I have such mixed feelings about being in week 5. On the one hand, I only have a month left before exams…and on the other hand, I’ll be done with exams in a month.
I think I’ll use this mid-way post to sort of take stock of where I am, and discuss what I need to do with the remainder of my time.
I’m feeling pretty damn good here. I had a meeting with the chair of my exams today (being Monday, February 18) and he seemed quite pleased with my grasp of the historiographical arguments. I did a lot of work over this past weekend on the British class system and the political/franchise developments that accompanied it. Combined with my previous work on masculinity, the welfare state, and empire, I’m thinking another week will leave me pretty much ready for my major field. I need to do a bit of reading on World War I and II, and then brush up on social hygiene/degeneration.
Minor Field – World History:
I do need to review some of the major works in this field and request some new readings, but I think I only need to leave myself about two weeks to brush up on themes here. My time as a TA this semester and last have given me a firm grasp on the major narrative and the current historiographical debates.
Minor Field – STS:
I get to return to these themes this week! I ordered an introduction to STS studies to complete my understanding of the theoretical building blocks, and I’m going back to the Thursday meetings for the next two weeks to discuss two seminal works in the field. I’ll do some perusing of complimentary works on my own between the meetings, and should be fairly on track for this exam by the end of March.
Side Effects of Exams:
Dreams. Holy crap, the stress dreams.
Dreams and I have a complicated and often lucid relationship, which I’ll talk about at a later date. But for now…let it be known that they have turned on me…bastard things. My studying keeps me up late and sends me to bed with a whole web of considerations, which then manifest in totally bizarre ways.
1. Dreamt I was interview the yellow and red M&Ms about their acting methods. Yellow is a method actor, in case you were wondering. He actually eats chocolate and peanuts. Red thinks that’s about on par with cannibalism. They don’t hang outside of work.
2. Dreamt I was on my way to The Farm, when I encountered a woman who was trying to sell all sorts of semi-gemstones and precious rocks. They were all sorted in to baskets, but each rock had a meaning, and I was suppose to combine the meanings together in some sort of of quasi chemical formula to pick the right formulation for my life needs. But I couldn’t quite remember all the orders and definitions, and I woke up before I had filled my bag.
3. Dreamt I was embodying one of my main characters, sitting at a desk writing down exam themes and tapping my feet impatiently. If that isn’t a sign that I want to be successfully finished, I don’t know what is. And I also took this as a sign that my exam themes are important to my creative writing.
* * *
Week 5/9 Plan:
Prepare John Law’s “Ordering Modernity.” Also, once my copy of Sergio Sismondo’s (do names get better? no, they don’t) “An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies” gets in, read that. Oh wait, it already came in. So return that copy since it was basically cut in half (thanks Amazon) and get a new one.
Complete my Prime Minister flash cards…yes, I have Prime Minister flash cards…and continue going over them until memorized. Isn’t there something truly hilarious about this? “It’s 1 o’ clock in the morning, where is your child? In bed? Going over Prime Minister flash cards? Are you sure you did things right as a parent…?”
Request the rest of my required books.
Finish grading the first set of exams in preparation for the first set of essays what show up on Wednesday…
Finish the rest of my Major Field.
* * *
Here is an exam toad Marcus drew me: