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Archive for the ‘Happy’ Category

Today was the first day of classes for my senior year of college, and boy was it exhausting – but in a totally amazing way!

First, I had a communications seminar that is applicable to my major since the professor’s interests and mines align really well.  I had this professor last semester, and he’s one of the few professors that I’ve felt comfortable chatting with right off the bat (I’m kinda shy…).  Anyway, this semester, the class is much smaller (like 8 people!) and so he’s planning on making it almost like a graduate school seminar for those of us who are thinking about grad school, which he knows I am and has been actively encouraging me towards.  So I’m really excited for this opportunity, and of course the class topics align with my interests, so I’m practically ecstatic to discuss them with others after a whole summer of solitary research!  Plus, there is going to be a lot of writing and engaging with the texts we read, which is one of my goals for this semester anyway, so it is going to be amazing!!!

Immediately after this amazing class, I had a microeconomics class, which is Econ 101 here.  I’m taking it for three reasons: 1) my father wants me to, and he pays the bills 2) it satisfies the last general education requirement I have left and 3) I have finally accepted that I should take a few business classes before I leave college and enter the ‘real world’…  Unfortunately, though the professor seems nice enough, it looks like the class might proceed slowly, seeing as how he appears given to tangents…

Finally, in the late afternoon, I had an English class with my roommate about literary editing and publishing.  About 5 minutes into this class I was so giddy it’s slightly ridiculous!  I had been unsure about this class because I had had the professor before and felt only lukewarm towards him, and still am, but this class is going to be one of the most amazing, though perhaps most challenging, classes I will ever take.  Basically, the professor is the head editor for a literary magazine that has both print and online editions, so we will be reading submissions for him, and basically using class as editorial meetings for this journal, and we will actually be able to influence what goes into the magazine, both online and off.  In addition, we will be writing either two book reviews or a longer essay or interview, which can be revised multiple times in order to potentially be published in this magazine!

Finally, and this is the part that really made me want to jump out of my seat and dance around hysterically, we have to create our own online literary magazine!  We need to come up with the name, the site, solicit submissions from friends, family, and/or even authors we don’t know!  And by the end of it, we need to have at least one issue of our magazine published online.  And of course, it’s entirely possible to continue working on it after the class is over, especially since the first issue is always the hardest!  I! Am! So! Freaking! Excited!!!

So all in all, a fairly auspicious start to my final year in college.  I cannot wait to see what the coming weeks bring!

:insert totally inelegant squeals of excitement here:

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Tangible Results!

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been doing research for my senior year thesis, the culmination of the last three years of study, and the entire justification for my self-designed, interdisciplinary major.  So no big sweat, right?  Right.

Anyway, I’ve been doing research this summer as the first part of the thesis, and then I have all fall to finalize it.  And I’ve been struggling all summer to figure out what exactly it is that I actually want to write this colossal paper about (well, relatively colassal…).  First, it was topic A, then topic B, which was actually the idea that developed into topic A last semester, which then morphed into topic C in the last few weeks.  And I’ve had absolutely zero to show for it, except about 50+ pages of notes and quotes from all the books I’ve read this summer.  But no grand-yet-specific topic to tie it all together.  Until now.

See, on Monday, I realized that I only had two weeks left until I returned to school.  And therefore, I needed to get my butt in gear.  So I decided to write three pages a day, Monday through Friday, and be done for the summer, ready to expand and revise and all that fun stuff in the fall.  So I started writing on Monday, and had two and a half pages of pure crap, and needed to some how finish out that third page, since three pages of course means three full pages (i.e. three and about a half a page on four…).  So I started writing questions.  And discovered my topic!  Apparently A + B + C + D (D being the topic that I’ve kinda sorta wanted to throw into the mix somewhere, but was slightly ashamed to admit it interests me) = E!  And E is fantastic and possible and interesting!

