Tag Archives: grad school round 2

A simple petition: Brunch 7 Days a Week

I am a student again, but I am also a grown ass woman this time. 

Recently, I realized that some days I would like an acceptable approach to day-drinking, because the nights are terrifying in this new city where I bus everywhere. And because I suddenly find myself with copious amounts of free time during the middle of the week. And middle of the day. And I want to take advantage of my fabulous freedom when the other poor saps are slaving away in the real world.  Also because I use nights to be productive. Also because during the day I want to pretend I’m not spending my nights alone, drinking tea and killing my neck as I cower over an iPad. 

Basically, what I want is a brunch extension. Not just Saturday and Sunday, please. Hit me with a good mimosa deal and some eggs on a fucking Tuesday for a change so I can find some benefit to being back in school. 

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Ma! The Meatloaf!

After witnessing an epic dance off to Meatloaf at a wedding this summer, I didn’t imagine getting too jazzed about the man again. But grad school had other plans for me. Expect, in the next couple days, that I will turn in an assignment titled

“But I Won’t Do That: Joan Van Albada – the Archivist Meatloaf”

in which I discuss the ambiguousness of that in relation to a pompous a-hole of an archivist who can talk a lot of shit but never actually say what his problem is.

It’s a long shot, but, I’m doing it. Because #gradschool #blog

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Iowa! History!

People seem to only know about Iowa because of the Caucuses.
Iowa! Nationally politically (bafflingly?) relevant since 1972! 

But, I just learned about an even older and more prestigious accolade thanks to T.R. Schellenberg’s 1956 book: Modern Archives: Principles and Techniques (page 180):

“This paper, which was to be made a chapter of a primer for archivists that was planned at the 1912 conference, accepted the principle of respect des fonds as the basic principle of archival classification to be followed in the United States and illustrated its application to the archives of Iowa.”

You guys, the National Archives weren’t established until 1934. It was Iowa’s pioneering ways that helped establish a very important element of archival organization in the national system. (Forget the fact that the U.S. actually has weird ideas about archives compared to the rest of the world.)

Iowa! Helping America save old shit since 1912!

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LOUD NOISES

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This is the view from the corner of my deck: East is the orange construction, south is the massive hole where a house stood when I moved in. Not pictured, five doors west is another whole-house overhaul.

No, I was not exactly ready for my sleepy little hamlet to become Construction City the week grad school started.

Yes, you are right in thinking that none of this is good for the endless hours of reading I have to do for grad school. Good thing the laptop I purchased (that’s entirely unsuitable for the major, mind you) came with a free pair of headphones that I decided to upgrade to the wireless model. Spotify’s “Focus” channels are trying to help, too.

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My First 10 Days in Canada

I’m not even sure what, or how, to tell you about it. It had it’s highs and lows. Mostly lows and lowers, thanks to my pisspoor attitude when it comes to this stuff. Nothing is easy or quick on the moving-in front: furniture (OMG IKEA I CAN’T EVEN), paying bills, applying for a cell phone, opening bank accounts–and more importantly getting the money–have taken far more effort/require more things than I anticipate, every. single. time. But isn’t the how it goes anyway? Then toss in a new country and you really got some learning to do.

The weather is amazing. Perfect all day, e’ry day. I mean the wet winter will suck, but this place is g-damn glorious right now.

My house is nice, but it’s loaded with spiders and surrounded by mosquitoes (I’m not polkadot, not white). The homeowners are eco-friendly fiends so I feel a lot of pressure when it comes to water consumption, using electricity, recycling, killing insects, eating meat/gluten/dairy… really just existing. My washing machine is broken but if I shove a small tool in at the right angle it will run, so we’re just going with that. I’m sure that won’t be annoying for the next year.

On the flip side, the homeowners are a delightful family of four. The two young sons are sweet and it’s nice to have them prancing around to put an unexpected smile on your face. An older Irish couple who live in the homeowner’s basement completes our hippie commune. They all hosted a welcome BBQ last night and I’m really glad they’re such welcoming, fun, and interesting people. And they love coffee and red wine. It’s brilliant. I will definitely be comfortable here, once I get used to it.

School is defeating me. Hard. And it hasn’t even started yet.
-They expect you to have a background in information systems already. I don’t, and I can’t learn it on my own, and I can’t even actually download the appropriate software, and it’s the most frustrating experience. I feel dumb, and helpless, and I hate it.
-They tell you it’s OK to have a Mac, but when you get into course work you find out that Apple products actually aren’t supported (so much for the $2k you just spent on a new computer/software/hardware).
-There are no books to buy. It’s just all these downloads or something, I don’t even know, and I’m trying to find the website where they supposedly live, but there’s nothing there so I can’t find them to prepare before school starts.
-I’ve applied for five or six on-campus jobs, but not a single job wants to interview me. And it sucks because there are some amazing jobs and I’d love, love, love to have them. But also, I’m so broke it’s terrifying, and I can’t imagine living another month, god forbid another five years, without a paycheck. And I didn’t get any great scholarships, and I didn’t get the sorority scholarship, and I’m just hemorrhaging money for something I’m not even sure I’m qualified for, but something I’m definitely sure is currently making me feel pretty shitty.

I’m also in the midst of a personal crisis of faith in myself, what with the not knowing anything about what I’m getting into at school, the having a car I don’t want and can’t take care of because I literally will never be able to park it back in it’s tiny spot if I ever move it, and the finally acknowledging that I’ve put on a lot of weight and feeling very ugly. And being this down on yourself is not great time to meet new people and start new things, and I know that, so that just keeps the stress cycle rolling. #cantstopwontstop?

I’ve fit in plenty of ME time, though. I watched the latest three (available on Netflix) seasons of Archer. I watched both seasons of The Hour. (Delightful! Wish it hadn’t been cancelled.) I picked like a billion other shows and movies to watch.

Oh! And I’m not sleeping well: Partly due to the super expensive/uncomfortable bed I bought, and partly because I have a lot of stress. Also I had a dream that John Stamos wanted to sleep with me, and I said no. That was actually really stressful, too. 😛

And these, folks, are my new first world problems. Orientation starts next week, cross your fingers I don’t embarrass myself too much!

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Pacific Northwest

In truth, many of the things I’ve been not exactly ready for were actually things I wasn’t at all ready for. But this, the picking of a second promising grad school (that I really hope I don’t dropout of this time), was something I was truly not exactly ready to do. I’d visited as much as I could, I’d spent countless hours on the websites, making pro-con lists, and researching professors and class schedules.

And when it came down to the wire, I was as ready as I could be, just not exactly ready because I didn’t know what to pick. Boston was out a few days into the week. London resurfaced hot and heavy, leading the pack–because how badly do I want to say I lived in London for a year? Real, real badly.

But not enough to pick it. It’s been raining and foggy for the last two days. I’m taking that as God’s way of saying, “Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. You have chosen wisely.” I’m headed to the University of British Columbia.

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