Mon Oct 01 2007 15:57 PST Will I paint pictures? Will I sing songs?:
I'm trying to find a job... I spent all evening searching online and feel like I have done nothing but waste time. So far it looks like my viable options are: nightclub promotion, hostess in a "gentlemens'" club, call centre... everything else requires experience. Here's hoping one of the bookstore or library jobs I've already applied to pans out. Or perhaps tutoring? I could do a qualifying course in teaching english. Is this what my life is always going to be like?
Tue Oct 02 2007 09:19 PST Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth:
Just came back from a meeting with my supervisor. She is lovely but I'm starting to feel like I'm not cut out for a PhD. I'm not afraid of the amount of work, I just don't think I am smart enough! Of course you will all say of course I am because you all love me and are biased, but honestly I don't think I am and perhaps in your heart of hearts you agree. Oh well, we shall see how this year goes, if nothing else it will be fun. The good news is it looks like I can probably get Birkbeck to pay for my Serbian course when I thought I would have to pay it myself. The bad news is I went to said course today and understood about 10% of what was said. So I have to decide if I will stuck it out floundering or do the level 1 or some other as yet unthought of solution. Probably I should stick it out or I will never know enough to do research. The grammar I understand, it's the vocab--there is only so much you can learn in a month as opposed to a full year of study plus some that the others in my course have done. So. What to do. Hard decisions about that and my thesis. On top of that I still haven't heard a peep about any job and I feel like I'm spending entirely too much money just breathing London air. I'd love nothing better than to sit and mull and talk it all over with someone who understands and sympathizes and knows what's best. Unfortunately she is not available.
(1) Thu Oct 04 2007 06:53 PST Surprise:
I just figured that I have been giving out the wrong phone number to everyone for weeks. Including job applications. That might explain the lack of calls. Off to remedy the situation.
Thu Oct 04 2007 12:59 PST Wearing the shoe till it fits:
My purse got upturned in the chaos of the morning, and when I picked it up out fell a one dinar coin and a (used) ticket for the Budapest metro.
Fri Oct 05 2007 02:53 PST Ugh:
I waited for ever for my stupid tesco card to be registered and now it finally works and the super cheap printer I wanted is out of stock. What a pain. I can't believe I waited for something as stupid as a clubcard. Now I will have to wait forever or find another cheap printer. It was nice and on sale too, who knows if it will still be on sale when it comes back in stock.
(1) Fri Oct 05 2007 05:57 PST Reports from the non-dining hall:
My V8 was either stolen or thrown away. Hurumph. I may have to invest in that illegal £15 micro fridge (and keep it hidden) after all. On the bright side, I am learning to work the system here in this unnamed hall... You an request a not bad-tasting packed supper if you have academic commitments that will keep you past dinner serving time (which stops at 7 pm). They are available in the afternoon, theoretically so you can take it with you to your academic commitment, I suppose. I am eating mine now. This actually works out really well because I have started attending these seminars at the Institute for Historical Research and it seems everyone goes out for dinner afterwards, which is a great networking opportunity. Plus I will get to eat good food! I'm dying for something home cooked but that will be a bit more difficult to swing, I think. So depressing that I can't even make simple spaghetti. Oh well. That is the price you pay I suppose. I think I'll go now to the ULU student fair to collect free junk.
Sat Oct 06 2007 12:43 PST The long and winding road:
I got my ticket today. I am in American from December 19 till Jan 2 (in California from December 22). In-n-out here I come! I hope my baby hasn't forgotten me (he probably has). Because I am doing a weird detour to Salt Lake, it cost more than I hoped it would so everyone is getting the pleasure of my presence instead of physical presents. Deal! Maybe next year I will come in January instead.
(1) Sat Oct 06 2007 12:47 PST "Hope they're just moving furniture around":
I really don't know how the person above me manages to make so much noise. To be honest, I am feeling really jipped now that I have seen some of the other rooms which are clearly much better than mine. After another unappetizing meal, I am trying to remember to count my blessings for being able to walk to the British Library.