Come Tuesday, out of the blue, my advisor calls me at home, since I sorta kinda maybe have been avoiding him most of the summer since I haven’t had a solid idea to give him, and it is exceedingly difficult to bounce ideas via email.  And I actually had something to give him!  I was so happy with myself!  So he told me that he wanted to see something soon, which I of course agreed to.  And now I have a fifteen-page outline!  That I did in two days!  Go me!

The only problem, however, is that I really really want next week off to do my own thing, and, for the first time this entire summer, not have to worry about my thesis, since even when I have taken vacations before, or el boyo has come to visit, I have spent far too much time thinking/worrying about my thesis instead of enjoying myself.  So I want a week off before I actually return to school!  Is that too much to ask?  I think not.  And yet I have no idea how to ask/tell my advisor about that.  I’m such a wimp when it comes to authority figures…

But!  I have 15 tangible pages!  Yey me!

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I usually try to post book reviews on Mondays, but as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a wee bit busy, and thus have been unable to read anything (well, in the interest of full disclosure, I did start a book, but it was so bad, I put it down and returned it to the library unfinished – a real disappointment – perhaps I’ll blog about it later).  However, I did discover a new (to me) used bookstore in town!

So el boyo was visiting last week, and one day I was in a pretty bad mood (I can’t remember exactly why), and I felt bad about ruining a day with el boyo, so I finally agreed to walk into town with him, since it was such a lovely day and I needed to get out of the house.  So we spent 45 minutes walking all the way into town (a trip that takes 7 minutes by car).

Walking through the first set of little boutique  stores that make up our downtown, we passed a sign pointing down a small alley, indicating a used bookstore back there.  I had passed this sign countless times in the nine years I have lived here, but never taken the initiative to actually check it out.  Since el boyo loves books as much as I do, we made the decision to check it out.  And I am so happy I made that decision!

The bookstore was tiny, but crammed with books, organized by topic.  There were far more non-fiction books, on a variety of topics, than fiction, which was actually quite refreshing, though I normally read fiction over non.  We spent a good amount of time browsing the selection, and I was delighted by the offerings, as well as the more-than-reasonable prices.  And there was a fabulous selection of really wonderful-looking versions of books, again for great prices.

I did end up buying a book that caught my eye and turned out to have some information that could be useful in my research for my thesis this summer – so serendipitous!  I will definitely be frequenting the shop now that I know it’s there.

The whole visit really perked me up.  It was (and still is, looking back now) astonishing to see the change in my mood from before I entered the store and after.  As I told el boyo (for future reference, of course), any time I’m in a bad mood, simply stick me in a room full of books, and the peace and quiet required to explore said books, and I shall perk right up – and indeed become quite hyper!  The transformative power of books on my mood/soul is amazing!  I shall never understand people who do not feel the same way.

So now I’m thinking (not for the first – nor certainly the last!) that I need to own a small, cozy bookstore when I grow up (and for the record, no, at 20, I am not grown up).  Thoughts?

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Yippee!!!

My Kindle has finally been shipped!  From Kentucky!  So it should be here before the weekend (knock on wood!)!  And huzzah for package tracking!

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EEEEEEEEE!!!

I can’t believe I forgot to metion this in my last post about how wonderful this summer is: I finally decided to buy a Kindle!!!  I have beent thinking/dreaming about doing this ever since I first read about it.  My mother almost got me the first-gen one for Christmas last year, but when I told her about the uber-long wait for them, she decided against it.  And then they came out with the new one.  And I think I have visited the site about once a day for the past month, falling more in love with it each time.

And then came the summer.  And I realized I have a lovely research grant.  And an hourly job.  And no bills to pay.  And therefore no reason not to get one!

So I took the plunge just yesterday.

And have not stopped checking my email to see if it has shipped yet.  Even though they say it won’t be until next week.  A girl can dream, right?

I. Am. So. Freaking. Excited!

And, for the record, I never squee like this.  Ever.

