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Chronicles of a Future Medievalist [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.

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(no subject) [Dec. 11th, 2006|07:59 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
We finally got back to Cambridge, and I finally got the photocopiers working (it's nice to know that photocopiers being persnickety is a worldwide problem), so I've got the last few documents I need for the dissertation.

I've also finally gotten all my letters of recommendation sorted -- at least, I think I have, damn that waiver form -- and that's the last headache I was really facing.

I'm mentally exhausted. Still don't feel stressed, but I think I must be, because I haven't had an appetite for weeks. How sad is it that I'm actually looking forward to that 8-hour plane ride, because it means not having anything to do for those 8 hours?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I've got too much to do, and I know, I know, I'll have about 5 billion more things to do when I'm actually in graduate school. I'm just ready for a break. I'm allowed to look forward to it!

Everything will be done by the time I get to New York. End of story.

Plenty of time. I hope.
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(no subject) [Dec. 8th, 2006|05:20 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
All the online applications for US schools are filled out, and, bar Yale (where I have to upload my writing sample, which isn't quite ready yet), sent. So it's just a matter, when I'm in America, of getting transcripts and recommendation letters and that sort of thing together to send. I've already e-mailed my generic SOP, my CV, and my dissertation to myself, so they'll be there.

And yet, of course, I still don't feel like I'm doing enough.

Why aren't the libraries at Cambridge open on Sundays?
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(no subject) [Dec. 7th, 2006|04:27 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
Right, well, except for the conclusion -- I'll tackle that later -- and a couple of references I need to put in when I get my hands on them, the dissertation is FINISHED!

Currently just over 7800 words, 24 pages long, and I'm floating somewhere between trepidation and elation.

Think I deserve to go to the city to celebrate? Yeah, I think so... buy myself some books, maybe. Because hot DAMN (to revert to a Southernism), I'm throooooooooough...! (*Ahem*. For the most part. But let me revel in it!)

Ahhhh...
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(no subject) [Dec. 6th, 2006|09:59 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
[Current Mood |pessimisticpessimistic]

Why is everyone else so much better prepared for grad school than me?

Why does it seem like every other person who wants to do medieval history has not only done 6 years of Latin, they've also gotten French, German, Spanish, and probably Old English in at some point during their undergraduate years? The only thing that's offered to history undergraduates here on their regular course is Latin, and that's for one term. Yes, it covers all the basics, and I got a lot more out of that than I did out of a year of Latin earlier, but it looks rather weak on a transcript. We can take another language, but only in the second year (if we want credit), and even then only one.

I can read French. I can read Latin okay, but I need a dictionary to really get the meaning.

I feel very ill-prepared tonight. I'm in a pessimistic, "well, I guess I won't be surprised when they turn me down" kind of mood.

I haven't had as much time as I'd like this term to spend working on my Latin and French, much less trying to get to grips with German. I still want to in the spring, and I think I'll have a lot more time then, but... everybody is still better prepared than me.

Oh, well. I guess I will get a chance to run away to New York for a year.
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(no subject) [Dec. 5th, 2006|10:18 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
Applications update!

Completed and sent (just the application, not the supplementary materials):
Cambridge

Completed, but not sent
Yale
Toronto
Fordham
Notre Dame

Incomplete:
Western Michigan
Leeds

By Sunday, they should all be complete, I'll just need to print them out so I've got copies, then I'll gather all the other crap together (I do have it sorted into folders, I'm at least that organised!) and hope my suitcase doesn't get dumped somewhere over the Atlantic.

Now, how am I supposed to remember what day -- not month, day -- I started at a particular university 4 years ago!?

Ann Williams came to talk to us today in The Norman Conquest. That was pretty cool, even if the talk she gave was way over my head. Interesting, but it was on evidence of pre-Conquest England in Domesday Book, which is something I'd never given much thought to, so when she immediately launched into a bunch of names and places, I was pretty quickly lost. I did ask her her opinion of feudalism in pre-Conquest England and Normandy -- I just couldn't resist. I fully deserved the collective groan I received for that.

I think I've been spending too much time on the computer the last few days. I'm getting a monster of a headache. So I'll go do something else for awhile. (Tuesday's still my evening off.)
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(no subject) [Dec. 2nd, 2006|03:31 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
HALFWAY!

