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04 February 2014 @ 10:16 am

So I don't think a semester has gone by without the university screwing something up, or otherwise making my life 1000% more difficult. It's their specialty.

But this one really pisses me off. Because it punishes indecision, taking time to figure yourself out, and failures outside of your control.

I don't know if they have this at other universities, but we have one of many statuses controlling what we can do or get called SAP - Satisfactory Academic Progress. You can't get financial aid if you don't meet the criteria, one of which is having more than 180 credits. Which they say I do, even though my grade report says I have 129.

In the FAQ, it says they count dropped classes in their total, but there is no way of knowing how many there are unless you keep track. I didn't know I needed to. And whqt a shitty system - all the classes i dropped, with rare exception, I dropped before the semester even started. I shouldn't be penalized for that! What the shit, UWO?!?!?

I have an email sent to my advisor asking what the hell I should do now, and she's looking into it (she's new and I honestly feel bad about burdening her with difficult questions), but god damn it.

This process also made me realize that I could graduate in August if I take a summer class, but I had to apply for graduation last semester. Which I obviously didn't.

SIGH. I'm just so sick of this shit. I really am.

And now I really need to amp up the GRE practice and the grad applications, because I might be done half a year early.

03 April 2013 @ 10:44 am
It's hard to tell, on an individual basis, how bad one's mood swings are. You end up asking yourself things like, Is it more normal than I realize to vacillate from highs to lows with X many days in-between? Or hours? Does it matter how high or low the swings are, in some sort of objective manner, or is the frequency what's most important?

I wonder if a doctor could answer these questions.

I've been thinking about this because yesterday I had a fairly-common mood-swing occurrence: one in which I'm feeling great, and then one thing happens and pretty much destroys my mood for hours afterwards. I posted about it on tumblr:

I cleaned the dining room and did all the dishes, which is a pretty big feat considering how everything piled up.

All my mom said was, “Why didn’t you clean the stove top?”

Which is exactly why I never fucking clean anything.

#it's hard to tell yourself you've accomplished something #when no one else seems to fucking notice

I think those tags are probably the most important observation. As someone who follows the Unfuck Your Habitat tumblr, I've been trying to internalize the ideas "It's okay to not get everything that needs to be cleaned ever either immediately or all at once," and "It's important to recognize, even if all you've done is make the bed or clean off an end table, that you've done something and you should be proud of it."

Which is difficult when faced with people who completely disagree.

But those notions I have had to have come from somewhere - presumably my mother - and her notions had to come from somewhere - presumably her own alcohol-and-neuroses-fueled mother - and so on. Which I try to keep in mind. Some days this is harder than others,  like yesterday.

I have a lot of trouble internalizing compliments, be they regarding my own physical person or something I've accomplished. I always feel as though I'm being lied to, like the person saying these things is trying to lull me into a false sense of security in order to take something from me. Which, in most cases, I recognize is completely irrational and untrue. And yet. I'm getting better with accomplishments - I think that's something committing to this English degree has given me, this solid sense-of-purpose that I'm doing something I'm good at, and that it's goodness exists outside of my own mind.

Today, I got the electronic copy back of my last Rhetoric essay. I tell anyone who will slow down long enough how much I love that class, and even if the subject matter for my Very Important 50% Of My Grade Research Paper continues to elude me, I continue to enjoy the readings and the discussion, regardless of the people in the class whose opinions I find offensive.

(Which is probably a ranty post all on it's own full of lots and lots of cursing. This classmate has made me worry about future teaching because I don't think I could laugh off / play along with some of the underlying assumptions he makes with as much grace as Sam does.)

This was written at the top of the page:

Keeping in mind our conversation from a few weeks ago, I should say that your responses are the work of someone who would make a fantastic graduate student and professional academic. :) Your writing is crystal clear, you present new and interesting perspectives, and you take the time to thoroughly analyze and connect all available material. Great work.

