Thursday, May 21, 2009

regret, tempus fugit, remorse

it is late. i have some rice cooking on the stove. i'm going to make it with saffron this time. enough beverages chilling in the refrigerator. enough? enough to get me through the night. i did it on sunday, and tuesday. unfortunately, since i haven't had my act together, im going to try and do it again. i have to. i just have 25 pages barring me from relative liberty. i want to finish a draft by nine am. i have exactly...well not exactly, i can't do the math...i have 10 hours give or take. then i could edit the rest of the day, i tell myself. i've been saying this since -48 hours. hmmm. why do i never write quickly till its absolutely the last minute? masochism? ahhhh.

all i have now is a footnote. a footnote. and no paper. thank god i've been thinking about this for weeks, but still. i should have done things differently. regret, it always gets me in the end. funny that the poems i'm writing about deal exactly with that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

congrats to me...three more classes down!!
three more papers to go, durrr
and a whole slew of library books to return

Monday, May 18, 2009

randomness is going so slowly. Just two small papers for today--tomorrow technically, but it'd be so great to get them done today. The hours just keep flying by though. At least, with my final this morning, I finished another course. I think I did well, I had a lot of fun answering the essay questions...the translation portion not so much--I studied the wrong poems, even though the one my professor ended up picking was completely obvious. skalsjdlaksdja frustrating. I wish I had studied more...ah well, next time, I suppose.

Not that this has anything to do with anything, but I love the last two lines of "Tableau" by Countee Cullen. (last 4....)
Oblivious to look and work
They pass, and se no wonder
That lightning brilliant as a sword
Should blaze the path of thunder.

After disappointing desserts at a party last night, I am very hungry for something delicious, but have nothing. I could potentially order something, but whatever I get is likely not to be the delicious thing I desire....and in any case, cookies or treats are not what I need right now...this strange stress weight-gain has got to stop. I'm 6 pounds heavier by the scale, in just...gasp, a week? Is that possible? aaaaaaaaaaaaargh

Sunday, May 17, 2009


uuugh, i managed to do absolutely nothing today. nothing. it's horrible. i have great resentment for events that drag me out of the house during finals period. holed up for two weeks on my own, no interactions with anybody or anything, is probably unhealthy, but the way i like to roll. these obligatory departmental parties and stuff? i love to go to them, but the timing, the timing. two exams on monday. marathon party tomorrow. every day this week of finals EXCEPT for tuesday, glorious day, i've left my house. i do not like this. i need uninterrupted time. i need some distance from the phone too, and have not been very successful at that, given tonight's 3+ hour conversation with a very hilarious friend, whose distractions are delightful, but very improperly timed. ugh. im determined to get the first paragraph for a 25 pager due on thursday done before i go to sleep.....or perhaps i should work on one of the two papers due on tuesday? argh, i just need to commit. i've been going back and forth all day.

...i've been eating salads and frosted mini-wheats? how am i gaining weight? finals ugggggh, it does it to me. i need to school year?

Friday, May 15, 2009

as if no time had woes and lists lists

yes, i'm exactly at the same place the last time or pen-ultimate time i posted, i feel. a bit worse for the wear perhaps, but plugging along in a general way....

other than not one but TWO TWO computer disasters involving TWO TWO different computers (DELL IS THE DEVIL) this semester went by pretty well. i love to work at home and sleep late though, so not having a reliable computer at home made it very difficult to prep for my literature class. i like to type my lesson plans and always need to look up lots of things online. teaching at 8 made me have to get to the office at ridiculous hours....or stay awake much longer than should have been necessary, just to beg and plead with my computer to load a freaking page. come on already. and the hours i spent weekly on the phone with dell. it was a disaster. i've been able to read lots of blogs and follow the ones that i love, but it's insane. i let the page load. take a shower. click a link. brush my teeth, come back the page is finally loaded. uuuuuuuuuuugh. i've resurrected my ancient ancient computer from my first year of undergrad and i'm hoping it will keep up plugging along until i pass my QEs--assuming that i do pass them. then i feel, a proper reward would be a nice sparkling computer. though on the other hand, having a computer that actually works could make studying much easier, better, effective, etc. I'm thinking about getting one of those really cheap 400 buck ones that are tiny like paperback books, just so i have a back-up. i'm thinking this old man will keep up for a while, so...i just don't want to spend the money to get a really good machine right now...nor do i have the money. argh!!