Tue Oct 09 2007 04:56 PST Upoznam grad:
Decided to come out of my sulk and do some exploring. Saturday I went to Greenwich to try and find the glorious pie shop of olden days that I remember so well. Either I don't remember where it was so well, or it has closed and become a curry shop. I suspect the latter. Instead I had some decent fish and chips, and to kill it off, a crepe with nutella and fresh strawberries. I love market food! There was also a stall selling spanish food so I will have to go back to get some paella. The Greenwich market is highly gentrified, so I wandered over to the less-so Greenwich Village market to smooze in the old bottle shop, etc. I got some deals, 4 books for £2.50 and a cute skirt that was £5 marked down from £25.
Sunday I stayed in most of the day but I did wander down to Soho to get some famous falafel and explore more bookshops, one used one (for some reason they all have "licensed sex shops downstairs." Soho? and Blackwells. I didn't buy anything except a little map of London to keep in my purse. I didn't want to carry around a whole A-Zed atlas, just a small map. I spent forever deciding which one was best. One had a little bit further east but not as far north (I am in fact, living off the map, and I am not so far north) than the other, but I have had 12p Brick Lane bagels on my mind for the last week and I already know how to get to Camden Market so I got the first. Today I'm going to H&M because I'm desperate for a school bag (the daypack from my travel backpack is soo passé) via a different route, Goodge street (which turns into something else) to Regent Street. I've also worked out a great route to get south of where I am while avoiding Tottenham Court Road/ Oxford Street. Can you tell I'm not 19 anymore? I lived at that intersection when I was here 5 years ago. In fact, I really wish I could transport the 19 year old me into this hall. I would have loved it and thrived. But I am not so much the same person I was back then. Still, there are advantages.
I finally got off my lazy butt and joined the gym. I went this morning for an induction and a good but short workout. It's amazing how quickly you get out of shape. Apparently climbing the stairs here and pacing the stacks don't give enough exercise. I also signed up for a "complete core" class tomorrow. I think I will try out a bunch of classes to see which ones I like. They have three kinds of yoga, plus 2 kinds of pilates, AND yogalates. And a pool. Hurray. It is so close, though I know that won't make it any easier to go. Rather the £25/month will be. Also you have to book because most of the classes run out of space, so that makes it more of a commitment.
After the gym I walked (a whole block!) to my new favorite store, Planet Organic. I bought my personal organic milk and shopped around for some supplies. They have rice cakes for 59p so that is a blessing, some Japanese instant noodles, etc. I also wanted a lot of things I couldn't afford. I did splurge for some pomegranate juice because I figured I could use some detoxing from the hall food. Just looking at all the fresh organic things made me feel dirty for eating the things I have been. I am also thinking more and more about investing in the fridge because I thought how nice it would be to have some nice, real jam but why pay so much for it when anyone can and might help themselves, or it might get thrown out any moment? I am really nervous about my pomegranate juice. So. I really wanted to buy some fresh hummus and goat cheese and a baguette. Maybe I will give up peanut butter for lunch for a few days. Yeah, they had organic peanut butter but it was £2 for a tiny jar so I passed. Wouldn't a trader joes do well here?
(2) Fri Oct 12 2007 05:51 PST A summary of events:
I went to pilates and attempted to go to Planet Organic to get some milk and a sandwich for lunch, but I guess everyone goes there for lunch because the line was to the back of the store. I gazed at the picked-over sandwiches and wraps and salads for a minute or two before giving up and going next door to a cafe for a pannini. Turns out everyone goes in there to practice their french! Well, everytime I try to speak in either French or Serbian, or even think in my head of something to say, it comes out a hopeless mix of the two languages. How will I learn to compartmentalize? Well, the pannini is really good. They actually know how to make sandwiches here, unlike certain other countries that shall remain nameless (but may start with a "s" and end with "erbia") but then again, didn't the English invent sandwiches? Perhaps that is a myth.
I'm going to have a shower then go to see if I can get a ticket to see Patrick Stewart in Macbeth from the ULU drama society. That would be totally awesome! Then I'm going job hunting (again.) Going round to places that look like they might hire me to hand in my cv. If that doesn't work I will start replying to no experience necessary jobs on gumtree. I also thought I might do freelance research, but I don't know how to go about that, and honestly I'd rather have another type of job since I will be spending so much time in the archives on my own account anyway.
