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It feels like there's a lot going on around here. The last week or so has been slightly less rushed than usual, and I've felt like I've had a little time to catch up with a few of the many people on my to-see list, and do a few of the things on my to-do list. Sadly, today I've taken stock of everything that needs to happen over the next month or so, and have realised that it's rather daunting.

To do:
* Read over my conference paper and check that it makes sense (reviewer #1 seems to think so).
* Prepare two lectures, with enough time for practice/quiet reflection that I am unlikely to freak out beforehand.
* Keep up with reading for the classes I'm teaching at UWA.
* Start teaching new "Intro to the Internet" course at Curtin.
* Make (minor) changes to thesis draft suggested by SupervisorfaceOne, and (more extensive) changes suggested by SupervisorfaceTwo. There will be a Deadline for this, as one of my examiners is very busy and important and therefore needs to know the exact date on which she will receive the manuscript. Eep.
* Organise speakers, format, publicity, etc for our next Bluestocking event.

I feel relatively calm about all of this. I have no idea how I will get all of this done...in fact, just thinking about finishing my thesis is very daunting, it feels like there's so much concentrating to be done and so much holding-of-the-shape-of-it-in-my-head. But I'm going to break it all down into small chunks, and keep up with the relatively healthy patterns that I've managed to build up, and I think it'll be okay.

Some things that are nice:
* I have been cycling to new places, and to places that are much further than I would usually go. On Saturday my bicycle tyre went flat, so I had to walk home from Subi with all the shopping - it was actually not too painful. I fixed it (and got grease *everywhere*), and was pleased that the repair held for a 26k round trip. But inexplicably it went flat again today, sitting around in the back yard. Why? So strange! So I walked home from Greek class tonight, and although it is much further than I would usually walk it was quite lovely.
* I have been having good, though limited, people-time. My family is pretty awesome, I think I have mentioned this before. And I have a lot of ridiculously lovely people in my life. And this weekend is crafternoon, and I get pretty excited about crafternoon!

That is enough for now, right? Right.


Jun. 19th, 2009 03:22 pm
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* I was awfully pleased with myself for managing to fix my gears, despite Things needing to be shifted and Crucial Screws looking rather ill. Then I cycled to South Perth one night, and halfway through the trip there was some unidentified squeaking. I looked down and the screws had fallen out entirely. *sigh* So now I will have to go get a new dérailleur mechanism and do it all again.
* I am starting to feel like the thesis of doom might finally be coming to an end. I have close-to-final drafts of three out of four chapters written, and the rest is written but needs edits. I am getting a lot of moments of panic as I realise that this means examination is approaching.
* I've been having a lot of very nice people time of late, including Cameron dropping in unexpectedly today. Weirdly, though, a lot of my people-time has simultaneously been lovely and rather nerve-wracking. I have felt edgy and paranoid a lot, and have come away from a lot of people-time feeling like I have somehow done the wrong thing. I am putting it down to being a bit stressed out by thesis etc.
* No word back from Possible Employer, which I think at this stage means I didn't get an interview. I am trying to be proactive about this whole needing-a-job thing and have been looking at government jobs and NGO jobs and academic jobs. I also emailed the unions today and asked what was up with their constantly-empty 'vacancies' site.
* Yesterday Jason prodded me into practising keyboard, and although I am quite terrible at it I enjoyed it a lot. I will have to remember to make more time for that, and for accordion-practise at sensible hours.
* We have the Internet at home! Finally! Except, now I can't remember what to do with it.
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I am feeling rather the opposite of 'on top of things'.

* I did a section of last year's Greek exam last night in class. It was a comprehension exercise in which one had to fill in blanks in a letter with words from a list. I got 8 out of 13, which is good, but I couldn't really work out what the letter was about, which is bad. I am pretty sure, at this stage, that if I pass it will be a) only just, and b) a very baffling experience for me. My vocabulary is just too small. Still, I have two weeks until the test, so I guess I can still do a little more catching up.

* My thesis is going, but always more slowly than I would like. I am trying to write the last section of my first chapter at the moment, because I deleted the previous version of it (for good reasons). But then the rewrite I attempted over the last couple of days also had to be deleted. And... *sigh*

* Teaching is somewhat painful at the moment. The area I'm teaching is not my specialty, and I'm trying to restrict the time spent preparing to a sensible amount, which means I spend much of the class saying 'that's a good question, I don't know. Why don't you guys look it up?' I have no fundamental problem with this approach, but it gets a little discouraging for me at times.

