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.
Two-ish years ago I started to really consider graduate school again. A year ago, I made it official when I talked with my past professors, got their support, and started researching.
I was unhappy enough with my job to try for programs, even though I felt like the odds were stacked against me: My GRE scores had expired, I’d already dropped out of one program, and my most recent GPA was not only embarrassing to me, it was too low for most school’s requirements.
I researched and researched, looking for international programs that didn’t require most scores/grades, local programs that seemed cool (but not so cool that I would be immediately disqualified), and programs that had a sort of “remedial” status. I selected eight to suck away my sanity and free time as I wrote endless statements and paid endless fees for about ten months.
You know what? It paid off. I’m so humbled, and proud, to show you the shitty list that’s been on my fridge since last year. It says that every program accepted me. From the safety schools to the could-be-cool schools, to the international powerhouses and the actually incredibly legitimate programs.
I have to make a decision by next week, and I’ve narrowed my choices to three. I’m trying not to dwell too much on it this week, as I’ve spent so much time engrossed in it during the last month that I just want to take a breather and let my thoughts and feelings organically come together. But this I just had to share. It’s incredible to me that my love of books and passion for learning literally placed the world at my fingertips.
This is exactly how I want to meet my future lova when I’m in library school.
Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins are the two bffs of the Victorian period who talked me into going to grad school, and who also convinced me that Tech was the right choice.
I may hate school now, but that doesn’t change my admiration of all things D&C. So let’s talk about how awesome it is that right now I am reading the original serialization of Wilkie’s The Woman in White in Charles’ All The Year Round.
If I were to bake a better than sex cake, I’d have to call it the “better than getting out of class early” cake.
For serious. Because that’s the most titillating thing to happen since I moved.
So, last night was this New Graduate Student Orientation. Overall: pointless. It was aimed at international students. But we did score some sweet swag, which makes everything better. The library won my unending affection.
filled with Post-Its!
I’m doing my first assignment for grad school. Yep, despite the fact I don’t have to post this week, I am. Or, I am planning to–I haven’t yet found a way to make it useful and not simply related like, “Oh hey, this article mentions Burns’ thing for a mouse and a louse. Sweet. We read about Burns’ mouse and louse.”
There are three reasons I’m hoping to post:
1. If the first one sucks, I can show lots of improvement with the next nine.
2. I actually have an article that I think is relevant. And I understand it.
3. Carol McGuirk is the author, meaning my post title is ‘McGuirk on McGuirk.’
Eleven hours to make that happen.
Aids! Aids, aids, aids!
In an attempt to thwart the feeling of impending idiocy mentioned in my last post, I made impulse buys at Barnes and Noble. These included a snazzy new 2011 planner–one that doesn’t have monthly overviews, so I’m not sure how I’ll live–and The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism (a name that might ring a bell), and The Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory.
I’ve talked about this a lot, but I’m not sure I’ve blogged: I am beyond terrified of critical theory and terms. I took one class at Drake that focused on Franz Kafka and theory. I retained nothing from it except the words Deleuze and Guattari. I spoke with the TTU graduate studies director, incoming graduate students, and professors at Drake about my absolute fear and inexperience when it comes to theory, but no one could really stomp my insecurities. I mean, I truthfully have no nook in my brain secretly storing this information. Freud is all I have, which is because he talked about sex, and sex facts are stored in my “Sex and Sex Music” compartment. My underdeveloped cranial lobes (whichever ones are supposed to house this insipid information) are embarrassing and uncomfortable, not to mention possibly detrimental in the classroom.
So, I got all preemptive and snagged some perfect-bound knowledge to grace my bookshelves. You know, a little enlightened reading.
I sent my first grad school related email this morning. See, the first electronic reading the professor assigned was missing two pages. (Yeah, I guess I’m still that girl. sigh).
At least, I think it’s missing two pages. Crossing my fingers that I’m not setting myself up for class dunce status too early.
10:51 pm The professor emailed me back. I am not crazy. Huzzah!
Twenty four books and $500 later… I’ve bought the reads for my first grad school semester.
- Goblin Market and Other Poems – Christina Rossetti
- An Autobiography – Anthony Trollope
- Lady Audley’s Secret – Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- Capital, Volume 1 – Karl Marx
- Unto This Last – John Ruskin
- Sartor Resartus – Thomas Carlyle
- Vanity Fair – William Thackeray
- Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
- Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
- British Literature, 1780-183 – Anne Mellor and Richard Matlak
- New Oxford Anthology of Romantic Period Verse – Jerome McGann
- Revolutions in Romantic Literature: An Anthology of Print Culture, 1780-1832 – Paul Keen
- Romanticism: an Oxford Guide – Nicholas Roe
- Mysteries of Udolph – Ann Radcliffe
- Selected Poetry – Byron
- Don Juan – Byron
- The Monk – Matthew Lewis
- Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
- Textual Scholarship: An Introduction – Greetham
- A New Introduction to Bibliography – Philip Gaskell
- MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing – Joseph Gibaldi
- Literary Research Guide – James Harner
- An Introduction to Book History – David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery
- From Gutenberg to Google – Peter Shillingsberg
Stress. The nightmares started last night.