GIP, etc

Nov. 19th, 2010 11:54 am
triskellian: (geek)
I've just noticed that the icon I use to actually represent me (as opposed to representing the subject I'm writing about) was wildly out of date. So because obviously there's nothing more important I should be doing, here is the new short-haired, colour-wearing, silver-coloured-laptop-using me :-)

ION, it turns out the beginning of the PhD feels vague and unfocused and unproductive to (almost) everyone, and not just me. Although wasting time making LJ icons instead of writing stuff to go in my registration form* or editing a journal submission, or reading something relevant, probably doesn't help. Back to the grindstone...

*Registration: a new hoop to jump through after application, and before transfer-from-MPhil. I'm not entirely sure what it's supposed to accomplish, which might explain why I'm taking so long over it.
triskellian: (reading)
This evening, I've been to the first event of my life as a doctoral student: the school of Arts and Humanities' first session of "research training". It was kind of strange and unstructured, consisting mostly of the professor who was leading it giving us random pieces of advice as they struck her. There was wine, and nibbles, but no chance to mingle or chat with the seven other students, although each of us got to talk to one other, in a "give the five-minute version of your research" exercise. The one I got allocated seems nice, but I've no idea if any of these people might end up being my friends. And I've been thinking wistfully of first meeting my Women's Studies cohort, a year ago, and of the friends they have become since. I know that, being doctoral students in varying different fields (no others in mine, publishing), our cohort experience will be different, and this makes me a bit sad. I miss my classmates from my masters, all but one of whom have now departed to search for jobs and homes and lives elsewhere, although today I've been talking to the one who remains, and am seeing hir later in the week.

Incidentally, I still don't officially have an offer of a place, although I've been assured today that the relevant letter is just awaiting signature before they send it to me. But at some point in the next week or two, I'll have to work out how I'm going to start doing this.

What I'll actually be doing (skippable!) )

*Five years because I'm doing it part time, sticking with the day job two days a week. This will be the first time in my life as a mature student that both the things I'm doing are part time, and I'm very excited about it. In theory, this means I will be able to maintain an actual life as well as the job and the research. Yes, I know this is ridiculously optimistic, but please don't disillusion me yet.
triskellian: (eee)
  • Taking lecture notes on my eeeeee is better than taking pen-and-paper notes because:
    • My hand doesn't hurt afterwards
    • I take more notes
    • The notes I take are better
    • I'm more inclined to go through them and clean them up afterwards, because:
      • It is possible to clean them up without having to completely rewrite them
    • Cleaning them up means I reread them
    • Rereading them means I'm more likely to understand and remember them
    • I can be certain I'll be able to read them in the future
  • Also some stuff about Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill* and Sojourner Truth, and the political situation they were operating in.
  • *...of his own free will, on half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
    triskellian: (reading)
    This news is slightly belated, in that most people I've seen recently already know, but it's now official, so I can say in public without fear of jinxing myself: the rather marvellous institution I work for has agreed that I can spend the duration of my masters working one day a week, and, crucially, go back to full time afterwards :-) (This is, it only now occurs to me, almost an exact reversal of the last few years of my life when I was working four days a week in term time and spending the other day being a student.) I was prepared to quit entirely, or apply for a full-fledged career break if I had to, but I'm very relieved that it hasn't come to that. It does make it all scarily real, though, even while giving me more of a safety net than I had any right to expect.

    College!

    Apr. 23rd, 2009 04:35 pm
    triskellian: (oxford)

    I have:

    • An offer of a college place to accompany my faculty place: I will be at Linacre, which was my first choice for not much more reason than: it's a graduate college, it has a pretty building, and it's on the correct side of town.
    • A scary financial guarantee form which [livejournal.com profile] smiorgan is going to have to complete to assure them that he's going to be housing and feeding me.
    • A sneaking suspicion that the combination of the Women's Studies course and the financial-guarantee-from-husband is rather ironic.
    triskellian: (writing)
    ...I am tentatively declaring the beast slain. I've made PDFs (so as to preserve my pretty not-on-the-PC font), emailed a massive zip file to every email address I've got, backed up onto large and small portable hard drives, and am hoping to print out, bind and submit tomorrow. I'd cheer but I don't quite believe that it's done.