i am trying to make my QE lists and it's driving me nuts. i'm all for unsolicited advice because i'm very curious and nosy and love to hear about other people's experiences...but i've been getting really weird advice from some hostile (competitive??) people in my sub-areas. i might elaborate more on this in the future, it's very, very weird.

what else--semester in a nutshell: lots of firsts!!
1. i successfully survived hah (*this could be a bit premature since i still have 4.5 papers ahead of me and 2 exams, aaaaaaaaaaaargh. but i've been feeling strangely much more calm than usual this entire semester. not like i'm over it or anything, but hmmm, like i'm very much over the stress of it all (barring of course the all-too frequent episodes of hysteria and sobbing) and the head games i play with myself (like delusion?)
2. i successfully survived teaching my first lit class! i haven't gotten the final evals yet, but the midterm ones were all pretty good
3. i successfully survived giving my first conference talk. now, this might not be the biggest accomplishment for a lot of people, but i nearly psyched myself out of the profession. i was convinced it would literally kill me to give a conference talk. some people told me to ease in and conquer my fears by "starting small" --their words not mine, at grad conferences, but for some reason, i got roped into a conference talk. now i know i'm describing this as if i had no agency in the matter, and i don't feel like i had that much....but, idk it's hard to explain. a professor of mine kept telling us in class that we needed to just go out there and start giving papers and stuff, that we should just focus on non-graduate conferences, and if we didn't know how to write abstracts so what..we'd learn by getting rejected from conferences until we learned how to do so. ok haha i know this is very jumbled. he was much more logical sounding, but clearly i've twisted the whole situation in my head since for a few months it represented a terrible time for me that i kept replaying and replaying.....basically, he encouraged us to present abstracts for this "low-key" but kind of important conference in the area. i applied, thinking i could rest easy. i'd do what he wanted, have a clear conscience, and there'd be no way my very out there abstract would be accepted. oh but it was, to my dismay. i think i cried and tried to plot ways to get out of it. but then this strange calm came over me. i thought, ok, well, it can only get better (hopefully?), baptism by fire has worked for many! anyways, long story short, i did it, i was very nervous until the actual moment when i started reading my paper, and then it was a very out of body experience. i was far less nervous while giving the paper than i ever am for class presentations. weird.

it ended up being nice though, i had a good friend, a teacher friend and very critical girl i like but am also scared of in the audience, so i felt more or less supported. phew, it's over with, and i actually had fun! still, i'm confused about conference presenting, and the rates at which one should attempt departments at HU don't ever have a lot of students presenting until they're writing their dissertations, and even then...only a bit....what are the rules? how does this work at other places. HU is in a very, very strange bubble, so I feel that everything and all of my perceptions are a bit skewed.
4. i survived being on crutches for the first half of the semester. maybe i'm a fool for thinking crutches always looked so fun. it was so hard! i had very nice arms for a while, but now its back to normal ahhhh welll

well i cant even think of any more things. the time just keeps flying by. i feel like my grandma when she says that time keeps getting faster. when i was a kid the days were so long!!

i have a lot left ahead of me, and clearly i'm procrastinating but....
i am going to keep this blog i am going to keep this blog

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i saw this over at reassigned time and some other sites....hmm, i should really read more in english. i read the beautiful and the damned over winter break for the first time ever; i absolutely loved it!!! i should find one of these for romance language literature...

