Tag Archives: pro-seminar

Musings: Stress and Progress

It be time for my monthly musing again, and as usual, it’s mostly about school and proseminar!

First of all, to give you a book-y pic! I just re-arranged my bookshelf again to give room for some books I got lately, and I noticed how one shelf is absolutely taken over by history and literature and language! I already had a language shelf, with all my grammars and dictionaries and Latin books, but this new one is mostly popular history. There are a couple of novels at one end, but those will have to go once I get my Norton Anthology of American Literature back…

History and Literature

Last week was reading week, which means it’s not exactly a week off but we don’t have any contact teaching. I spent the first weekend in Amsterdam (I hope to get to that sooner rather than later in a separate post) and then, having upset my stomach with something I ate, a few days feeling miserable and uncomfortable and therefore unable to get much work done on my essay.

But it is progressing! I have background that needs trimming, and analysis that is for now keeping to the page count very nicely, although it will require some fixing too before long. The introduction and conclusion are a bit of a headache right now, because I should at least have an introduction done in a week’s time, as I need to hand in a presentation draft before too long. Yes, we’re starting presentations. I’m responding to one paper on Tuesday this week, and just commenting on two others, and I have had no time to read the papers. (Hence my stress; and we’ve got family coming over today. Fortunately it’s the kind of family I can excuse myself from and crawl into my room to work on everything.)

I should also be taking a last look on a literary essay that needs to be handed in tomorrow morning.

There’s simply loads to do: I got through to the second round in the exchange application process, and now need to apply to my target uni itself. My former summer employer has not replied to any mail I send them, and therefore I need to work on a bunch of job applications. On Monday starts a class on Post-modern Historical Novel, which will include two classes a week and three novels to read. Kay and I have enthusiastically volunteered to write a short article to a Uni magazine.

Right now it feels like I won’t survive the spring, but there is an incentive that keeps me working: if I can manage all this, if I work on it and endure the stress, I’ll get my Bachelor’s Degree by June. And believe you me, that makes me a bit giddy. A BA isn’t exactly the height of intelligence (and the proseminar has made me look at it as something that’s not exactly hard), but it is a degree and I can put that on my CV.

About six weeks to go before I have to hand in the candidate’s essay. Then it’s just a couple of exams, probably a study diary/essay or two, and, hopefully, work. Oh, and all the exchange arrangements.

But, above all, spring and summer will come, never mind what the weather is like now. (Sunny, but -15C.)

This was a couple of days ago...

This was a couple of days ago…

And I absolutely love the Finnish spring and summer.

The never-setting sun and all that.

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Musings: Middlemarch and Final Paper Thoughts

Let me tell you something. If you ever decide to read Middlemarch, take longer than a week. I just went through the book in six days, and although there’s nothing really wrong with the book I felt a strong loathing towards it on maybe four of those days. This mostly happened around 10PM when I still had fifty pages to read and couldn’t care less about the elections or railways and just wanted to be done with it and go to bed.

I must have consumed about thirty cups of tea reading this. Almost started on coffee, which I don’t like, but couldn’t be bothered in the end.

It was never my intention to work extensively on this book, but now I know for certain I won’t be writing my paper on it. Nope. Won’t happen, although I’d like the things that resonate “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists” – goes to show how the tradition of Mary Sues is a long one! But no. I have yet to read Vanity Fair, but I’m fully prepared to like it and work with it.

A very stupid although tempting idea presented itself to me the other night. It would be interesting to compare Vanity Fair and War and Peace, as they both take place during the Napoleonic Wars and concern high society. It would be awesome, but also so much work that I shudder to think about it. I’ll have to see again after reading the book, but comparing it to Northanger Abbey or Sense and Sensibility seems like a much more manageable idea.

Besides, one of the reasons I chose my beloved major is that I could read Jane Austen and claim I was studying. Whenever that is possible, I’d very much like to take the opportunity.

Onwards I go. Next up on the reading list is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I plan to manage that in four days so I can have the weekend for A) text analysis and B) myself.

I’ll see you next weekend with the Books in September post!

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