Year’s End = Decision Time

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It comes around so quickly, this annual need to make decisions about what I’m going to do in the coming year. The 2017 academic year begins in March, and I need to make a decision about whether I shall continue with the MA in history, not study at all, or apply to switch to a Master in Human Rights. I’m not feeling the joy with my current course. It’s a very familiar feeling and sometimes I think that I’m just totally over the whole university thing, yes, really and truly over it this time. Maybe my days as a perennial student are finally done.

In the past number of years I’ve switched from doing a Master in Psychoanalytic Studies (I bailed out 3/4 of the way through because if I had to read one more of Freud’s whacked-out theories I would have died from apolexy. The dude was snorting a ton of cocaine and he was off his tree a lot of the time) to three different postgrad lit studies or English courses (I loathed those courses because I’d been there and done that in my lit studies honours year) to philosophy (I loathed that course because it was all DWM philosophers), to history (I loathe this course because the units available to me are mostly Australian history, which bores me to tears, really). Ah, the annual quandary. I’m attracted to the issues surrounding human rights, but yeah, a whole postgrad course on the subject might reveal itself to be a bit, hmmm, loathsome! I don’t know. I wish I could make decisions and not second-guess myself and experience massive buyer’s remorse. AND, the tuition fees are quite steep these days, and studying tends to ramp up my anxiety, and sometimes I think I’d like to stop being so hard on myself all the time.

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Speaking of buyer’s remorse, I bought the Delicious Library 3 book catalogue app the other day, and am regretting spending $60 on it. I had the bright idea of replacing Booxter, which I’ve been using for years to keep a (somewhat haphazard) record of the embarrassment of books lurking throughout our house. It’s an ok app, but it’s pretty old and the UI is kind of last decade, really. It’s basically a database with tiny book cover images, and I wanted something more, something with more bling, I suppose. Delicious Library is quite nice to look it, but it’s pretty much just a conduit to the Amazon website, much like a personal version of GoodReads without reviews, but complete with recommendations based on books in your collection, if you care to click on the recommendations pane. However, DL3 quite often recommends books already in my collection, so it’s more annoying than helpful or useful. There isn’t any way to disable that feature, unfortunately. In fact, there are no preferences in the app at all: what you see is what you’re stuck with. I did download the trial version and have a play with it before I bought the full version, but I wasn’t paying attention, obviously, and hit the BUY button before I’d really thought it through.

I tried importing my Booxter database, and the titles and authors showed up alright, but then I needed to download each individual item’s details and cover art from Amazon using the ‘refresh’ feature, and who has the time or patience to do that? Book covers do look pretty on the pretend shelves, though, and if you’re a visual person like me, that is much more enticing than looking at Booxter’s drab interface. So, I think that beginning in 2017, I’m going to use DL3 to display lists/shelves of books I want to read, acquire, have read, etc. That might work for me. Otherwise, I guess Delicious Library will be consigned to the ether, along with all the other crap apps I’ve forked out for over the years.

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I can’t even begin to articulate my rage about how various layers of Australian government has treated/is treating Indigenous children in the (alleged) juvenile justice system. Yesterday, Dylan Voller gave his testimony before the royal commission into youth detention and child protection in the Northern Territory. He has been failed by so many people, and by a system that treated him in the most appalling manner.

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And, in a completely different vein, I have to say that the reading slump I’ve been in for the longest time shows no sign of going anywhere. I think I’m too preoccupied with Trumpism and the ghastly people he’s selecting for key posts and the Russian espionage angle and the fact that it’s all even happening. The whole situation is bizarre and surreal and too weird for words.

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2 Responses
  • Caroline
    December 13, 2016

    I’m in a reading/writing slump as well. The news are so ghastly all the time and I’m afraid of the upcoming elections in France. I tried to arrange voting from Switzerland but since my passport expired it’s not doable. Grrr. Not that my one little vote would make a difference but it would make a diference for me. I’m taken aback that one candiate is far right and the other one far – far right.
    I’m happy once more for my decision not to have children. I see the reactions in my writer’s group. Especially US mothers with girls freak out. Many can’t sleep anymore. I still can’t understand anyone who voted for he who shall rest unnamed. There are so many reasons why he’s an awful person – it shouldn’t even have been possible.

    • Violet
      December 14, 2016

      So many bad things have happened this year. :/ I think a lot of us are totally bewildered by the nastiness of this lurch to the far-right. In Australia, I see a lot of people arguing for “tolerance” of people’s right-wing opinions, and saying we should try to “understand” how they feel, but I don’t care about their opinions. They seem to be so fearful and self-interested, and if you ask me, their ignorance and stupidity needs to be argued against. 🙂

      The elections in France will be a real turning point, I think. I can understand that people are scared and fed up with the way things are, but right-wing politicians don’t have a magic solution. It must be awful to watch what’s happening and not be able to have your vote.

      I think I’m a bit less emotionally invested in what’s going on in the world because I don’t have children. If I did, I would be terrified for their future. Mostly, I feel a mixture of anger and sadness. I feel angry with people in the media for giving RWNJs a platform to spread their hate. If the media were doing their job and BEING the fourth estate, they’d be standing against far-right conservatism, fascists, and haters instead of giving them so much uncritical coverage.

      It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by all the bad news. Take care of yourself, Caroline.

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