* There are many people who I am not seeing nearly as often as I'd like. Right now, my weekday evenings are full from Monday to Thursday, I do greek homework every morning, and I have teaching prep and greek homework to do on the weekends. Trying to see everyone that I want to see is hard!

* Other bits and pieces: bluestocking has been somewhat neglected as I don't have internet at home right now. Kate put up a good entry on creating community cohesion on the blog, and Shae's also been doing a bit here and there, so I don't feel too bad. A couple of my articles have come up on ActNow, one on facebook stuff and one on online communities.

Overall, despite feeling a bit overwhelmed, I am not feeling too stressed. I am reminding myself that things sometimes take longer than you would like, and that not everything can be done brilliantly, and that's okay.
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The last few days have been exhausting. Moving house and unpacking and frantic preparation for today's classes and then cycling to Greek. I have a lot of catching up to do, and it feels like this week is already full to the brim with not much room left over: I still have to clean up Matlock for the rent inspection, and look after Ms C after her wisdom teeth get removed, and catch up with the think tank since Dr C is off to Cyprus soon. And I am dying to play with my typewriter, and do some gardening, and finish the story I am writing with Lisaface Zippertum. Not to mention all the extra catchups I want to do, and haiku to write, and accordion to practice, and family I am missing.

Anyway! Question time!

So, I have been thinking of doing my Greek exam next month. Only problem is, the exam is difficult, and I don't really have an adequate vocabulary yet. I could do a heap of preparation for the next month and maybe pass, and even if I fail it's not too big a deal because I can always resit. Or I could wait until the next exam, which may be at the end of the year or may be next year. What do you think?
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* I am going to be in Sydney between 18th and 24th of February. Actually, I will mostly be in Armidale or doing a workshop during that time, but I will be free the evening of the 20th, I think. Does anyone want to have dinner/put me up? (Also: are any of you guys in Sydney?)
* My brother is quite wonderful. He told me a story about his mice: his house has lots of mice. They like to hide behind the microwave, and poop. So, one day they used the microwave, and a poor little mouse came staggering out and died a dramatic death. Very upsetting! After considering the problem carefully, they got rid of the microwave, because who wants such a terrible killer in the house? Now the mouse hang out somewhere different, and more hidden, and everyone's happy. For some reason I find this story very cheering. It reminds me that people are not so bad, after all.
* My family is pretty excellent, did I mention? I like Παπού playing tavli with Ms N and debating, Γιαγιά's stories and her popping some dessert into Ms N's mouth mid-sentence, Byron's attempts to lure Brotherdear or J into playing with him, Strati's standard response to Relationship News ("well, when are you bringing them around?"), Lorraine's quiet strength, GirlCousins' willingness to debate ethics and morality, Motherdear's automatic carbon-neutralling of my flights, Fatherdear's continual attempts to work out where he is and where he wants to be. I am very lucky!
* Ms L came around the other night to work on my story. It's quite wonderful to write with/for someone who's that expressive - I am usually so nervous when someone reads my work with me near, but I really enjoy all of her laughing and approval-faces and questions. Also, it is fun to make demands like, "draw a thing here that is like a rubbish bin crossed with a cloud, but sparkly".
* A couple of nights ago I had a dream that my first complete thesis-draft was finished. It still had lots of 'insert research here' bits, but it felt so amazingly good. Like a dream about flying, where you're simultaneously surprising that you can do and at how wonderful it is.
* A couple of nights ago I had a dream about


Jan. 28th, 2009 07:44 am
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So, yesterday I entered into a rather unfortunate bet. I need to finish my thesis by March 31st. If not, I have to spend a month being a real girl. If I do, J's father has to do all of the grocery shopping at places I assign (Cityfarm organic markets and fair trade shops).

I'm not sure that it's possible, but it gives me a deadline and an(other) incentive, and that's probably good. So the next couple of months I'm going to be trying very hard to put my head down and go.

It also means that if we have hangouts, dear readers, it would be good if they could be thesis-writing-friendly hangouts. And I know that I haven't been the best at hangouts with people*, but I guess it's going to get worse, at least for a while. I am going to be even more selfish about my time, and if it is hangouts with too many people, or too much Out, or drinking, I will probably say no. It doesn't mean that I don't love you anymore! I just need to get some things (one, enormous, thing) done.

