Final Thought Tuesday, Aug 19 2008 

This is my final post as The Senior Senior.  Since I’m no longer a senior, and since grad school is chock full of semi-oldsters such as myself (more than a few of whom I count among my friends), I decided to start a new blog, which will be added to the Blogroll, Grad School Diaries.  Pretty self-explanatory.  I’m also taking up a new nom de blog, to more accurately reflect my place in life.  I have yet to decided if friends, coworkers and the occasional frenemy will be referred to by their previous monikers, or if I’m going to clean slate it.  Time will tell.

And my final thought as the Senior Senior?  It would have been cool if it had involved an epiphany on the bus, but you can’t have everything (as I think the universe has taught me time and time again).  I was at my job (not The Hated Job, which I have done quit [thank heavens]), entering valuable student data (all the better to obtain grant monies with, my dear).  To do this job, I was given access to a boatload of data – data on my coworkers, on all the students we see.  And unlike those who have been caught peeking at medical records and passport information, I was pretty put off by it.  In fact, one might even say that I had the heebie jeebies about being able to poke around in people’s files (and poke around I had to do sometimes, and I felt distinctly weirded out about the whole enterprise).  This strikes me as interesting, because I have never considered myself a saint; when it comes to information, even if it isn’t any of my business, I always assumed that more was better.  And you would think someone of that disposition would be itching to see people’s grades, what their financial aid packages are, etc.  But even when I had a perfectly good reason to get that information, I felt like I was trespassing, not to mention not having any real temptation to sneak a peek at information I did not need.  I didn’t even want to look up my own file (just to see). 

And oddly, it had nothing to do with being paranoid about someone being able to look into my file.  I know what’s in it, and it isn’t that interesting.  I simply felt weird about having that much information.

Imagine that.

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Commence panicking…now! Thursday, Mar 6 2008 

I just have to say that I have just gotten my second rejection from a grad school.  While I am still on the waiting list for another one, I feeling distinctly nauseated.  Small wonder I obsess on the motivations behind men’s inscrutable behavior instead.  The stakes are much lower.

Be my valentine, or I’ll have Chuck Norris kick your ass! Friday, Feb 15 2008 

I have been a busy Senior Senior this days.  There has been work (which has been crazy lately), and the hilarious (but in no way germane) Chuck Norris obsession which has taken hold of many of us in the Linguistics Department.  (It’s The Translator’s fault – he started it).  Oh, and classes, too.

And my Ambiguous Friend GSS has flustered me.  Yesterday, I check my e-mail and he has e-mailed me not once, but twice (and by that, I mean he initiated contact, instead of replying to me).  I would be sky-high, were it not for the fact that the e-mails were on a specific topic that he thought I might be able to help him with (as opposed to my e-mails to him, which are often random bits of sarcasm/whimsy).  Still, I consider him to be a friend, not just an Ambiguous Friend.  And if any friend e-mailed me with a, “hey, do you know what’s up with this?” question, I would do my best to answer.  (As Puppy Mama knows well).  So I futzed around with his question, and thought I might have come up with an answer, which I e-mailed to him last night.  Today, I was at work, talking to one of my regular students, when GSS interrupted and joking said, “You can’t talk to [Senior Senior], I get to talk to [Senior Senior] first.”  This particular regular student usually just does his homework, and asks me questions as they arise, so he deferred to GSS.  So GSS and I go over what the problem is, sitting close.  This was very distracting to me, as he smelled particularly good, and I thought idly about how I would like to kiss his neck.  Then he gets his laptop out (pardon me while I muse on the double entendre aspect of that statement…but no, I mean his computer), and when I needed to type something or whatever, I kept making errors (which I blamed on the unfamiliar keyboard, but which I suspect was due to extreme-GSS-proximity syndrome).

Long story short(er); we managed to figure the bulk of the problem out. 

GSS and I had had a briefly multilingual e-mail exchange the week before – he had, because of the smart-ass that he is, written a response in a language that he knows, but I am not even slightly familiar with.  I asked him a couple of times for a translation, which he (smart-ass that he is) refused.  Using a couple of on-line dictionaries, I plugged and chugged the words (which was difficult, as said language has a lot of morphology), and came up with something I could work with.  Earlier this week, I put forth my translation, but never got a response.  So I asked him.  When he had read the e-mail, he hadn’t put two and two together, so he reread my translation and found the e-mail with the original “furrin” language.  I did pretty well (although I whiffed the last part), and he said he was quite impressed.  What I’m parsing:  he skimmed the e-mail with the translation and originally did nothing with it (not good), but he has kept my numerous other e-mails (good), and when he was searching, he had a pretty good recollection what the topic was of each one – at least, as good of a recollection as I did (also good).  Meaning?  Who knows.

