Posts Tagged ‘Projects’

Boo on Reality. It’s Finally Setting In…

December is coming to a close which means January is right around the corner! Before January 11th rolls around and Lent Term begins, I have a dissertation proposal to write and a summative essay to conclude. Ideally, both will be done well (let’s all cross our fingers for distinction). On top of that, real life has begun to hit me: although last term was challenging, this term is going to be a real feat. Not only do we have to concern ourselves with normal coursework, but most of our graded coursework is due at the end of this term/beginning of Summer Term, plus we have to get a substantial start on our dissertations, plus there’s the whole job/internship situation if we actually want to put our education to use (I like to think that most of us do).

Knowing that we’ll be 100% done in 9 short months is a little daunting. Most people are leaving before then — off to law school, other professional programs or back to their homelands to send in their dissertations. Theoretically, we can all go back home in July and submit our dissertations via courier. For some of the direly homesick, this is a great option. I, on the other hand, have been wanting to drag out my European excursions for as long as humanly possible! I’m loving London life (aside from the occasional mild bout of homesickness) and have thoroughly enjoyed my ability to travel and meet some amazing people along the way. Thinking of all of this coming to an end is saddening (and an impetus to pursue a PhD). So, this term is going to be a full one: normal coursework, a trip to Cumberland Lodge with my program, a summative ‘project planning’ submission, a dissertation to begin, careers to investigate, jobs for which to apply, summative essays to submit and preparation for exams in May/June. On the bright side, I also get to look forward to some special visitors this term! My cousins are coming at the end of January for a visit, Chris is hitting up Londontown in February, and my dad and sister are coming during my break for a two-week, three to four-country mini tour (England, France, the Netherlands & maybe Scotland)! Hopefully seeing all of their bright, smiling faces will help in getting through the term and alleviating a bit of my homesickness (and hold me over until I return back to the US).

Also, I must wish my friend, Pooja, congratulations on getting her first acceptance to law school! She’s the perfect example of a girl who has her stuff together: finishing her Masters and off to start law school all before the tender age of 22 — talk about motivation! On that note, I’m off to look for jobs/PhD programs to feel like less of a delinquent.

Here’s to Lent Term and to facing reality!

On an amazingly bright note, Lent Term marks the welcoming of one Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid, and I am going to be 1st in line to see her! I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to take advantage of the university’s speakers and public lectures. We get some amazing visitors at our school (Presidents, Prime Ministers, Queens, Scholars, etc.) and now is the time to get to see them in person!

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a few big smiles in day two of hell.

So, it’s 847P and it feels like it’s about 1130P right now. Despite the wave of tiredness that just hit me, I feel fortunate in the fact that I still have two solid hours of work I can get in this evening. I just knocked out one presentation in my Health & Population seminar this evening and it actually went pretty well! After so many years of business classes/public speaking, I seemed to have forgotten that I actually enjoy speaking in front of people when I have a good grasp on my topic (one reason that a career in academia/university teaching has been of interest to me). I have one more presentation tomorrow morning, followed by preparation for a third presentation for Monday. Despite the fact that I have had to relinquish my rights to a social life, I actually kind of enjoy having work to do. I feel like I’ve finally been pushed into grad school mode and I can really start to bring my ‘A’ game on a daily basis. Also, there is a reward to finishing this load of work: tomorrow night I get to hit up an Arsenal game with a friend and finally see the Emirates stadium (Chris, if you’re reading this, that statement may be perceived as sacrilegious considering my mandatory alignment with Manchester United) and Thursday night, I’m hitting up the Apollo Victoria theatre with some fellow MSc kiddos to catch a showing of ‘Wicked‘! I think that those two nights of social re-integration will help me re-focus for a weekend of presentation prep work and paper-writing.

My goal for this weekend is to a) prepare a kickass presentation for Monday’s seminar and b) write my formative essay for my Health & Population class. I figure if I post this on my blog for the world to see, I’m semi-accountable to someone/everyone. If, on Monday, I have to write about how I still have essays to write, I will feel entirely defeated.

On an even brighter note (speaking of things to look forward to): Nine days until Rome! I think that all of this writing and academic reading has fried my brain. The excitement and reality that I get to take a jaunt to Italy in one short week has yet to fully hit me.

Hope all is well in the world! Feel free to send some love my way — getting comments always puts a smile on my blogging face.

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Side note //  Two other things put a smile on my face today: One – I finally tried the Hare Krishna food on campus today and it was way better than I had envisioned.  Two – I got an email from my dad that used the term ‘OMG.’ Hahah. Love it. Dad, I know you’re reading this: OMG, I love you. <3.