1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen ...durrr i think i read this, but i have the worst memory with Austen. too many books and movies. I did watch the movie in portuguese though
2 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling ewwww, im on the fence with these...i have no desire to read them, but feel like i should
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X++++++++++ one of my absolutely favorite books, i used to have the first few pages memorized. I was a child with waaaay too much free time. dell is so cute in the movie.
6 The Bible - X yeah, more on being bored as a child...i have been meaning to read it again though, for purely literary purposes
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens I do love Dickens, but this is not one that I've read
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X+ and i was in the play as a tween
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy X.....why did i read this in french though? weird
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - X+++++++++ love it. i love the sonnets, and MacBeth, Othello and Lear are my absolute favorites.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - X french...
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - X
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - X
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot - I mean to read it...but one of my best friends hates it and has unfairly skewed my judgment
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - For the longest time i used to mix this up with what's eating Gilbert Grape, which is ridiculous. I guess it was the Gs. I want to read this so badly, but think nothing will replace the beautiful and the damned in my heart. ******
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy -* war, what is it good for?
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck -X
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - X+
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame -X
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy X
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis -X++ I loved them, but was terrified of closets for a long time
34 Emma - Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X+
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X+
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - X+
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - X+ i read most of the series..
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood X
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding -X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan- X
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -X+
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold -
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - X kind of lame.....
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens -X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - X+
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce **
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath X -I used to love everything by plath passionately, then i went to a women's college filled with people obsessed with her. it became a bit too much for me.
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray*
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - durr, i cant remember
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - X+ oh i absolutely adore this. there is a weird portuguese movie spin-off version that is at once creepy, beautiful and strangely alluring
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - X+
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - X some of them
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad **people keep mentioning this to me, i should read it
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery X ughhhh i HATE this book, and having to teach it in French 2 was hell.
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - X+
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl X -I have read everything by dahl, this is the one i liked the least
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo *** i am dying to read this in the original. but its soo long. i love the musical.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

something is wrong with my days! something is wrong with time!! i don't know what is going on, but this semester i feel like i'm in some sort of crazy temporal whirlwind....i'm a few seconds behind on everything essential *like responding to people who are talking to me....there's a pause, some confusion, i furrow my brows....."excuse me, what?" i keep having to ask.* and years behind, i feel, on everything else. i'm not sure why i feel this way, but it's a bit disconcerting.

Perhaps it has something to do with my insane sleeping schedule, which i'm really trying to get back on track. During finals/the MLA, i was on some sort of crazy no-sleep, no-caffeine or stimulants but totally wired mode pattern, so much so that for days i could not sleep and when i tried i'd twitch nervously in bed until i got up again...the MLA brought a brief reprieve since the bed in the SF Mariott was INCREDIBLE. I need a bed like that. It was heaven. The whole trip was heaven actually, they had placed me in an awful room right against the elevator shaft and as soon as i got there and heard the racket that all those chains and pulleys or whatever make, i asked to switch rooms. they put me, little me, by myself, in this humongous business suite!--a giant bed, a work desk/computer, a regular desk, a kitchen area, a living room with sofas and stuff. Oh, i was so sad when the conference was bed is comfortable-ish, but is from ikea and has a cheap mattress so it just cant compare. Finals petered out after the MLA though, i went home to my father's house, and barely slept since my cats and dog just hover over me staring, fighting with each other (just the crazy cats), fighting to have the rights to sleep on me, whimpering, etc., all while i'm on the couch trying to sleep/read/find inner peace. Once I came back to school, i started the strangest sleep cycle-thing i've ever had i think. the first three weeks of classes, i was crashing around 6 or 7 pm. i'd fall asleep by about 8 and wake up at 1 in the morning. then i'd be up lesson planning and doing homework until 8am, head over to school and come home about 6. it was bizarre, and i never want that pattern again. it made the whole world seem so QUIET--i missed people's calls for weeks and weeks. Now things are a bit more normal, but i'm reverting slowly to my old habits of very little sleep. I've been falling asleep around 2 and waking up at 6 or 6:30. i wish i were a better sleeper, i just wake at the slightest noise and have never been able to stay in bed for very long anyways....sigh

oh well. so that is one thing to work on, this long *thank god thank god* weekend. also, i need to get organized and clean up my room (at the moment i am living in squalor. like those houses on tv packed with cats and monkeys or whatnot).......and focus on the school stuff. i figure if i actually work decently for one weekend (i have this bad habit of taking the entire weekend off, watching tv i don't even like......) so, if i work well today and tomorrow and just read on Monday, that would set me up nicely for the month i think. or perhaps i'm being too optimistic. BLERG! this post is jumbled and incoherent, i'm fizzling out....