Snow Day Thursday, Feb 7 2008 

They had warned us, but I held out hope.  Alas, the snow was too much, and the school where I work was closed for the day.  I was tired and all, so I was appreciative of the extra sleep, but a) I can always use the money, b) I like my job, c) I get some quality flirting done at work (most notably with the big blond) and d) this meant that the darkroom would not be open tonight, and I totally dig making prints.

I fully intended to go to class today, as my university doesn’t care to cancel classes.  Ever.  There was a point, however, where I could not see the other side of the street.  So I said “screw it” and stayed home.

So I’ve napped and done a couple loads of laundry.  Now it’s time to do some homework.  Snow days are much less exciting than I remember. 

Me me me me me me! Thursday, Nov 29 2007 

After a few hours wrasslin’ with the horror that is the Grad School Application Personal Statement, I printed it up and gave it to GSS.  This was yesterday.  Today, when I came in, he had it for me with some comments, some of which I asked him to clarify.  I’m not going to try to parse too much of his behavior (or maybe I am), though I did find it odd that he didn’t want to sit with me while I read his comments.  Also, I found it slightly strange that I had to ask him to go over some of his comments for me (I found them cryptic until he explained them, and then they were helpful).  He joked that he didn’t want me to beat him up, which I translate as “I’m afraid you’re going to be offended if I criticize your writing.”  Which I find odd; clearly he was the one doing me a favor.  I long for input, as the stakes are too damn high for just assuming, “I’m a pretty good writer, I’ll just wing it.”  Does this mean that he suspects me of bitchiness?  Arrogance?  I’m not sure.  It might not mean that at all.  I initially interpreted it as a desire not to talk to me; however, we did have a social conversation after, so I don’t know.

Under the influence of his maddening ambiguity, I did flirt with my Facebook Friend (aka…Cougar Bait?), which entertained me (and seemingly, him).  I also managed to get some work done, although I didn’t even try my second pass at the Dreaded Personal Statement, as I need to mull some things over and try to figure out the best way to put GSS’s sound advice in action.

It is hilariously ironic that I write about myself all the damn time (as I am just a self-absorbed as anyone else), and this personal statement nonsense has thrown me for a loop.  My best 5-cent self-analysis indicates that I am afraid of being rejected by these schools, and as the personal statement is…well…the most personal portion of the application, it feels the most emotionally risky.  I notice myself backpedalling, trying to think of reasons not to apply to the school with the first due date (December 11).  I wisely told myself that that was stupid – not applying to one school could easily turn into not applying to the next, then the next…until there I am with another undergraduate degree, yet still without any marketable skills (unless “will translate for food” is a marketable skill).  And then I’d be some loser, constantly babbling how I was “in the process” of applying to graduate school.  It would be one thing if I really didn’t want to go to grad school, but I do want to (very much).  That’s where the “loser” part comes in.

So I say to myself, “Suck it up, Senior Senior!  And write your damn personal statements!”

Looking for Mr. Sasquatch Wednesday, Oct 17 2007 

Today, after I had changed my shirt two times (for very good reasons – shirt #1 still smelled slightly of basement from hanging to dry in the laundry room Sunday night, shirt #2 fit when I was 20 pounds heavier, and shirt #3 was “just right”), I went off to work.  Sure, I go to work to earn the money necessary to keep body and soul together, I go to work because I enjoy helping students, and that one day, when I am a TA, this experience will have helped me.  But yes, I also go to work for the opportunities for flirting with GSS.  He is on the schedule, he is on the list, but lately he is not there.  Alas, GSS was not working today.  In fact, it occurred to me that he is a figment of my imagination.  And it does follow:  a good-looking, intelligent, well-educated man who seemed to be interested in me?  Why not a rabbit that brings baskets of candy, or a fairy that brings spending money in exchange for lost teeth?  At this point, it seems just as likely.

So today is the day that I lumped GSS with Sasquatch (or Yeti, if you prefer), Champy and Nessie.  He may exist, and there may have been sightings, but I don’t have enough evidence to make the call one way or another.  And you know, my mythical crush did serve a purpose:  he did push me, after a fashion, to stop brooding over my failed relationship with the Ex, and to start thinking about, if not actually love, the possibility of love (or at any rate, sex).  And that’s no small feat.  Just like Santa helps children understand the spirit of Christmas, so GSS helped me understand that I could move on, and that would be okay, too.

The old cliche (still no diacritics) is that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but after a certain point, the heart gets bored.  And at this point, I’m getting the same return on my “investment” as I do from my celebrity crush, Clive Owen.  And my celebrity crush requires a lot less effort on my part (“Ooh, he’s purty!”).

That said, if GSS starts showing up to work again, I reserve the right to resume my crush already in progress.

