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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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#studyspoonie

#studyspoonie

I don’t know whether you guys are familiar with the concept of studyspo, but I come across it quite a lot, on both Tumblr and Instagram. Both platforms have their own studyspo communities (studyblr and #studygram respectively) of people who post aesthetic pictures of their notes and schoolwork to inspire and motivate others to study — as well as to celebrate their own progress, of course. There are some particular hallmarks of the kind of things people tend to post,…

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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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A Mixed Start On 2018 Goals

A Mixed Start On 2018 Goals

One of the things I’d like to do more this year is focus on what I have achieved rather than what I haven’t. That’s proving a little tricky so far — I’m behind on work, for a start, so all I can think about is how I haven’t done any of the four essays I’m supposed to be doing, rather than concentrating on the fact that I’m ahead on my dissertation, even though the latter is probably a more positive…

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Thank Goodness It’s Over

Thank Goodness It’s Over

NaNoWriMo this year was a struggle. Hitting 50k wasn’t the hard part — in many ways, that was easier than the last few years. The hard part was finishing the novel, which I’d promised myself I’d do. I haven’t finished a first draft since writing¬†Bard in March/April last year, and while I wrote a complete redraft of another book earlier this year, that’s not quite the same as getting to the end of something new. It’s been so long since…

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Bright Spots Amidst The Anxious Darkness

Bright Spots Amidst The Anxious Darkness

I thought, since my last post was a bit of a downer, I’d write one concentrating on some of the bright points of this week. Because there were bright points! To be honest, I felt awful on Wednesday, but it’s been a slow and steady improvement since then. I’m still stressed and anxious and overworked, but I haven’t had any more panic attacks. So, here are some pieces of good news. 1. My friend Cait’s book is coming out in…

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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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To NaNo, Or Not To NaNo?

To NaNo, Or Not To NaNo?

NaNoWriMo has been a part of my life since I was thirteen. In 2009, somebody on the writing website Protagonize.com was talking about National Novel Writing Month and, being a keen/obsessive writer at the time, I decided to sign up, although it was already the seventh of November and I had no plot, characters, or experience of writing a novel. Nevertheless, I succeeded at the 50,000 word challenge, and finished my first (terrible, short, cliched) novel. I’ve done NaNo every…

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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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