weekend list:
1. make flashcards for language exam
2. grant app #1
3. grant app #2
4. durrr, read book for next week's class
5. lesson plan 1 and 2
6. look at diagnostic essays from waaaaay back
7. requisite emails to profs
8. start converting presentation from last week into a paper?
9. prepare presentation 1
10. do reading for presentation 2
11. reading for tues. class
12. translation homework
13. reading for wednesday class
14. prepare presentation 3
15. conference abstract/find out if they want us to rewrite it
16. try to organize SOME part of room of doom

hmmm, i cant think of anything else but i know i'm forgetting things. already, this seems too ambitious. ah well, at least i have a list of what i need to do and hopefully am not forgetting too much.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

i love how i leave everything until the last moment. really, it's as if the weekend never even really existed. i can't figure out for the life of me how i managed to waste two full days and not remember them at all. i guess i was catching up on sleep a bit since my leg injury has me more tired than usual. but still, here it is, tuesday night and i STILL haven't even looked at the material for my presentation tomorrow. i got home not too long ago, and made dinner....and now i want a nap, so, durrrrr, it won't get done for a while yet. plus i have an immense take home test from ridiculously hard latin class due for thursday, lesson planning for thursday and a slew of essays to grade. i just got them today, but i want them out of my hands for my own sanity and freedom, and so the students have more time to work on their final drafts. egads. strangely, all i really want to do (besides sleep and watch tv-it is so sick that i love american idol...or hate it...well, it fills me with this terrible, inexplicable sense of angst. i watch it and immediately feel like i am wasting my life. whaaaaaa??? i mean i may be wasting my life, but the fact that american idol brings this out in me is bizarre. american idol and law and order SVU. i'm addicted to both of them but they make me weep, in the bad way.) is work on a presentation that's about 3 weeks away. first things first, first things first, i keep repeating to myself. but to no avail. discipline, discipline, i need it.
oh my goodness. it's been forever, due to the untimely (finals period of course) crashing of not one, but TWO computers. TWO. my real computer had some awful "fatal keyboard problem." I was working on a paper and couldn't help but noticing how it took about 10 minutes for one measly word to show up on the screen, so i reverted to my formerly trusty backup, my old-school-first year of college computer. ahhhhhhhhhh it has some kind of memory-dump issue, and i cannot connect it to the internetzz to save my life. oh well, i managed somehow to get through finals relatively unscathed. unfortunately i had to work on papers until about a week before school started again, but they all managed to get in. latin didn't kill me as i had expected, and now of course i miss the structure, discipline and wonderful taste of its abuse. medieval latin is just not having the same hold on me this semester, though it is still fun. i miss the precision and rules though.

this semester seems like it is off to an interesting start. lots of classes, all of which are pretty intense. i'm going to need to start writing for some soon, as crazy as that sounds to my procrastinating ears. i'm teaching a lit class for the first time and loving it. what has been blowing me away the most is the students' enthusiasm. they are all so HAPPY!! and write me emails with lots of HI MRS.Xs (though i am not married, wear no rings and am just a few years older then they are...whywhywhy? do i look older than I am or something? blerg) and loads of !!!!! marks. it is a new terrain for me, this verve and pep. Where do they get it from? and at 8am in the freaking morning. unbelievable. i was not like that even at their age.

if i want to teach a lit class next semester, i need to make a proposal for a class soon. hmmm, i'm not sure. i love love love teaching the lit stuff, and it is great experience i'm sure, since the class is completely self-designed (i'd definitely do something different next time, just to mix things up, though i've noticed people usually just repeat the same texts in a different order...nah, i want to go with different time-periods and totally different texts...and maybe theater??) but there is something about teaching language that just makes me go ga-ga. mannnn i love it. i don't even mind teaching every day and still getting paid the same for MORE hours. hmm, i will have to decide soon.

before i decide however, i should probably prepare for class in less than 8 hours. durrrr...why do i never manage to get this done over the weekend? nuts, i am nuts and need to organize my time better. for sure.