Studying for exams: week 6

Park across the wayAnother winter storm, another day waking up to the sweet scent of snowblower exhaust fumes (I have to sleep with my window cracked or the radiator heats my bedroom to about 95 degrees ridiculous.)  This winter storm is named Rocky, and it appears to be doing more damage than did winter storm Q.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.  On the one hand, Rocky was one seriously mighty southpaw.  But on the other, Star Trek Q had the power to manipulate the space-time continuum and ruffle even Picard’s feathers, and Bond Q is like the Lucius Fox of the entire British secret service.

Lot of nerd references in there, people, sort it through.

Other nerdy successes that happened this week:

1. Getting back to my STS study group was just as fantastic as I imagined it would be.  John Law’s book Ordering Modernity was equally as fantastic.  I had a lot of favorite parts of this book…I’m dying to write a longer post on John Law, his badassery, and his relevance to my work, both creative and academic, but it’ll have to keep for now.

2. I did finish grading the exams, and I was relatively pleased with the outcome.  No one failed, huzzah.  There were some Ds, but nothing reeked of “I didn’t try at all,” which means everyone can make improvements for the second test if they work at it.  I like that.

*At this point, I deviated from my plan for last week, but I’m marking that up as a success.  The prime minister flash cards can wait for a bit, and although I didn’t request all my remaining books, that’s because I have plenty here to take back, now that I’m finished with them.  Get out books!  So instead I spent my time doing the following:

3. I wrote a chapter outline for the monograph I want to complete over the summer, which will analyze the remainder of the sources I collected at Holloway Sanatorium for the insane.  My seminar paper utilized about…10% of my research?  So it feels spectacular to have plans for the rest of my collection.

4. I put together all my materials for the internal departmental fellowships.  I’m hoping to get some travel money for this next summer again and keep building my research pool.  My prospectus–dissertation research plan–comes next.  And I want to make sure that my research questions and archival expectations are on target.

5. I reworked my STS minor field book list–not in a “hey, your categories are wrong” way, but rather in a “save some of these books for later and focus right now on what is really, truly useful to you…no, I’m completely serious,” way.  So I spent my weekend buried in introductions and book reviews and picked out about 15 books I had a really visceral reaction to.  Sort of a RAWR-I-have-to-read-this-right-now-or-I’ll-die gut feeling.  I also selected a few essays from the compendiums.  In conjunction with what I’ve already read, what I have now is a really tight list that falls easily into four different sections of interest.  I’m working with my readers to form questions based on those sections (GASP it happened).  Our goal as a team, because that’s what I feel like it is at this point, is to form questions that result in essays that further my dissertation project.  So basically, this minor field re-adaptation was a dream come true, and a massive time-saver.


1. I opened my email earlier last week and discovered that my mother had booked a plane ticket home to see the WPCS choir fundraiser.  What a great post-exam present.  My sister might come up from down-state for part of that extended weekend, too.  So I’m looking forward to being inundated with hugs.

2. I attended the wedding shower for my friends Sarah and Tom.  Not only was it great to see them looking so thrilled to be together and supported by family friends…the wedding shower was also underwater themed.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on here yet how much I love underwater themed things, but…I love them.  I don’t even know how to express how much.  There was a cupcake cake shaped like a fish, sparkly ocean-themed stickers on everything, and a giant octopus.  Coincidentally, my mother texted me in the middle of the shower solely to send me a picture of the octopus-shaped cookies she found out in Oregon.  Heaven.

3. My parents are so close to finding the retirement house of their dreams out in Lincoln City.  I don’t know why, exactly, it just makes me super happy to think of it.

4. I also got a house tour from my friends Katie and Hywel in Wales.  If all goes as planned this summer, I’ll get to visit said friends in said house.  So excited.

*   *   *

Week 6/9 Plan:

Read Steve Shapin’s The Leviathan and the Air Pump.  Yes, I expect this to be as awesome as it’s title.

Grade at least the first half of the essays I just got in from my students.  I have writing/planning assignments coming in for my choir next week, and I want to make sure I’m in a good place to spend some time on that.

Probably actually request some books.  I have to get a jump on my World History things soon.

Prepare my social hygiene and degeneration section, which coincides with both my British field and my STS field.

Historian, novelist, musician, and imagination professional.

2 thoughts on “Studying for exams: week 6

  1. The snow is beautiful in your little park…did you show it to Aloisius ? Sounds like you have had a productive week academically and glad I could be a part of your “happy” time too. I am most excited to attend your concert and give hugs. When I next visit Captain Dans’ Pirate Pastry shop I will send you pictures of yet another cookie too cute to eat:) If you ask him nicely the owner will speak in spectacular pirate vernacular. Mom

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