Wednesday, May 13, 2009

News/ No News

Happy sigh. It's amazing the sheer weight that an assignment can put on your shoulders when you let it hang over you and torture yourself about it, as I am wont to do, but it's done (this being the paper from Term 1 that I got an 8-week extension on and handed in on Friday. We're almost done Term 2). I'm normally very careful not to base my sense of academic worth on the praise of others (I'm working hard, and have been for awhile, at being able to judge the quality of my own work; it's too easy to become an approbation-junkie), but at this point in the year, when we're at the end of the marathon and our energy levels are low, praise can be a great pick-me-up. Two A+ marks and an "if you decide that you don't want to write your dissertation on what you think you want to write it about, you should think about coming and working in my area" (from one of my profs) feel great, and I'm using those grades as a talisman to get myself through my final two assignments of the term with less torture than usual. Honestly, I should be tried for hate crimes, because I put myself through hell much too frequently. Oh, well. I mostly feel sorry for the hubby, who has to put up with it. He's better than I am at making me stop, relax, and reassess, though, which I'm grateful for. Sushi dates are good for that.

So in the world of school news, I've got 8 pages of one paper and 12-15 pages (i.e. 100%) of another to complete by May 25 and June 3 respectively, plus my French final exam on May 19, and 42 final essays to grade by May 31--and then the term is done. Hallelujah! And in between now and my first deadline, I'm spending two weekends out of town: one in Grand Bend, camping with the hubby, Jen & Mike, and the second at Shelagh & Lynda's for a girl's weekend with mom, my sister and the aunts. I'm much looking forward to doing some work on the beach/screened-in porch and pretending that I'm not really working at all. It is going to be glorious. Camping on May 2-4 weekend is always a gamble (will we freeze to death? will it pour rain? will we me massacred by blackflies?) but I love both camping and The Pinery so much that I'm willing to take the chance. We booked the trip in January, so I've been looking forward to it for ages.

I also just got a CFP (call for papers) for a conference in Bath that I have the perfect paper for, so I'm going to submit an abstract and see what happens. I'm all for a school-funded trip to England, if I get accepted (and the hubby is adorably excited to show me where he lived when he did an exchange to England in university). We might have to spend some time in Ireland as well, as I've been dying to get there and I might as well if I'm already nearby, and of course I'll have to go see my cousins and great-aunt, who live in Northampton, Brighton, and Peterborough. I'll find out mid-June if my paper has been accepted, so I'll keep you posted. And if you've got any ideas for cheap flights from Toronto/Hamilton/Buffalo to London, let me know!

In the world of no news, still nothing on the house situation. At this point, it is very likely that we will be buying a house that's already in the hubby's family (which I LOVE and of which I have already mentally renovated the kitchen and picked out furniture), but we have to wait for everything to get sorted out on that side before we can buy it (as, of course, the people who live there need to buy a new house of their own!) So, we wait. But we've got everything else--mortgage, lawyer, inspector, downpayment--sorted out, so we're in a good spot. I'm actually really looking forward to the packing process, as I enjoy decluttering and purging, and the apartment could use a good go-through to donate things that we don't need/aren't using. I only want to move the things we're really going to find useful & beautiful, because boxes are heavy and moving is expensive! It looks like my sister will also be moving about the same time that we may be (if all goes well), so she'll be getting all of our old kitchen things and we can begin to make us of the lovely wedding gifts that are currently stashed in my parents' spare bedroom. I have to reassure my gifts that they haven't been abandoned from time to time; my pretty new kettle does tend to look at me reproachfully every time I'm there.

Today is going to be spent working on a paper about Marianne Moore, whose poetry I love (as much as I appreciate my prof's suggestion that I switch from modern to contemporary and work on Susan Howe, I love modern poetry too much to give it up as a research focus), and on a paper about autobiographical prison writing as critique of the western penal system (using writing by Antonio Gramsci, Emma Goldman, and Angela Davis, all of whom were imprisoned for their political activities). They're both topics I find really interesting (the first more than the second), and I've got some good momentum going after finishing my term paper, so off to the library I go!