Last call for holiday cards! If you want a card from me, drop a comment on this post. (All comments are screened.) If you need my address for whatever reason, email me or comment on this post.

I owe lots of people comments, too. *sigh*

And now the random bit: I swear, my subconscious throws up the oddest things sometimes. Last night, I dreamt I was attending a seminar held in a pastel-hued cafe or fast food place. The teacher? Daniel Craig. o_O The group was big, and we were apparently tasked with analysing ragged ad posters pasted onto a brick wall outside a shabby corner shop (which I think was in New York, but I'm not sure.) I even remember some of the ads, because I stood explaining them to my study partner: one for Kool cigarettes, and a black and yellow one advertising a seminar on murder. (It made sense at the time.)

Back at the seminar, I argued with my new partner, who was a friend I haven't seen in years. At one point, our teacher (still Daniel Craig) walked up to the desk where I was sitting, said "You're clearly not making any progress, so I'll take your coffee" and took the mug I was holding. (Oddly, it was a favourite mug of mine.) He then turned and and walked away, and that was when I realized that: a) his hair was wet, like he'd just had a shower, and b) he was only wearing a pale blue evening shirt, which left his legs and a tiny sliver of his buttocks visible. My first reaction was to give him the finger, but I caught myself and calmly noted "I won't do that, because he'd just turn and catch me at it". I may have sassed at him in the dream as well.

I have no idea where that came from. Well, apart from the seminar thing, which probably had to do with the fact that I'd planned to see my thesis supervisor today and ask about the extended farce that the supervision of my work has turned into. (I went to see her, told her I wasn't getting anywhere since the advice I was getting from her was contradictory, and I think I got things cleared up a bit. I also managed to sneak in a few barbs coated in sweet phrasing, and I frankly don't care if she caught them or not.)

I also had a second dream (which means I must have woken up at some point), about being in a dark gift shop in Edinburgh, looking for a specific kind of necklace with feathers and blades (wtf), all while being a bit rushed, since I had to be on time to go see Iron Man with a bloke I know IRL and dislike intensely. I disliked him in the dream, too, but I was still rushed. I kept getting sidetracked, once by a grizzled long-haired rocker who wanted to show off a bondage swing made from thin strips of black leather decorated with glass beads, and several times by (adorable) members of staff who wanted to flirt with me. Oh, and I had to find a specific kind of tea in a particular tin, and couldn't. I suddenly noticed I was late, ran out of the store and went tearing down a steep stone staircase toward a back street that I knew was Hill Place. Never mind the fact that there are no stone steps leading down anywhere on Hill Place, unless you count the front steps of the buildings, none of which are that steep. I woke up before I'd reached the end of the stairs. No idea what that was about, either. I rarely remember my dreams (sadly), but when I do, they tend to be rather bizarre. (Not that I am complaining about the half-naked Daniel Craig, oh no.)

In other news: O NOES [ profile] yuletide and the other challenges I'm participating in. *deep breath* I can do this. I've done it before, I can do it now.
empyreus: (got to be joking)
( May. 9th, 2008 02:01 pm)
Argh, this whole day (and week) is one big Do Not Want. The deadline for the interim report (thesis) is looming like a giant big looming thing, and I'm so stuck on the whole thing that I want to email the (temporary) supervisor and ask if I can just reschedule and present the interim report in August or something.

I've had most of this week to work on it, but I seem to have made very little progress. I keep getting stuck in the theory, snarling myself into the strands until I suddenly realize either that a) I can't use it, or b) I've misunderstood it. When I'm not getting stuck in theory, my neighbours try to drive me mad by hosting what seems to be a free-form fight in the stairwell. And did I mention we have craftsmen sandblasting the house? >_< If you think it's loud when you pass the house being blasted, try being inside it.

I have until Monday, granted, but I have work tomorrow, plus friend and family obligations that I'd feel terrible about skipping and which all eat time like mad. :( All those things considered, I technically have to finish this today. Halp.