My friend, a girl I met in Ljubljana, invited me to come stay with her in Brighton this weekend. For a while I was torn. On the one hand I really wanted to get some serious work done this weekend, but on other hands, most libraries keep short hours on weekends anyway, I have a youth railcard that I've only used to get from the airport to central london, I'd really like to see Brighton again and I have a free place to stay and Bex is really fun, and the hall is depressing on weekends anyway. It will be a nice change to have someone to hang out with. So I'm going to compromise by bring a book I probably won't read and then become a slave to the discipline of history on Monday. Now which bag to pack!
(1) Sun Oct 14 2007 13:58 PST:
Back from Brighton. Soooo tired. Think I'll go to bed with a book.
(2) Mon Oct 15 2007 15:14 PST Semi-productive:
I met up with Kate, the girl from the seminar last week, and we walked over to Lambs Conduit Street to have healthy wraps and explore the possibilities of a new HQ, since I am missing my Dagny's. Fortunately manages to avoid going into one of the many charming looking bookstores around. Bloomsbury is like used bookstore central, which is both good and bad. Empty bookshelves seems to say to me I have permission to buy as many books as I want. Luckily I can get some cheap ones here. We chatted about how finishing PhD seems like, getting married and having children--like something that happens to other people. But then again you can't really say "I never met the right thesis." Found a likely looking cafe and stayed on to work on Serbian homework. The others in my class are a great bunch of people. Classes are always really amusing. I often wish I were on the MA course there when they are talking about their course work. It sounds really interesting but much less intimidating then coming up with a thingy and doing it all myself. Tomorrow I am meeting with my supervisor to go over possible chapters. It's all very vague because I don't know whether I will be doing all the allies or just the British and look at the French and Serbs in relation to the British. To be honest, it will probably be the latter because of the sheer amount of time it would take me to do the equivalent amount of research in French and Serbian (a lot of which would probably have to be in archives in Paris or Beograd/Novi Sad). There is always post-doc I suppose! If anything I might just throw out the French, despite the fact that I know French much better. I can understand fairly well when I open up a book in French, but when I see all that Cyrillic my eyes just glaze over and it takes me a minute to work out whether the book might even be of use to me. (As in read the title.)
I am trying to work on my organizational methods. I spent most of tonight after dinner trying out Zotero which will save citations from amazon and library sites and let you add notes, etc. I like that you can tag things but I am not sure if the tiny notes thing will work out for my extensive notes on books, or how it will work on unpublished documents. Still, no better solution has presented itself. I have to do something. The sheer volume of sources is overwhelming. I don't know how I am going to read it all. I will have to learn to read faster.
Blah I feel so disorganized. I am having trouble keeping my head above the water and I shouldn't be allowed to own such modern contraptions as a phone because apparently I don't know how to work them. Also still no shift key. Now I am used to using only the right one. And still now job. Sent in a few tutoring application thingies. Maybe tomorrow night will go through job websites looking for something lame. I really don't know where the day goes. I have to try to start going to bed soon because for some reason I find it really hard to get up in time for breakfast. Everytime I get back on track I ruin it by sleeping in again. Wish I could just go with my natural rhythm, get lots of work done at night anyway, but oh well. I have lots of good new books from the SSEES library because I get a library card there as a PhD student! unfortunately I am only allowed 5 books at a time. This is madness I tell you! I would like to tell them that at American libraries you are allowed like 30 books at one time... and graduate students can check them out for the whole term (actually this is not true at CSUB). Suppose I should feel lucky I am allowed to take the books at all. Blah blah blah ok enough blatherings. I know I am forgetting to do something tonight.
Wed Oct 17 2007 19:57:
I finally just changed the time zone for my weblog, so you can see that I am talking about going to bed and it isn't even 8 yet. Of course knowing my luck I won't fall asleep for 6 more hours! My room is a mess and I have to clean it because the housekeeper comes in tomorrow and she won't be able to vacuum if there is stuff all over the floor. I guess I'll do that tomorrow morning. I think there was supposed to be more to this post but I can't remember now. Ciao.