Which has made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

(As an aside, compliments from teachers or professors you really respect or admire always mean more to me. Like, if Dr. Dunckel told me I wrote well I would appreciate it, but Dr. Landry or Dr. Looker saying it seems so much more flattering.)

I've felt pretty often this semester that the papers I've been turning in have been sub-par, with one or two exceptions, which my grades have not been reflecting in the least. I'm not sure if this is indicative of me not recognizing my own "talent," for lack of a better word, or if I'm recognizing that I could be doing even better than I am. And then the slacker voice in my head says, "Why try? You're getting A's right now."

It raises a valid point.

Speaking of Dunckel, he still hasn't returned any of my papers, and we're about to turn in our fourth. SIGH. Several people in the class have said they have at least one back, many more, which ... WTF?
28 March 2013 @ 01:26 pm
I haven't posted anything in a while because I am lazy. I set out to say, "Because I don't have time," but I have time to do everything else I want/need to do, so that excuse falls apart pretty quickly.

We're starting to gear into Research Paper Time, and I have two different ones to plan. The Rhetoric one I'm not sure about yet, but I'm pretty sure I want to write my Gay and Lesbian Lit paper on Angels in America. She said if we decide to compare two texts, the other text can come from outside the class (so long as it's queer in some way), so I'm all jazzed up about using Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I have a decent idea and everything.

I've been spending the rest of my time that isn't devoted to homework on researching parts for a computer. After growing very, very tired of all the pre-made gaming computers having great CPUs and shitty GPUs (seriously, what's with the sub-standard graphics cards? THAT'S KIND OF THE POINT OF A GAMING COMPUTER), I've decided to make my own. Which isn't as difficult as it seems, but if you would like to tell me I can't do it, feel free to join the chorus of voices that have already told me.

(Honestly, my brother's response was, "Well, I could build it." You shut your mouth you little shit. You know those chips on motherboards that compute information? I HAVE WIRED MY OWN. I think I can handle plug-and-play computer construction.)

The only problem is finding all the parts I need, because it requires a lot of research. And I am indecisive as fuck, so it's taking me even longer than it would "normal" people. Like, I've narrowed down the case to eight options. EIGHT. THE CASE.

On the other hand, I'm finding the entire ordeal super-fun, so at least there's that.

The guy I talked to at Newegg suggested buying all your parts at once, so you can check for mechanical fault before running out of the 30-day return policy. The voice in my head that sounds like my mother, which chastises me every time I buy something more expensive than $30, is crying out about all the potential money I could save waiting for deals, but ... he raises a fair point. And I'm already saving somewhere on the order of $500-$800 doing all this myself.
14 March 2013 @ 01:27 pm

I've got 20 minutes to go eat lunch and maybe - hopefully - get another chapter of City of Glass read, but I wanted to dash off a quick post.

For the past few weeks, I've been stopping anyone who would listen to complain about the project we've been doing for Gay and Lesbian Lit. It centered around the film Milk, and 1970s activism, and I did learn quite a bit. But the forced activism subsection of the project has left me in a near-constant state of anxiety.

We did our final part of the project today and I'm very glad it's over.

Although, the other two groups did make me feel bad that I didn't (or we didn't, collectively) do more. It just turned out that most of our group wasn't amazingly enthusiastic about the idea, and so we got through by the skin of our teeth. In our defense, all the other groups had seven people, and we only had five, because one of the people in our group dropped the course, and the other one is having severe family issues preventing her from attending class.

We were supposed to earn 300 points to get a pizza party - our group only got 200, all the other groups crested 300. I think the actual rules were to collectively as a class earn 300 points, and it's not like I'm amazingly attached to the idea of a pizza party anyway, but I feel as though I've failed myself by not trying harder.

Having said that, I have two exams tomorrow that I've also been simultaneously studying for, and a terrible lab to sit through for two hours next, and I just started my period last night, so I'm sort of a stressed-out over-hormonal wreck.

And I turned red when I read my speech. Why do I always do that? Even when I'm not nervous - or not that nervous. I didn't have this problem last semester, and yet. Here it is all over the place.