(Sekrit note in Finnish for [ profile] littlemimm and [ profile] tackerama: eli näillä näkymin tulen taas käymään lauantaina mutten voi istua iltaa. :( Helvetti että mä vihaan omaa kykenemättömyyttä. Onhan mulla tekstiä, mutta se on niin sotkuista että itkettää.)
(I owe so many people comments and replies to comments, and I owe people emails as well. *hangs head*) I'm terrible with birthdays, so of course I forgot that it was [ profile] pecos's birthday yesterday as well. Happy belated, dear!

The rest of this post is just a quick note: the grades for the thesis course were posted today, and I passed with a 4, the second highest grade. Yay. :) Now I just have to deal with a handful of other courses in the autumn and spring and the Hum. kand. degree should be in the bag. The new Finnish system is a bit odd when it comes to the degrees: though the English equivalent of the Hum. kand. degree is the B.A., it doesn't mean I have it yet, despite having written a B.A. thesis and having passed a maturity exam. Imagine my chagrin when I remembered that. Grr. The most ridiculous part of this is that I, among other things, still have to read 40 study weeks (the older unit of course credits; one sw=40 hours of work) of my minor, and my current minor -interpretation- doesn't even offer forty sw's worth of courses.

It's like I'm enrolled at the Unseen University. (It's not like I haven't suspected it before, though. The online grade system is as stable and logical as Hex, and I keep expecting "+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++" when I request a transcript of my records. And yes, the degree reform and subsequent hassle of trying to explain you're still studying according to the old system occasionally has me wanting to run around shouting "Melon melon melon".)

There was something else I was supposed to mention, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was. *sigh*
empyreus: (academia)
( Jun. 22nd, 2006 08:45 pm)
The results of the B.A. maturity exams were posted today, and I passed! *dances* Yay! I'm still waiting for the grade for the entire course (i.e. the thesis), but technically I've already passed it.

So, it would seem I have a B.A. in English now. Feels a bit weird. I first saw the result listed in the online grade system the university uses (I was killing time at work), and I was so paranoid I had to go check the paper printout on the noticeboard when I took my lunch break. Thankfully, I'm currently slaving away cleaning on campus (no indignity is too severe for a Humanities student, and hey, it's money), so the trip was short. Heh. I stood looking at the paper, but couldn't really get my head around the "passed" bit. (The maturity exam itself isn't graded, it's pass/fail.)

It's a pity Finland doesn't do the whole robe-and-hood thing. I'd love to have some sort of visible proof, really.
empyreus: (brains)
( Jun. 9th, 2006 09:42 pm)
The B.A. maturity exam is tomorrow, and I have a feeling I should be fretting about it. I'm not, though, mostly because I'm too tried. Work isn't terribly taxing, but the hours are. My shift starts at six in the morning, which means my sleeping patterns are all over the place. I'm generally so tired when I come home (around half past one) that I can barely bring myself to make coffee, and that, you'll agree, is worrying. ;) In addition to this, I have Italian classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and they run from five to a quarter past eight in the evening. As a result, I have even less of a life than before. I'm also terrible at commenting and/or keeping up with the Flist right now, and I apologize if I've missed something important.

In addition to not quite managing to be nervous, I'm also relieved that there was one more exam date before the fifteenth, as it means the academic credits count towards this academic year, not the next. (And it means I technically manage to get the B.A. before my 25th birthday, just like I'd set out to do years ago.) My seminar supervisor had requested that we write the exams before the fifteenth, as he has to correct entrance exams after that date. Fine, I thought, I'll leave him a note* and ask him to set the question for that date. I did so on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday afternoon, the note and exam envelope*2 were still in his in tray. At that point, I got so annoyed that I sought out the assistant and asked her to call him and get him to come fetch the envelope before things got ugly. I refrained from saying that I'd have the fucker wear his guts for garters if he didn't, though.
I told her to call me or send me a message when he picked up the envelope, and she did, so I didn't have to beat the supervisor up. Lord knows I wanted to, though. All he needed to do was set one (!) question and have it translated*3 at the department of Nordic languages. That's it. That and give the envelope to the person responsible for coordinating the exams. Honestly. And he calls us lazy. *eyeroll*

Am I permitted to whine a bit more? Good. My throat feels odd and a bit scratchy, as though I've caught a cold. I made ginger tea to soothe the scratchiness, but I think I may have gone a bit overboard with the ginger, because my mouth burns.

