ifeelbetter: (Default)
Just went to the end-of-prelims-season party...all of my cohort passed! This is unsurprising but still awesome because my cohort is made of such a combination of awesome that I have no words. I am paid to have words and I don't. There aren't any for this massive amount of awesome. And even awesomer was the two people who have dropped--still awesome people (they both quit to do more for the world than spread a love of literature and, yeah, legit beef there, ladies)--were both there!

So. After group griping (and drinking) and general survivors' bonding (and more drinking), here is my new wisdom:

This is wisdom in two ways (and, yes, I get more bullet point-y the drunker I get):
(a) "Fuck it" is the only legitimate reaction to a stress test like this one, especially after the fact and
(b) Julie Andrews rocks my world. For realsies.

My dad once told me that you feel too young for everything until, suddenly, one day you feel too old. I still feel too young--definitely like a kid playing dress-up in that exam--but whatevs. I passed.

More wisdom:
ifeelbetter: (Default)
In case there's anyone out there who isn't interested in my Academic Woes, be warned: this way leads to Feelings.

Prelims, a saga in many parts. )

On a lighter note....things I have texted to people in my madness over the past week or so:

yes maybe so true but what about sudden death. like with newborns. i could get behind some sudden death right about now.

hank youn dont jinx knock all the wood

Do you think curly hair looks disrespectful?


That last one--the keyboard smash--was actually what my phone sent when I replied to a text by hitting it against my forehead.

In conclusion, I would like to offer some advice to people preparing for prelims:
1) You're more likely to pass than not if you cared enough to do the work.
2) Nerves are something you have to just admit as fact. Work around them if you can, expel them when it's possible, but don't ratchet up the stress by feeling guilt about your stress.
3) Your gut already knows your problems. They will agree with what your gut has been telling you all along. So just listen to your gut in the first place.
4) I found Edith Piaf and Garth Brooks equally energizing right before. That and cutting myself off from caffeine.
5) Read all the books.
ifeelbetter: (Dr Who - Angry Donna)
*see Subject line.

By this time tomorrow--if everything goes well--I will be ABD.

*knocks on all the wood*

I swear I'm not a superstitious person....it's just. Let's not jinx anything, right? Jinxing would be a fucker at this point. And I'm not saying jinxing is, like, an actual thing. I'm just. You know. Let's not jinx it.

I'm going just the teensiest bit mad. So I need some cheering up.

Keep an eye out for 1:09 for maximum happiness

In conclusion: puppy says I can do it!

Just so you know, cheering myself has somehow ended with me getting the theme song to the final series of Sailor Moon stuck in my head. Thanks, self. That's exactly what I needed right now.
ifeelbetter: (Default)

Just spent an hour reviewing the books on the transmission of Japanese pornography in Japan and Beardsley. Not a bad way to spend an evening night.

Also--because nothing, not even the awareness of my own mortality brought on by PRELIMS, can stop my love for Jon Stewart--can we have a moment to all agree that he's the bestest of the best, the wonderfulest of wonderfuls? Say it loud, say it proud: I <3 JON.

(This all in reference to the humility he displayed in tonight's episode when talking about the respect he had for Kambiz Hosseini & Saman Arbabi...and the fact he had them on his show. I love you, man. I love you for ever.)
ifeelbetter: (Default)
Apparently my adviser--who is also the only other Victorianist's adviser as well, and he's a lovely hipster type who puts a lot of effort into trying to seem like he's not putting a lot of effort into anything--so yeah, my adviser told him, point blank, "I'll be surprised if you pass prelims."


Nobody--NOBODY has failed prelims at this school in, like, a decade. It never happens. Why is she going all Mr. Hyde on this poor little hipster? I have a feeling I've been getting Dr. Jekyll all along and he's been getting Mr. Hyde and, while I am glad for my time with Jekyll, I am totally terrified of her turning in the middle of the exam.

Also. The only guy on my committee has this face. His face is always saying to me, "Did you really mean to say/do/think/be as stupid a thing as you just did?" I think it really is just how his face is. I ran into him in the hall and said, "Did you get the e-mail about the room assignment for the exam?" and he made the face at me. So. Probably not a reaction to me actually being stupid like a block of wood in his opinion and more to do with how his face is. I try to ignore his face in meetings. It's hard, though, cuz it's his face.

So. Prelims concerns: Mr. Hyde-Adviser and That Dude's Face. Oh, and, you know, allllll of the nineteenth-century.

Now, because I have been nattering on about prelims ad nauseum or WEEKS, have a fun thing:

And another one:

And lastly:
ifeelbetter: (Default)
My brother's long standing arguments and the Olympic Procrastination Event I seem to be preparing for (prelims? what prelims? I should re-decorate this wall), I finally caved and gave in to Stumbleupon.

A gajibillion hours later, I found this game to play during boring meetings. It made me flashback to my wretched days in cubicle work. In case there are some cubicle-bound individuals out there reading this, I thought I would pass on the awesome:

1. Before (or during) the next meeting, seminar, or conference call, prepare yourself by drawing a square. I find that 5" x 5" is a good size. Divide the card into columns-five across and five down. That will give you 25 one-inch blocks.

2. Write one of the following words/phrases in each block:
Synergy, strategic fit, core competencies, best practice, bottom line, revisit, expeditious, to tell you the truth (or "the truth is), 24/7, out of the loop, benchmark, value-added, proactive, win-win, think outside the box, fast track, result-driven, knowledge base, at the end of the day, touch base, mindset, client focus(ed), paradigm, game plan, leverage.

