Tag Archives Study

Bad Writing Day

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I had one of those days where you write and write and write, and at the end of it all you’re left with words that are total rubbish. DELETE DELETE DELETE!

It seems to be taking me a long time to get my head around Bentham and utilitarianism, which is what I (stupidly) chose to write an essay on. Part of my problem is access to BOOKS, especially old books published in the 1800s. I’ve got a PDF chapter someone uploaded to a dodgy site, and the Kindle version of one entire text, but yeah, that’s not much good for citation purposes.

What about POTUS and Ms Merkel. What was going on with that non-handshake? She seemed to be putting a lot of effort into projecting positive body language when they were sitting together, but I’m thinking that the meeting didn’t go so well! And his proposed budget cuts? I can’t figure out why he hasn’t been rolled yet. He’s just so…

The group project at uni starts this week. I’ve lined up a couple of blokes who seem to be ok – not ditherers or chatterers – and I hope things go alright. There’s always the possibility that other people will want to join our group, but I hope not. There’s a lot of talk amongst the other students about wanting to “help” people and “heal” the world, and I’m just over here rolling my eyeballs so hard they’re in danger of falling right out of my head. Also, it’s a bit weird, but we’ve got undergrad and masters students in the same seminars, because I guess it’s easier and cheaper for the university, but it makes for “interesting” times due to the different levels of knowledge in the room. I was banging on about an aspect of postcolonial theory the other day and got some blank looks. I don’t know. It seems like a recipe for dumbing down things, if you ask me.

I’ve stopped posting my “best” ideas to the (compulsory) discussion boards, because I found that some of the others don’t bother to come up with ideas of their own. Can I just say again how much I detest this whole “collegiate” vibe? ‘

Mr V is having an MRI this week. So, yeah, the aftermath might be a *fun time*.

I haven’t been reading anything good lately. I’m a bit sick of reading human rights theory, to be honest. I think we’re leaving the early theorists behind and moving forward to post WW II next week, so that will be a welcome change. I still have to write an essay on Bentham, though. Did you know that he wanted to be put on display after he died? His head was preserved, but it all went a bit wrong, so now a wax head sits on his dressed skeleton and “he” hangs out at UCL . Yup. I kind of like Bentham, because he was an animal rights advocate and a total fruitloop. I’m learning more about him than I ever wanted to know, really.

Ok. I’d better go and eat something and try to let my brain wind down before I go to bed. Take care, and send me good writing vibes if you have some to spare. 🙂

 

Here We Go, Again.

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The first semester of 2017 started last Monday, so I’m getting back into the swing of study + life in general. My first impression of the new course is that there are a couple of rather impressive lecturers and tutors, and things seem reasonably well-organised and interesting enough. Horror of horrors, though, one of the first assessments is a TEAM task! We have to choose one of six topics, divide ourselves into groups of 4-5 people, and work TOGETHER on a project. This is my idea of total hell, but I guess I’ll have to deal with it. It would be good if I could slap an INTJ sticker on my forehead, so that the extraverts and chatterers could just avoid me and save us both the trouble.

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For a bit of light relief, I’ve started reading Danielewski’s The Familiar. I’ve been buying each volume as soon as it was released, and I started reading volume one a while ago but got distracted. I started re-reading it from the beginning and I’m really liking it so far. I’m being driven slightly crazy by trying to figure out what the marks in the centre margins represent – a timeline, a code, an image? At this stage, I think that maybe it’s some sort of timeline or songline, but who knows. Perhaps I’ll have to wait for volume 26 for all to be revealed!

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Things in the USA seem to be lurching towards *something*, but who knows what? This level of dysfunction and craziness can’t be allowed to continue, can it? I still can’t believe that anyone voted for Trump. He just seems so unhinged, and his enablers, manipulators and minions are terrifying. I hope that the US constitution is robust enough to thwart them, if not haul them into line before too long.

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I don’t know how often I’ll get around to blogging in the coming weeks and months. I have a lot of course related reading to do, and essays to write, which will take up most of my free time. And then there’s the thesis lurking in the background, but I’m not thinking about that yet. Sometimes, I wonder why I do this to myself, when I could be reading for pleasure and napping instead. I guess it’s got a lot to do with proving to myself that I can. The thought that “young me” would one day be doing this is so outlandish, and sometimes I wonder how I got here at all. This is not the life I was meant to have, and that is exactly my point. We don’t have to live the script written for us by our parents and our society, and I guess I’m still proving that to myself.

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.