Today wasn't completely horrible, though: I got the minutes from the workshop where I acted as interpreter, and it felt both strange and a bit exhilarating to see "Interpreter" next to my name in the list of participants. Yes, I'm a bit sad like that. ;)

Oh, and utterly randomly: I revamped the journal over a week ago, but forgot to post about it. Eh. I quite like the new look, even if it meant giving up Minas Tirith as a header image. (And you don't want to know how much time I spent on tinkering with the Latin.)

*He is infamous for refusing to communicate via email, for missing or avoiding his own office hour and for generally being a bit of a stubborn bastard. (You've seen me rant about it before.) Furthermore, he actually requested that I leave a note in his in tray about the exam. Wtf? Which century is this?

*2 Part of the process. Some exams are sc. "envelope exams", meaning the student marks a special envelope with course details and their own name and student details when registering for the exam, then hands in the envelope to the examiner. I have no clue as to why it's done that way. Probably because they need to keep them separate from other random exam papers.

*3 Students write the maturity exam in their mother tongue. Technically, mine is Finnish, but I grew up bilingual and attended Swedish schools for the first twelve years, so the supervisor gave me a choice. I chose Swedish, as I feel it's my stronger language when it comes to academic texts. My supervisor is British, hence the need for translation.

([ profile] caras_galadhon, I seem to have taken a liking to your footnote system. I hope that's okay with you. :))
empyreus: (squee)
( Jun. 5th, 2006 03:10 pm)
(I wish I had the "Yay ohmygod" icon with the flailing Kermit. It describes my mood perfectly. *g*)

I passed the cursed grammar* exam, which means I can go ahead with the maturity exam without any technicalities getting in the way. *dances*

(*Contrastive grammar. I'd been trying to pass it at least three times, and I needed to pass it with a three (out of five) to be able to write the maturity exam. Actually, having passed said grammar exam with a three was one of the requirements for the B.A. thesis course, but la la, I managed to take the course anyway. Look, if the assistant approves it, then who am I to complain?)

And yay #2: thanks for the pretty card, [ profile] annmarwalk!
The presentation this afternoon went well, even better than expected, and contrary to my earlier fears, my thesis wasn't ripped apart. I had a few embarrassing typographical errors (one missing end quote, a misplaced full stop and an errant 'the'), but nothing major.

The supervisor pointed out that there were a few points that could have been discussed in more detail (both for clarity and support), and that he would have wanted more quotes from one of the books, but apart from that, he was satisfied. According to him, the work was solid and interesting, and written in a clear and competent style.

*breathes huge sigh of relief* Now I just need to decide when to write the maturity exam.

Back to trying to make sense of lecture notes now. I have a Mediaspeak exam tomorrow, plus another exam (phonetics) on Saturday, and I need to study. No rest for the wicked, it seems.

EtA: Oh, and the supervisor apologized for "the mix-up last week". I felt like pointing out that calling it a "mix-up" was an understatement, but I refrained from it. No use in pissing him off now.
Right. The thesis presentation is in an hour and I'm so nervous I want to vomit. I keep telling myself it's just a presentation for about ten people, but it's not working.

Oh god.
empyreus: (pissed off)
( May. 11th, 2006 12:51 pm)
Dear seminar supervisor,
how fucking difficult can it be to send me an email or stop me in the hallway to inform me that you need a paper copy of the thesis? I sent you a goddamned e-mail asking you if you had been able to access the uploaded thesis, and I got no reply. Hence I assumed everything was all right. This was obviously a mistake, and I should have learned from earlier attempts at communicating with you via e-mail. Sending you anything in electronic form is tantamount to tossing breadcrumbs into a black hole.