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Have I mentioned that I love the summer time?  I love the warm/hot weather, the sunshine, the ability to sleep in – you know, all the fabulous things that everyone loves about summer.  This summer is especially spectacular because I get to do what I love all summer: research and advising!  I’ve only been doing it for about a half a week right now, but let me tell you: this is the life! I am really enjoying my first official book of my summer research and and having so many fantastic ideas!  I also just started advising a group of about 50 incoming freshmen via email, and I love love love getting actual emails in my inbox and responding to them with my oh-so-vast knowledge!  Full disclosure: I am totally grinning like the Cheshire Cat as I write this, because it makes me so freaking happy to be doing this ALL summer!

Anyway, as some of you may know, my research this summer is on diaries, which has made me reflect on my own motivations and intentions with this blog.  And it really makes me excited and passionate about journaling my life!  I have also realized some of the limitations I have placed on myself concerning this blog, specifically, simply trying too hard to make this blog fit into some strange idea in my mind of what a blog should be when I know that there isn’t any should.  There just is.  So I’m going to try to take the blinders and the shakles off and be free.

I created this blog to express myself freely, but I haven’t been doing that.  And you know what?  That’s the worst thing that can happen, in my opinion.  So I’m going to stop making promises; I’m going to enjoy this summer; I’m going to blog about whatever I want to blog without worrying about whether or not it “fits”.  This is me.

:Insert cheesy quotation here:

Muah!

~ Undine

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I suppose I alluded to this in my last post, but having spent approximately 8 hours here today, I must confess my absolute love for the Classics library here.  Yes, I actually have spent 8 hours here today.  And will probably be here for at least another hour.  But allow me to briefly back up.

You see, it is now exam week here at Hogwarts.  All of my exams this year turned out to be take-homes, which on the one hand is awesome because it means I can sleep in everyday and do things on my own schedule.  On the other hand, however, it means I need to spend a million hours working on an exam that should have taken only 3 hours in the regularly scheduled exam time for the class.  Thus the need to find a perfect study spot.

My first final project was due Monday.  So I spent all weekend on it, working in my room on my bed because my desk is far too crowded to do any actual work on when you need to reference something other than your computer (i.e. papers, handouts, books, etc.).  And so I worked on my bed, as I normally do.  Even though I really shouldn’t.  And what do you know, but I end up with my lower back killing me.  So I resolved to no longer work on my bed for such long periods of time.

My next exam is actually not due until tomorrow afternoon at 2pm.  But I started it yesterday (on my bed…), and got really frustrated really fast because it was taking so long and I didn’t quite understand some of the questions and the topic is biology which I’m only taking because it’s a graduation requirement here.  So today I resolved to finish the entire exam so that I could spend tomorrow on the last two exams.

After lunch (I actually had a meeting that took up my morning – and even made me get up early! – so it wasn’t all procrastination, thankyouverymuch!), I headed to the library to find a nice quiet spot in one of the designated quiet areas of the library, which have sumptuous chairs, though the tables could be larger.  And guess what?  It was packed!  I couldn’t find an empty chair with a nearby outlet, much less an empty chair with a nearby outlet and a table!

Saddened, I left and crossed back to my side of campus, bypassing the music hall since I knew I would need a proper studying space and not just a window seat, as I knew that such a spot would not make my back happy in the amount of time this stupid exam would take.  And so, as a last-ditch resort, I thought I’d try the classics library, figuring it might possibly be open and maybe there wouldn’t be many people here.

And, considering I’m here 8 hours later, I figure you can fill in the blanks.

I won’t promise this will be my last post on the glories of the classics library, but I will promise to keep it fairly short 😀

I consider this afternoon/night to be an exploratory excursion.  I have discovered that as long as you are here before the last professor leaves, you are able to stay as long as you want, since they are the ones with the keys.  I have also discovered that if you plan to stay into the wee hours of the night, a professor will give you a “note” on official Hogwarts stationary saying that you have permission to stay beyond closing hours.  It’s so deliciously fabulous!

Yes, I am getting giddy.

I wish I had discovered the glories of this place before now!  I wasted three whole years away from this glorious study room!  And now I only have one short year to make up for it.  And make up for it I shall!  Fear not, dear readers, a plethora of posts shall be enscribed in this room.  Well, once summer is over, of course…

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