My first mini-deadline is one I made with Ms-ThinkTank-S: I need to get my last chapter draft written by the time I go to Sydney, Feb 17th.

Also: the application piece that I sent in for ActNow has been put up. It's very similar to a blogpost on my grownup blog, though.

* Where do people find the time to see all of their friends and family often enough? Do other people secretly have more time than me?
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I had a lot of people-time this weekend, and it's been awfully fun. I've been hanging out with Office-Mate-Nath, who is lovely and clever and fun, and I also met her friend Helen, who is similarly wonderful. *waves* I've also had family-time, and not-so-new-friend time, and have felt terribly appreciative of the amazing people that I have around me.

Oddly, perhaps, my people-worry has also been rather high - I seem to be spending an awful lot of time fretting that I have offended people, or talked too much, etc etc. Increasingly, this seems like something that I really should work out how to do less. It is not the most fun ever.

I have been thinking that perhaps the reason I'm fretting so much is because my anxiety levels are generally high, what with the thesis-worry getting larger every day. I really do need to finish it soon. Hopefully now that I'm not teaching it will be easier to get on with writing.

Today I feel productive - I finished my marking, and now I'm going to do my Greek homework and then get on with writing. And I have an office-mate today, so the office doesn't feel all abandoned. Hurrah!
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Today, I worked hard. I blogged and blogged, and then I researched and wrote a whole big section of the chapter I'm working on now. I felt so productive, and it was the kind of work where you put your head down and don't stop until you realise that it's snack/coffee-time.

Then, I thought I would round things up by looking at my 'everything so far, current draft' file, which I thought would make me feel even more productive. About 31,000 words. Okay. I've written many, many, more words, but this is the word count for my current draft (minus bibliography). Sounds like a lot of words. It's 79 pages: that is a lot of pages! But then I accidentally started thinking...a PhD needs around 80,000 to 100,000 words. Will I end up with enough words? That is a lot of words still to write! What if I finish it all and it only comes to, like, 60,000 words? What will I do then? And then I got a sick feeling in my stomach and had to stop thinking about it for a while.

Luckily, I had some photos of pandas to look at, courtesy of liz.

In other news, some things I have done lately are:
* Fret about people,
* Tidy things, with satisfying results,
* Craft origami things, also with satisfying results,
* Sail in windy weather, which made me feel like Captain Adventure because we 'took water in over the gunnel' (apparently),

That is all. I will go bicycle in the sunshine now, and it will be nice.
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Last night I had a dream that I was hanging out with Ms. S. Think-Tank, and we were going to work on our theses together. Don't worry though, gentle readers, there was some excitement in the dream: I found some marigold seeds, and planted them.


Supervisorface has requested Current Chapter by Thursday, neatened and restructured or not. I am hoping to avoid the humiliation of handing it in its current form.

Mostly, I am trying to cheer myself up with thoughts of gardening (and Galapagos tortoises, but that's another story). This weekend, or maybe the next one, brotherdear might come over and help me plant some corn and, um, whatever one plants in this season. Also, cycling to uni through King's Park is lovely right now - wildflower season! Hurrah!

Also: Flora's Dare arrived. I am being good and saving it for post-chapter treat number #2.

Ok! Back to work!
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All of last night I dreamt angry dreams, with lots of ineffectual punching in them.

I have been doing more scouting-around, trying to see if there's anywhere I would like to do research next year. It has made me feel like my research has kind of petered out and isn't going anywhere interesting...I don't feel excited about carrying on from here. Hopefully this will pass. It's also made me feel rather small and unimpressive, because I made the mistake of reading some of the Singapore grad students' intros, and they all seem much cooler than me.

I am pretty sure that these problems will be solved when I get back on track with work, but it still feels rather an uphill battle. Lots of time spent staring at my computer, not much time spent achieving anything.

On the plus side, one of the academics in the department called out to me in the office as I was walking past today. I thought it was work, but she just wanted to tell me that I'm beautiful. She said she'd thought that maybe it was that I was wearing a nice top, but she'd thought about it and it was just me. It was rather odd, but quite nice. (I would rather feel clever than pretty, but I'll take what I can get today.)


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