Why the flying fuck didn't you inform me in any way that you had not been able to read my thesis? You had a week in which to do so, and you cannot be so technologically backwards that you don't know how to use e-mail. Hell, I would have accepted any other form of communication, be it smoke signals, burning arrows, pigeons or messengers.

As a result of your asshattery, I've been forced to postpone the presentation by a week, which means one more week of fretting. This does not amuse me in the least.

I wanted to tell you to take the paper copy, set it on fire and then shove it up your arse, but I refrained. I may not be as polite the next time you screw something up and fail to tell me.

Yours seethingly,
empyreus: (academia)
( May. 10th, 2006 11:41 pm)
I hate being this nervous. I'll be presenting my B.A. thesis tomorrow, and I'm all nerves.

I'm afraid my supervisor will say "You're not expecting me to grade this twaddle, are you?" or that the other members of the group will rip the work to shreds. Of course I know that's unlikely, but it's not helping. I'm not 100% satisfied with the text, but on the other hand I don't hate it as much as I did when I handed it in, and my opponent told me she found it fluent and pleasant to read. That has to count for something, right? I also know that I can answer questions about the work and provide background info should someone need it, so all this nervosity is a bit irrational.

Of course there's more to the process than just presenting the thesis. I still have to write a sc. "maturity exam" (I hate that term, it makes it sound like you have to prove you can tie your own shoelaces or spell your own name) and pass it. However, I think that'll be a hell of a lot easier to handle than this.

I can do this. I know my subject, I know the books, and I know I'll look back on it and laugh at how tense I was.

All the same, keep your fingers crossed for me. Any good vibes are much appreciated. :)
empyreus: (interpreting)
( May. 5th, 2006 05:13 pm)
Dear B.A. thesis,
consider yourself pwned.


(Okay, so I'm not all that satisfied with it, but for fuck's sake, I just don't have the energy to tinker with it anymore. It's almost late as it is. And yes, I did tell my poor technologically challenged supervisor that he'd get a printed copy, but the printer in this computer lab is b0rked and most of campus is locked by now, so he'll have to download it from the YahooGroup that was set up for the course, just like everyone else in the group.
*sigh* Why do I always develop an instant violent dislike of my academic assignments three seconds after I've handed them in? Argh. Now I'm convinced the thesis is so flawed people won't know whether to laugh or to cry, and that I'll get bitched at by the supervisor for not having enough material on the main aspect.)

Dear interpretation edurance test,
consider yourself pwned as well.

More love,

The interpretation test was actually fun, once you got over the fact that yes Virginia, there are non-teacher people out there listening to your interpretation, and they're taking notes. The nicest part was when the n00b students (i.e. the ones who are just starting their interpretation studies), were brought upstairs during the break to see the interpretation booths. Apparently some of them had asked to see me specifically (they were told our names when they were handed the headsets, as there were two channels active: two fellow students shared a booth and were on channel A; I was alone in another booth, and on channel B), which weirded me out slightly. It didn't get better when they enthused "We really liked listening to your voice, it was so nice. You're very good at this.". Err. Okay.

There was one point at which I was convinced I was making a mess of the interpreting, though. The consoles have switches for the microphone, and as I leaned over to flick the switch (it was after the break, and I'd been joined by another interpreter), the entire bloody switch popped loose. I stared at it in disbelief for a second before I was overcome by a violent fit of giggling. I was literally crying with laughter, hunched over the desk, trying desperately not to howl. I could hear laughter in the other interpreter's voice as she quickly went on talking (I was intending to take over when it happened) and at the next slight pause in the presentation, she turned off her own microphone and hissed "What the fuck just happened?". I was laughing so hard I couldn't answer, and I only waved the loose switch. I tried to calm down, but I was still sniggering on and off when the next speaker came on.