Well, about 4,000 words. But 8,000 words will give me 1,000 extra to work in more quotes (when I go back to Cambridge to get them) and to throw in a really good conclusion. The hardest part is definitely over -- this is the middle, breezing through the straight facts bit.

Going pretty well... I'm hoping to have it completely written by the end of next week (since I won't have much time Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday to work on it, or I'd finish it then). That gives me a week to polish to send it off with my applications.

Now I'm just sitting back and waiting for the inevitable computer crash...

Oh, and when I put in quotes in Latin, I'm just paraphrasing the meaning, rather than translating word-for-word. That's acceptable, right? (I'm so paranoid about this stuff...)
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(no subject) [Dec. 1st, 2006|05:14 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
We had to take the rat to the vet today, so I only got about 1000 words written today, but still -- it's getting there. And it's already to the 7-page mark, so those applications that want 15-20 pages I should be ready for by the end of the weekend, if all goes well. I'll obviously have to do some tweaking to get it resembling a full essay -- I'll tack on a conclusion. I might just make it something that focuses solely on Abelard before the Paraclete. I haven't really decided yet. (Or, rather, I'm choosing not to think about it because it's going to be a bitch to try to get it to 15-20 pages and still resemble something complete, but I don't have any other essays that are quite long enough. Urgh.)

Word desperately wants to auto-correct my Latin, but we've had a little talk, and I think we've come to an understanding. Of sorts. For the time being.
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(no subject) [Nov. 26th, 2006|02:12 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
Notre Dame sent information on their graduate programs in history based on my GRE scores.

This is completely separate from my contact with them. This is part of the little head-hunting that grad schools do. (I've also heard from Nebraska and South Carolina.)

I know it will have little effect on my application, but it did make me feel pretty good. One of my top three choices (Cambridge, Toronto, Notre Dame) is after me in return? Can't be a bad thing...
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(no subject) [Nov. 26th, 2006|12:32 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
I've finished my applications for Yale and Toronto. Simple enough, although Yale's financial information section was an absolute nightmare. (Why am I applying to Yale? No idea...) Toronto's application was blessedly trouble-free and straightforward. If the university is half as efficient as their application, I could be a very happy student there.

But I know how likely that is. I've been in enough universities in my time to know bureaucracy wins out over efficiency every time.

I'm trying to do one application per day while I'm working on my dissertation. Then I'll use December to gather everything together and start sending things off in January. (Except Yale... again, Yale causes problems. That's due in January 2. So I'll have to try to get that done in America. And I have yet to build up the courage to ask my third recommender for LORs, because I haven't been his student for four years now, and I feel bad asking him. But I've really only had two professors here who are appropriate to write recs for me, and nobody at Ole Miss knew who I was [except Valentina, but that's not really a good source of a recommendation for studying 12th century history].)

Three done, that feels pretty good. Just five more to go (since I finished Cambridge already... and St. John's isn't any hurry -- I probably won't bother to do that until early next year... so four more to go). Kalamazoo, Notre Dame (*gulp*), Leeds, Fordham.

I just want this to be over. The suspense won't be as bad as trying to figure out what the hell they want me to put in random text box number 64381043.

The weird thing is, I hear all these people talking about how hard it is for them to fill out their applications, how much they stress out over it. I don't do that. Is that strange? I just fill out the information as best I can and send them off. If it's not what they want, then it's not what they want, and I try again next year. Is it really so difficult to write a statement of purpose? I know what I want to do, and that's what I tell them. It's worked so far -- I've only been turned down by one university in my time, and that was NYU, which I didn't expect to get into anyway, because there was nothing there that I really wanted to study; I was 18 and thought it might be nice to live in New York, so not really a strong foundation there. (Then again, if I don't get into any schools this year, my plan is to go live in New York for awhile... so I guess some things never change. I just can't shake Stephen McCauley's idea that everyone lives in New York at some point in their lives.)
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(no subject) [Nov. 25th, 2006|03:55 pm]
Discipula sum, literata ero... Ergo studere ibo.
Revised bibliographyCollapse )
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