***

I am bound and determine to beat Phonology into submission:  right now, it is the other way around.  My midterm is next week, and if I have to reread my textbook 10 times to finally get a grip on this material, by God, I’ll reread my textbook 100 times, if I thought it would help (I hope it doesn’t take even 10 times – the book is not a “fun” read).  It has now gone from a desire to do well in the class to a point of honor:  dammit, I’m an intelligent woman, and I will understand this!

Je voudrais vomir! Tuesday, Oct 9 2007 

This week has began rough, and promises to continue to be so for the next three weeks.  I have a 20 minute presentation to do – that would be stressful enough in English, but it is in French….bleah.  I actually shouldn’t be blogging right now, as I have another 75 pages to read for this class (though I doubt it’ll hurt me if I finish it tomorrow – as long as I finish it tomorrow).  Plus assignments in both Phonetics and Phonology.  And don’t get me started on the Calvacade of Exams, starting next week.  Ugh.

So if I don’t write anything for awhile, know that I am buried in any number of textbooks, novels or collections of poetry.  If I make it out the other side, with my sanity and GPA intact, I will enjoy a well-deserved baccanale!

Vicodin is not for school Wednesday, Mar 28 2007 

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Last night, I did some homework, but did it feebly, I’m afraid.  When I went “splat!” on Sunday, I braced myself with my left arm (I assume that if I had not, I probably would have done an impressive face plant and would now be sporting a shiner).  Starting last night, but certainly continuing through today (and, I assume, beyond), my left arm hurt like the dickens.  Using said left arm to support myself on crutches hasn’t done it any favors.  I’m sure I merely strained the muscles and all I need is time.  The problem is that I am a lefty, and I need that arm.  I am, to a certain point, ambidextrous; not to the point where I would be able to write pages of lecture notes with my right hand.  This is the state I am in.

Yesterday, I boldly took a Vicodin before I went to class, which I would not recommend.  The pill, along with the heat, made me extra dopey; I fear I did not retain the majority of yesterday’s lecture.  So today, I stuck to some ibu-faux-trin; I was still in pain, but at least I remained conscious through most of today.  However, I could have slept better – I kept dreaming I was falling, and I must have been flexing my feet (to land better, I assume); each time I flexed, I woke up from discomfort.  Stupid falling dream.

I did get some mid-terms back.  Thankfully, the Syntax midterm was curved – I made a fair amount of ticky-tacky errors.  Since the final is the bulk of our grades, he merely talked about the letter grades in terms of “what if” – by his curve, I got an AB.  I’ll take it, don’t get me wrong – but I’m such an incorrigible grade grubber that I divide grades into As and grades I do not want.  At least I get what’s going on in class – the type of mistakes I made are easily correctible.  As for Sociolinguistics, I got an A – but I’m such an incorrigible grade grubber that I’m annoyed with myself that I didn’t get a higher percentage on the exam.  I’m not a perfectionist – I recognize that perfection is an unattainable standard.  I just don’t see why I can’t get closer to that unattainable standard.  So I’m not completely out of whack, am I?

The new timetables are here! The new timetables are here! Tuesday, Mar 20 2007 

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Yes, mesdames et messieurs, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, cats and dogs, the new timetable for Fall semester is up (finally).  For such a momentous occasion, I brought my laptop with me so I could, at the earliest possible moment, figure out my schedule for fall semester.  Sure, it is a little dorky, but there is something invigorating about it.  Plus, as I am in the home stretch, it makes me feel as though I am getting closer to my goal.

Of course, I do believe that both the French and Linguistics departments are out to screw me.  Well no I don’t, but I’m feeling paranoid today.  It is a shame when both departments offer required classes at exactly the same time.  I think I’ve figured out a plan, but it isn’t nice and neat and tidy.  Then again, what is?

Argh! More snow! Saturday, Mar 3 2007 

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Today is Friday, and it is snowing.  It is also blowing, causing the snowflakes to stab you in the face.  Plus, I am coming down with a cold.  All in all, not a top notch day.  I was going to meet some people and go out for a drink or two.  Now, I’m just going to hang out at home and force fluids.

Today wasn’t all bad.  I got my tax refund, and while I plan to save the bulk of it for my summer in France (yay), having that money as a cushion is a good thing.  I also talked to my Syntax classmate, who gave me some good advice, as well as some new insights.  A profitable day.

On another topic, being sick is going to throw off my discourse journal.  Staying at home, sick, is going to severly limit my conversations.  I can see it now…

Saturday, 11:00 am – conversation with my cat.  He initiates the conversation (opener, “meow”).  Topic is food.

Saturday, 11:15 am – conversation with my cat.  I initiate the conversation (opener, “Hey!).  Topic is “why we don’t scratch mommy’s couch.”

Saturday, 1:00 pm – conversation with my TV.  I initiate the conversation (no opener).  Topic is that there is nothing on TV.

Conclusion?  I am a sad sad hermit.  And I might be a crazy cat lady.

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