    Maybe it's a good thing that it turns out I can't do my first-practical-choice* masters this year. Maybe I could do with a rest.

    *Actual first choice is sadly not an option unless someone wants to pay me my salary for not working :-(
    triskellian: (desk)
    Since some time yesterday afternoon, I have been writing actual words for the body of my dissertation. Real, analytical words that are part of the main point of the essay.

    This isn't to imply that I've just been twiddling my thumbs otherwise; the prep work and literature review and stuff that I've done is important, but this is the actual meat of the thing, and I've had a terrible mental barrier about starting to do it. Breaking the barrier is a great relief :-)
    triskellian: (reading)
    I have two semesters left of the course it feels like I've been doing forever. All these years I've been unofficially collecting module credits without being formally registered on a programme, but I've finally sorted that out, although said programme is a bit different from the one I was aiming at when I started. The subject is "Combined Studies with English Language and Linguistics"; the Combined Studies arm of it has the title "Changing society: print and internet". And it's all finished now apart from my honours-qualifying modules...

    This semester... )

    Next semester... )

    And after that? )
    triskellian: (reading)
    Can anyone remember the name of (or point me at a website about) Stephen King's experiment in writing chapters on a submission basis? I've been trying to find it, but have yet to come up with the search terms that will provide me with this information. LJ in "bettter than Google" shock, I hope.

    (If anyone knows of similar tech-enabling-publishing type experiments, I'd be glad to hear of those, too, although that probably counts as getting you guys to do my homework for me ;-)

    Edit: Aha! It's called The Plant. Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] undyingking!
    triskellian: (reading)
    This is your regularly-scheduled beginning-of-semester rant/glee about being a student. Look away now if you're thoroughly bored of me talking about this :-)

    This semester we have a bit of rant and a bit of glee... )
    triskellian: (reading)
    This semester, the early indications are that there are no bad courses. Hooray!

    Module one: Print and society )

    Module two: Forensic linguistics )
    triskellian: (reading)
    The highlight of today's (Good) class was watching the lecturer trying to explain to a bunch of uncomprehending students the idea that there's no such thing as truth and everything is subjective because all truths are expressed through language, which is inherently subjective. It was a major diversion from the intended topic, but very entertaining.

    And I've just remembered that I went to read the Wikipedia article on Derrida last week, as background reading for this class, got sidetracked into the Talk page by the disputed factual accuracy notice, and from there into reading about Wiki edit wars, and read barely a word on Derrida. I was just about to make another attempt before being distracted by this entry. I have no work ethic :-(
    triskellian: (reading)
    I've been thinking for a while about trying an experiment in the way I use language, and something that came up in my reading today made me decide to go ahead and do it.

    The experiment is this... )

    And the reading that prompted this? )
    triskellian: (cranky)
    I spent this morning in a lecture on the history and varieties of the English language. The subject is pretty much central to my course, and it should in theory be really interesting. What actually happened was that the lecturer spent about half an hour faffing around and taking the register, then handed out a question sheet relating to a video he was about to show, read out the entire question sheet to the class, and then put the video on (a Melvyn Bragg thing from ITV several years ago*). While the video was showing, we dutifully wrote down the answers to the questions on the sheet (no analysis or thought required - the questions were all directly answered in the video). Then we had five minutes to "discuss your answers with your neighbour", then another twenty minutes of going through the questions with the whole class, by which time I was ready to bang my head against the wall.

    While relating this tale of woe to a lunch table** of colleagues, someone asked "so why do you keep going to the classes?". It really hadn't occured to me not to - I'm a Good Student***, and attending classes is deeply ingrained, even though in this case it's reasonably clear that I could cover more of the subject, and in more detail, with an equivalent amount of time spent sitting at home with some books.