The funniest bit? The same thing happened to the people in the other booth. No, really. We were laughing like idiots when the test was over and we were having coffee. What are the odds?

Right, off home now. The Latin exam is tomorrow, and I need to memorize a few verbs.
I'm not really here, I'm frantically writing the last of my (so-so) B.A. thesis so I can send my opponent a version of it a few days before the rest get it. I haven't been to see the supervisor (eek), but I think I can get away with it. Look, he knows what I'm writing about and he knows I can write proper academic English. Isn't that enough?

The rest of this week is one long stretch of work, work and more work. Tomorrow, I have Danish at eight in the morning, then I have to meet with a fellow interpreting student to discuss a project (amount of material surveyed: nada), plus I have to submit an analysis of an article.
Thursday: I need to hand in the final version of the B.A. *fretfretpanic*
Friday: four hours of interpreting at a mock conference which will double as an endurance test. Apparently, it will be attended by at least two extra groups of people, which means the listening audience will be at least twice as big as the intended one. Oh well, if I can handle interpreting consecutively and alone for three hours in front of forty-odd people, I can handle four hours of interpreting simultaneously from a booth with a partner and having the same amount or more listen in. At least they're not looking directly at us, as we're way up high and behind them. (The auditorium is fairly large, and the interpreting booths are up near the ceiling at the back.)
Saturday: Latin exam. It's a retake of the one I attended a few weeks ago, and I'm fairly confident I'll be able to improve my grade this time around.

I had to email one of the teachers and ask for (yet another) extension of a deadline, but I don't feel all that guilty over it. I'd originally asked for a slight extension because of schedule clashes, but since then, I've had to shuffle dates like mad because of lecture changes which led to even more clashes. Aiee.

I'll be beating my head against the keyboard if anyone needs me.

[Super-secret Finnish message for [ profile] littlemimm: anteeksi etten ollut eilen/tänään AIMissa. Minulla on aivan liikaa tekemistä. :/ No, onneksi kandi on jotenkuten kasassa, kunhan tajuaisin miten kytkeä argumentit yhteen tunkematta mukaan kaikenlaista toistoa ja kehäpäätelmää.]
A-ha! I knew my pseudo-guerilla tactics would pay off. My seminar supervisor (see previous post for details) approached me as I was dashing through the English Dept. on my way to the third floor computer lab. "You'd left me a note," he said, sounding more amused than anything, so I hastened to tell him that yes, I'd left a note as opposed to an email. He proceeded to claim that he did indeed read his email (pull the other one, sir, it's got bells on it) and that his absence wasn't due to him trying to avoid people. M-hm. Of course. (For those of you who haven't seen/heard me talk about said teacher: he's a misanthrope and likes to bitch and moan about how horrible his students are, but deep down, he's fantastic. He may be caustic, but he's rarely truly mean, and he has a wicked sense of humour.) Long story short, I agreed to come see him about my seminar this Friday. About damn time, if you ask me. Now all I have to do is figure out a few different angles on the far-too-broad subject (levels of obscenity in contemporary lit) I've thought about writing on, and I should be set. *wibble* I don't want to be stuck with a dull subject and have to resort to this method of writing.

Now that the thesis bit seems (and I use the word loosely) to be clearing up, I'll have more time to fret over seminar problem number two: I don't know who my opponent is. Yes, we were all assigned opponents at the beginning of the course a month and a half ago, but it transpired that my assigned opponent will be in Ireland all of next year, hence she can't be present when I'm due to present the work in January. Feck. Why does this always happen to me? *clutches Minerva's feet* Is there something about me that pisses off the academic part of the pantheon?

Wah. Will go to bed now. The interpretation lectures have been shifted to 8.30* on Thursday mornings, and I need a good night's sleep to be able to cope with three hours of interpreting speeches on the politics of relief efforts first thing in the morning.

* This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the sun rises at about 8.40 a.m. these days. And it sets around four p.m., so we have less than seven and a half hours of daylight.

New icon again.

Points to anyone who figures out where the subject line is from. ;)


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