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Category: University

Operation ASNaC, Four Years On

Operation ASNaC, Four Years On

Oh, hey, I finished my degree today. Exams were a mixed bag. Totally overdid it in my Irish exam (wrote 7,600 words in less than four hours) and triggered the biggest carpal tunnel flare-up I’ve had since 2013, so I’ve been in a lot of pain this week and also dealing very badly with it on an emotional level. Plus it got in the way of revising properly for Welsh, which was today, my last exam, and so I ended…

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Dancing Through Hell

Dancing Through Hell

Quick post today, because I realised it was a very long time since I last posted and I should maybe keep you updated. Short version: exam term is hell. Finals are hell. I am in hell. Insert witty Dante reference here because dammit I’m a medievalist, I should know what to say!! Sorry. I’m just fighting the feeling that I’m a failure who doesn’t know nearly as much about medieval literature as I think I do. My first exam is…

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Academic Acknowledgments

Academic Acknowledgments

Im my department, we’re not encouraged/allowed to include acknowledgements in our dissertations. In some ways, this is a relief — I’d inevitably forget someone important, and I’d also run into issues trying to credit people I only know by their usernames online. However, it also seems a shame, because there are a number of people without whom this dissertation couldn’t have been written; if it had, it would have been much the poorer for it. But now that it’s handed…

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Querying My Future

Querying My Future

Job hunting and querying are extremely alike, I’ve found. Cover letters are basically just queries for yourself; an interview is a full or partial request (depending whether it’s the first interview of several or the only one); and those offers of representation / employment seem hard to come by. Also, I’m rapidly losing my nerve with the whole thing, though unlike querying, this is not because I found a plot point that will alter my entire life and therefore need…

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Setbacks and Steps Forward

Setbacks and Steps Forward

The last few days have been a weird mixture of productive successes and deeply frustrating setbacks. And it’s not even like some things have been going universally well and some things haven’t — it’s far more muddled up and mixed than that. Friday got off to a bad start. I cycled to a physio consultation, and when getting off my bike outside, my foot gave way beneath me, turning my ankle over with a worrying snapping sound and spraining it….

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Appy With Languages

Appy With Languages

My body decided that the first few days back in Cambridge would be a great time for me to get ill. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have wanted to be ill in the holidays either, but if I were to choose when was an inconvenient time to be overwhelmingly dizzy with a cough and sore throat that kept me up all night, I wouldn’t have chosen now, right before term begins and when I’m desperately trying to get…

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Struggling With Dissertations and Christmas

Struggling With Dissertations and Christmas

My dissertation writing retreat was both everything I hoped, and also not.  Spending five days in Cambridge on my own was what I needed: I managed to write around 9,500 words of my dissertation, which puts me over the minimum wordcount and essentially constitutes most of a first draft. I’d hoped, however, that it would be in a state where I could send it to my supervisor at the end of the week. Instead, it’s a hastily cobbled-together mess of…

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Honesty And Anxiety

Honesty And Anxiety

Lately, my anxiety has been… bad. I thought I was doing better, that I was learning to manage it and cope and get through. During the summer, I had some seriously anxious periods, including while travelling, but they were generally triggered by specific events or environments, so they seemed more logical than some of my other anxiety. And, while they weren’t fun, I mostly got through them without too much difficulty. So I thought I was in a good position…

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Eight Hours Of Inferiority

Eight Hours Of Inferiority

In her welcome speech, the college principal apparently told freshers that there are twenty-four hours in every day: eight for sleeping, eight for work, and eight for other things (societies, socialising, and so on). My tutor, when she quoted this to us in our start of term meeting, added, “But I think six or seven hours of working is probably enough.” I disagree with both of them. Strongly. The latter, marginally less strongly, but I still disagree. This way of…

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Settling In

Settling In

I arrived in Cambridge at lunchtime on Friday. By about 10pm I’d unpacked as much as I could stand to unpack, on the basis that if I leave it in a box this early in the term, it will stay in that box forever. On Saturday morning I filmed and edited a flat tour before any of my flatmates have arrived, again because I knew that if I didn’t do it straight away, it just wouldn’t get done, based on…

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