Studying for exams: week 4

Just a quick update this time around.

Can’t say that I learned anything new about my study process this last week.  Just sort of kept trucking along, reading books, as one does during exams.

Successes:

1. Finished the first section on my major field–British vs. English nationalism.  This should set me up well to conquer the other three sections my advisor wanted me to consider–wartime policy and rebuilding; political progress/continuity/change; class and industry.

2. Completed my February duties as the Graduate Student Council rep.  Blah.

3. Submitted my Provost Award report.

4.  Finished the letter of recommendation.

5.  Met with the WPCS choir council to work on the April event.  We’re fairly close to solidifying the press release for the fundraiser!  Once that’s done, I can chat about it here.

6.  Workout plan going well.

Bummers:

1. Had to skip the Thursday meeting for STS, as expected.  I definitely missed that space for conversation and intellectual support.  If home is where the heart is, I can definitely tell that these topics and case studies and “weird” histories are my academic home.

2. Slush.  Cold, mushroom-colored slush.

Happinesses:

1. Despite my studies, I did get to see all of my different sets of friends this week for one occasion or another–one standing commitment that saves my sanity bi-weekly, and two special occasions.  Highlights included a lurking waiter who was high as a kite, a ceiling tile to which was nailed a slew of decapitated doll heads, and a sassy-ass bridal salon consultant who tried to apologize to my dear friend and June bride, Sarah Huffman, with a heart-shaped post-it stating “1 FREE HR DRESSING ROOM, WITH LOVE (name of salon).”

Oh wait, no, those were just the elements of this past week that are hilarious in hindsight.

2.  I kind of watched the first five episodes of Downton Abbey season 3 on Saturday.  I know…I know.  I do honestly feel a bit guilty about falling into this trap.  That’s time I could have spent completing readings or sitting in on the STS meeting.  But I also think I needed a bit of time, in my home, curled up in a chair, nursing my introverted self between outings.   I tend to haze over and shut down otherwise.

*   *   *

Week 4/9 plan:

Coming up on the half-way point.  I really need to work my ass off this week to get through the other advisor-required sections of my major field.  I have to work for a few hours on Tuesday, and I have choir on Wednesday, but other than that, I’m at home to take care of business.

*   *   *

Holy Cow Historical Moment: Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation today.  He’ll be the first Pope to step down in about 600 years, which is kind of astonishing.  The last guy called it quits in 1415 to end the “Great Schism,” reuniting the Catholic Church geographically.  My hope is that the next Pope can breath some fresh, wise, reformist, inclusive, loving life into the Church that reunites it across sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, generation, ethnicity, and the list goes on.  It’s a huge institution with massive impact on the lives of many people I love–members and non-members, alike.  So even if I no longer consider myself an active part of it, I still have hope for its future.

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Historian, novelist, musician, and imagination professional.

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