    And so, in the time honoured tradition of using LJ to make vitally important life decisions, I present a poll!

    Run my life for me... )

    Footnotes )
    triskellian: (writing)
    A couple of people have asked if I'm going to post my mark for the [livejournal.com profile] metatext assignment, and I've muttered something non-committal in response. I was wary, because I had no idea how well I'd done; if I'd done badly, I'd probably have quietly failed to mention it and forgotten about the whole thing. As it happens, the marks came out today, and I got an A :-)
    [A = 1st class, B+ = 2:1; B = 2:2; C = 3rd]

    Many thanks to everyone who helped, whether criticising the poll questions, ticking boxes, commenting on [livejournal.com profile] metatext, or whatever. Give yourselves a pat on the back. I haven't forgotten that I offered icons as bribery - I'll get to that soon.
    triskellian: (river)
    Many thanks to everyone who filled in my poll, and pimped it to others. I ended up with 103 responses. 103! Loads more than I was expecting, and I'm really pleased with it.

    I'm now starting the mammoth task of formatting the data so I can analyse it. Further updates, and the eventual report, will go in [livejournal.com profile] metatext - if you're interested, feel free to add it to your flist, and comments are always welcome.
    triskellian: (kaylee)
    Most of you have already done this, but just in case you haven't, or you've only filled in some of the bits of poll, please go and answer my poll on the use of LJ as a social tool. The deadline for completing the poll is tomorrow at 6pm BST. More information about why is in this post in my journal.

    Thanks!

    (Icon in honour of the Serenity trailer I have on my pendrive to watch when I get home.)

    Poll time!

    Apr. 25th, 2005 08:40 am
    triskellian: (cartoon me ibook)
    I'm writing an assignment for my 'Communication and Technology' class, for which I'm doing some research about the use of Livejournal as a social tool (many of my readers will already have heard something about this ;-). I'm writing the whole assignment in public, at [livejournal.com profile] metatext, and will eventually submit that community itself for marking, but in the meantime, I need data!

    Please fill in the poll, and if you've got any further thoughts or anecdotes to share, please do so in a comment on that post. Everyone is welcome to fill it in, whether I know you or not, whether you're on my flist or not (although I'd be grateful if you'd leave a comment explaining how you found the poll if I don't know you).

    The deadline for completing the poll is 6pm BST on Thursday 28 April. The poll is long, but it's split into six separate polls, so you can fill them in separately if time is an issue (although please try to fill in all of them, even if you don't do them all at once).

    Bribery: I'll make icons for ten randomly-chosen poll fillers-in.

    Edit: OK, one of the questions is radio buttons where it should be ticky boxes. I apparently can't even add a new poll after a post is posted, let alone edit an existing one, so sorry about that, and please use the 'other' option, or a comment to clarify your answer. Ah well. In a poll that length, it was inevitable that something would go wrong :-(
    triskellian: (boots)
    So, I had an entry percolating in my brain about my course this term semester ('Communication and Technology'), and all of the things it's teaching me that I already know (I learnt how to make a web page a couple of weeks ago), and how much I'm looking forward to using a virtual learning environment, and the possibility of using LJ as subject matter for an essay. And then there's the CSS that is eating my life, entering my dreams, and tying my brain in knots (in an enjoyable way) (see [livejournal.com profile] secretrebel's recent post).

    But what's currently foremost in my brain is that I was in a car accident a couple of hours ago. All damage was to cars, not people; the other person admitted it was her fault (and I hope she continues to do so when talking to her insurance company), and my car is probably still driveable. But I'm shaky and lacking concentration even more than usual, and hoping that my various weekend plans* aren't all completely wrecked by either my unwillingness to drive, or the state of the car.

    (*[livejournal.com profile] lathany, I've emailed you.)

    PS: new icon! Apparently all the cool kids have shoe icons these days. And I keep making shoe comments, and bemoaning the lack of a relevant icon, so I made this last night in between lecturing [livejournal.com profile] secretrebel about CSS.
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