hadn't gotten around to putting it in the mail to send to the address on it, so YAY.

Now I just have to finish this stupid research proposal, which is proving to be more trouble than I suspect it'll be worth. But apparently I've become so set in my ways that the night before it's due is the perfect time to be writing it, even though I spent a good part of last week sitting there thinking "I should be working on the proposal, I should be working on the proposal" and getting exactly jack shit done on it. This does not bode well for when/if I get into grad school and have an actual MA thesis to write. /o\
astro_noms: (tea; motherfuckers)
So I went to the doctor this morning, and I started off with "when I lived in Canada, my doctor prescribed me a low-dose of antidepressants to treat my PMDD symptoms." I started off listing the symptoms I was experiencing, and the doctor's all "what drug was it?" So I told her it was Prozac, and kept going about how I wasn't sure if a GP could prescribe antidepressants in Poland, and she's all "yup, I can." And then she told me I could get an equivalent if they had one, because it was the same thing basically, mentioned that we might have to adjust the dosage or switch to a different drug, handed me a prescription, told me to start with half a pill once daily for now, and told me to come see her at the end of July. I don't think I was in there longer than five minutes? Very anticlimactic, really. I got myself all psyched up with convincing arguments for why she should give me the prescription, and how I wanted to try dealing with the PMDD first and then see about seeing a psychiatrist, etc., but thankfully I didn't need any of that. We agreed that if things don't improve over the summer, I should go see a psychiatrist, though, so we'll see where things go.

[livejournal.com profile] upupa_epops went with me to keep me company (because she's awesome) and then we hung out and talked for a while. Then we went for a walk and we talked about the research project I have to write, and Marta gave me an idea for how improve things. I had most of the theory sorted out, I just needed to figure out whether I needed actual case studies, and what I should use. We talked about how maybe I could do the comparison of two translations of English books into Polish, and then we realized that the approach I want to take would be much better suited to comparing a translation of non-Polish, non-English books into those two languages. And then I mentioned something from an introduction to Master and Margarita, and we realized that that was the perfect case study. The earliest translations were done from censored versions of the original Russian text, and given the political and cultural climate they would also be different that modern translations. So now I have two Polish translations and six English translations to pick from. But yay, progress! I may actually get this fucker written on time. *deep breaths*

And now I'm going to go make myself some tea and possibly study some more American literature. Did you know that James Fenimore Cooper wrote his first novel on a bet with his wife? #themoreyouknow
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