Fri Oct 19 2007 17:10 A day in the life of English weather:
Ooh a bit of sun! Oh, it's gone. That was fast.
Mon Oct 22 2007 12:33 Soon as this wall in my heart comes down:
All of a sudden I can't bear living in halls anymore. I am so tired of the crappy food. I am so tired of the 18 year olds and all their drama. I am tired of not having hot water to take a shower. I am tired of having to walk down the hall to pee. I am tired of my things disappearing from the fridge. I am so tired of not being able to fall asleep because of the elephant upstairs and the all-night conversationalists next door. I went to a few parties in cozy flats this weekend and was stuck dumb with jealousy. I am going to the UL housing service to see their advice about breaking my contract and finding a cozy flat of my own.
Mon Oct 22 2007 23:27 Victory is mine!:
Finally, due to my endless culling of used bookshops and over-zealous use of bookmooch, I have a whole shelf of fiction. My preciousssses bookies look so pretty, filling up a whole shelf and able to support themselves. (I already had more than a full shelf of my sources & some secondary works, these are most of the books I brought with me.) I'd put up a picture but Dave seems to be crashing every time I plug in my ipod or camera so, no.
Ok actually like half of them are travel literature and not fiction at all. Light reading. Whatever.
(1) Tue Oct 23 2007 15:50 A new disaster every day:
Well, I decided to move out of halls but now I am not so sure. None of the places posted on the student website that seemed too good to be true have responded, except one to say the room is taken. Another person I emailed replied the room was gone and I was better off in halls unless I want to pay £120. Which is as much as halls only without food and bills. And transport. Blah. But that is just one opinion and not everyone is a postgrad surrounded by freshers when all they want it a cozy couch and kitchen! Now I am in an afternoon haze of I didn't sleep enough, why am I doing this, what am I doing anyway and where is my soulmate? Never a good place to be. I had better get out. I'll go cull the boards of the student unions as suggested by the housing advisor and if nothing turns up nothing turns up. Just because I've told them I want to leave doesn't mean I have to if I don't find a flat.
Fri Oct 26 2007 00:37 Ever wondered what it was like to look for a flat in London?:
Exhausted from 10 hour flat hunts yesterday and today. No luck but tomorrow may be our day. I gave up on flatshares and now I'm looking with two other new PhD students. Apparently it is not the time for the flat market... The question will soon become, if I find a flat, will I be able to pay for it? being of a lazy disposition and not having found a job I haven't opened a UK bank account, which requires a great deal of onerous paperwork, and the women who takes care of it at my university is, as all people seem to be just when I need them, on holiday. Add this too the fact that because I don't have a UK guaranteers they are wanting 6 month's rent as a deposit. Yeah, ok, let me just hand over ALL MY MONEY. It is enough to make a girl want to give up and just stay in halls. However (not even mentioning my waistline) another sleepless night might be enough to push me over the edge of sanity. Then, I suppose, nothing will matter.
Sat Oct 27 2007 13:13 Cheeky:
I'm doing something a bit different for my wishlist this year. Go read this article so I can make more money and try to figure out what I want. Of course I wrote it before I decided to move so maybe I will put up a real wishlist later.
Sun Oct 28 2007 17:27 Hm:
Have just realised that a shirt I wore all summer is actually not very flattering.
Tue Oct 30 2007 00:22 Stupid rakija, always disappearing (gems from Serbian class):
Professor: That means the glass is half-empty.
Student: How do you say the glass is half-full?
Professor: No, we don't say that in Serbian.... *laughter* (sarcastically) Let's create more negative stereotypes!
Professor: It was during the NATO bombing.... the NATO intervention... *awkward laughter*
Professor: It literally means it disappeared to us. There's another example of Serbo-Croat mentality. We have nothing to do with it running out.
Wed Oct 31 2007 18:34 I'm such a grinch. :
No one ever knocks on my door unless they get the number wrong. And I really, really hate bunnies.
I've decided to be crazy and do Nanowrimo again this year. It will probably last about 5 days, but whatevs. I clearly am not busy enough at the moment.
© 2002-2010 Rachel Richardson.