3. Now check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases.

4. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally stand up and shout "BULLSHIT!"

We now return to our regular programming: late night prelims panics with Bessie. Will she have another dream about snow-cones and a panel of people asking her to explain snow-cones' significance to her? Only time will tell...
ifeelbetter: (Default)
A former roommate (back when there were four girls from the same year or the same Eng. PhD program living in one house) just turned 25 today yesterday and is having her prelims on Wednesday. We went out for the fastest of celebratory dinners and talked about little besides prelims.

Mostly about what to wear to prelims.

Then there's this Brit in my program who dresses like a schlub but is the departmental darling (when we got locked out of the mailroom for a month, it turned out all we needed to do was send him to the secretaries to bat his eyelashes at them or some shit) -- he has these insane theories on clothing. I mean, the boy should not be allowed to dress himself. He has some connections to a sheep farm in Wales (the WTFery with this boy does not stop) and so wears "fuzzy jumpers." Year round. And not well maintained fuzzy jumpers--though they were, in some prehistoric era, really lovely quality and probably not filled with holes and shrunk at the arms from being washed like they weren't incredibly high quality wool from sheep babies' butts or I don't even know--and other sartorial atrocities. And he's going to wear these atrocities to his prelims and they're going to love him because they always do. [PROOF: He e-mailed a critic to ask for a transcript from a talk she gave because he wanted to disagree with her vehemently--he said this in the e-mail--and she asked to read his paper and sent him a free book that hasn't been released yet. And then told him the paper was wonderful. The paper in which he trashed her theory.]

SO. Those of us who can't win committees with our Welsh accents and fuzzy jumpers....well, in my case, I'll probably wear every single thing I own from J. Crew. PLAN.

ifeelbetter: (Psych - Just Shawn)
My prelims are just slightly more than two weeks away. I swear, there's an "oh shit oh shit oh shit" mantra going through the back of my brain all the time these days. I am panicking so much I have begun to forget things--like manners and the English language and to eat.

SO. Like I always do in times of need--when my mother used to say, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going" because, honestly, she was made of different stuff from the rest of us--I am procrastinating. I am procrastinating like there was an Olympic event for it and I was aiming for the gold. I am procrastinating like it's going out of style.

On the one hand, internet, you should have this in return for the love I bear you:

AND NOW THIS. This is what the internet gives ME because it loves ME:

"How d'you know I don't have a big house?"

I have also been knitting like a crazy person. I am making the most fugly teal circle (you could ask why but then I would have to say something annoying like "ask me no silly questions, I'll tell you no silly lies" or "..to make a fugly teal circle?")...all I want from life is to knit the fugliest sweater some day, the kind I will give to relatives at major holidays and they will make faces behind my back because they are so ugly. I am majorly excited, no joke, to someday be that crazy aunt.

When I fail prelims--I know, I probably won't, yes, I get that in my brain but, guys, panic is panic is panic--I will move to a shack in some frozen woodland with a cow (whom I will also name Bessie and she shall be called Bessie 2 or The Return of Bessie) and I will knit all my own clothes and own several cats who will be mostly feral and kill lots of mice. That is my backup plan.
ifeelbetter: (Default)
So my freshman comp class this semester is going to be following the theme of "bromance" ... in a very loose way. We're going to start with friendships between men -- essays by Aristotle and Emerson, close reading of Beatles lyrics, Wordsworth/Coleridge writing Lyrical Ballads -- and then move onto more homoerotic content (Stoppard's Invention of Love, Eve Sedgwick's Between Men, Oscar Wilde -- and theeeeen we'll finish the semester by looking how women can (or can't) fit into a schema that values male friendship so highly. I think it sounds fun. Hard, yes, but fun too.

I start on Wednesday. I am practicing my first day speech. I used Henry V far too often as a model for my speeches last semester. I just saw the NTLive Hamlet and am sorely tempted to do a "There will be a lot of essay but, hey, at least we're not dead, right?" sort of speech now. (<-- bad idea)

Also. My orals are on the 27th. Every time I remember that (every other second), I freak out not a small amount. So.

[[livejournal.com profile] ifeelbetter is freaking out right now, brought on by typing the word "orals." We will be back with our regularly scheduled programming after these messages.]

My feelings re:January:
ifeelbetter: (Default)
So now I'm 26. That happened.

Also, I am beginning to think that I have dug myself a fairly deep hole with this summer of faffing about (and not reading nearly as much as I ought to have done) as far as prelims are concerned. SIGH. The problem is that I've reached this point where all the things I read--since they're so narrowly focused--are beginning to sound alike. It's like, yes, translation is hard to theorize but that was said in 700AD. MUST you repeat it in every book, article, novel, poem, etc. to mention translation from now till the end of time? Because I do not want. So I'm avoiding reading for prelims. That's stupid, I agree, but I'm doing it anyway.

Also, in case anyone missed it, there was a segment of pure genius on The Daily Show last night. Staten Island is the only borough in NYC that hasn't supplied a supreme court justice and Wyatt Cenac goes to see if he can find the most qualified candidate available.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Staten Island Supreme Court Justice
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Also, I have a music rec. If you don't know Pomplamoose, I suggest you start with their cover of Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. It's a song I have never been entirely fond of but I am re-evaluating that opinion based on the awesomeness of the cover.


ifeelbetter: (Default)

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