I just try to do as good as I can and not dwell on it. Thank the gods for Spring Break because I REALLY could use a week off.

04 March 2013 @ 11:12 am
I talked with Sam (my Rhetoric professor) last week. It was simultaneously helpful and terrifying. Do I really want to devote the next six or seven years to earning a doctorate? And if so, in what? Her self-described introversion was immensely helpful for me, simply from a kinship standpoint, because I've often wondered if my introversion and anxiety would automatically be a huge road block to any future teaching. I like her a lot, not just because she's a good teacher, but because she reminds me of myself and it gives me hope that I can be a functioning and fulfilled person in the future.

I've also decided to stay on for an extra semester, so as not to overload myself with too many classes or a burdensome financial situation. And I would be lying if I said that giving me more time to think wasn't a factor, as well.

I'm having a hard time getting anything done this week. I have three papers (three) due before Wednesday, and I could have gotten at least one of them done and over this weekend and I did ... nothing. I'm really glad Spring Break is a thing because I'm really going to need a week off.

It would be an unmeasurable amount of helpful if I could get this Rhetoric paper done now. That's probably not going to happen. I think I'm extra anxious about it because I don't have a clear idea of what I want to write yet? And Sam told me my last paper was, if not the best, one of the best from the class. Which creates anxiety it in its own way, even if I do very much enjoy hearing it. Some days it feels like I can't do anything right, or that everything I do is terrible and meaningless. It's nice to be reminded by people who don't have to tell me that my perceptions of myself are skewed.

There's a part of me that's like, "It isn't due until 5pm tomorrow. Just do it later!" DON'T LISTEN TO THAT PART, SELF. THAT PART IS FULL OF SHIT.

And today I'm feeling a little emotionally unstable - I'm assuming that's because it's overcast outside. I try to keep an eye on that, and tell myself not to worry about the dip in mood because it'll probably be gone tomorrow. Which helps, but doesn't help, at the same time.

Also, "three" doesn't even look like a word? I am spelling it right. Right?

It's 11:00 and I don't want to do anything UGH why am I an English major why did I make this life choice.

I know once I actually start writing it it will be fine, it's just the anxious leading-up to every paper that fucks me up. Maybe, at least, I can come up with a rough idea for my Rhetoric paper?
22 February 2013 @ 11:07 am
I forgot to sign up for the field trip for my Geology Lab yesterday, which means I have to sneak in just as today's first lab is starting and fit my name in on Saturday, otherwise it's not happening.

I suppose it wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to go on Sunday, but I am the worlds biggest procrastinator, and I feel like if I have that Sunday to work with I'll be 100% sure I get everything done. And this field trip is taking place the weekend before the last week of school so anything I'm doing will be super-important.


In prepping for signing up for classes next week, I figured out that I only have two more semesters to go (that is, if I take five classes in one and four in the other) before I graduate. Which is both comforting and terrifying.

Comforting, because it's nice to know that I can actually accomplish something. I'll have that diploma, and I'll be able to look at it and say, "I did that."

Terrifying, because I have no idea what I'm going to do. I always envisioned this point in my life as something in the far-off future, something which, in the depths of my worst depression, I actually felt like I would never reach.

Having too many options, and at the same time feeling like you have no options, is incredibly great for my anxiety. Let me tell you.

Whinging about my future below the cutCollapse )
15 February 2013 @ 09:03 pm
So I started a new journal. Or, rather, repurposed an older one that I didn't know I had. But this is the username I use all over the place, so it seems more me. My previous journal was one I started when I was a sophomore in high school. A lot has changed since then - I've done a lot of changing since then. It didn't seem to fit me anymore.

And I was tired of looking at the misspelled JRock song title, although I do feel like that encapsulates my early teens self very well.

Not much to report yet. In school, it's a lot of work, but I'm nearing the end. Which is simultaneously terrifying and comforting, but that's probably true of a lot of things.

I figure I'll just post here about whatever - life, fandom, school, etc.