beboots: (aang says yay)
2011-04-14 09:44 am

Videos from the set of The Hobbit: EXCITE

 GUYS GUYS GUYS CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO: Peter Jackson Posts First Video from the Set of The Hobbit. It's ten minutes long... and I was smiling and and full of glee for that entire ten minutes. My face hurts I'm so happy. \o/

I mean, we've all been hearing rumours about the filming of The Hobbit, ever since Return of the King finally came out on DVD, you know? And I felt that we'd kind of been strung along, will they or won't they, and I know I'd heard that they were finally moving forward, but I happened to stumble across someone linking this in their twitter feed a little while ago and it just makes me so, SO happy. 

I read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings when I was like ten. I was told I had to read the latter before dad would take me to see the Fellowship of the Ring. I did. I didn't understand all of it at that age (for the first three chapters or so I thought that "Merry" was "Mary" - a girl - and was disappointed when I found out s/he wasn't), but it still remains one of my favourite book series ever. 

I have vague memories of my nine-year-old self reading The Hobbit to my younger brother in bed. It's an amazing story that I think will never grow old. 
 
I'm definitely going to reread the ENTIRE series this summer, post haste, as soon as I finish exams. Perhaps I will even be doing so in Spain, if I can find a nice, small and compact paperback version (likely at a secondhand bookstore).

I'm also SUPER happy that Martin Freeman is going to be playing Bilbo Baggins. I think he will be absolutely perfect in the role, especially as he will be continually played off of the dwarves. Check out this video to see why he has the perfect facial expression for dealing with recalcitrant dwarves. 
 
 
I suspect Martin Freeman will also have had plenty of practice as an actor dealing with other actors being eccentric to his practicality, as seen in the BBC's Sherlock, which is ALSO amazing. 
 
Anyway, in conclusion... SUPER EXCITED, GUYS. You can bet I'm going to be waiting for these video blogs religiously. The Hobbit...! <3 <3 <3
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-04-13 04:50 pm

Finished classes! Also, Acadian French is AMAZING


 So... it looks like I've had my last class of my undergraduate career! \o/ DONE. 

Well, not entirely. I still have to hand in one more paper (Women's Studies, due Friday), finish a take home exam handed out today, and write one last, final sit down exam a week from today... but I'm getting there! I'm nearly finished! :D It's all very exciting!

Brief rundown on Acadian history and the Chiaq dialect for those not in the know )
 
They also employ a LOT of English vocabulary and expressions. BUT this is NOT what's called "Franglais" or "Frenglish": it is a distinct dialect that has its own rules..javascript:void(0);. which admittedly change depending on where you come from in the Maritimes, but they're there nonetheless. You can't just make this stuff up. 
 
But oh my goodness it's entertaining to hear them speak. See this AMAZING parody(?) dub of a clip from Toy Story in Acadian French. Don't worry, even if you don't speak French, you'll find it funny. Listen closely. 
 
HISTOIRE DE TOY
 

 
Some awesome lines:
"Walt Disney Pictures est bain bain proud de vous presentez le longmetrage(?) Acadien... Histoire de Toy!"
 
"Whoa whoa whoa, le Dog, touches pas mon ray-gun, tu peux hurtez ton self!"
 
"Duh, ce n'est pas un ray-gun, god, c'est just un flashing light!"

"Okay, stop it now, on est tout vraiment impressed par le nouveau toy d'Andy-"
"Toy?!"
"J-O-U-E-T: TOY." 
(I love that it plays with this - P.S.: "jouet" is French for "Toy".)
 
 
"Vers l'infinie... AND BEYOND!" 
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-04-10 01:34 pm

Louis Riel and poetry

The one person that almost everyone remembers from Western Canadian or Métis history - if they remember anyone at all - is Louis Riel. For more information about him, see this awesome Canadian Encyclopedia Online article. For the purposes of this post, all you have to know is that he was a francophone Métis political and religious leader involved in two rebellions in 1869 and 1885. He spent a lot of the time in between those rebellions in exile in the United States.

He also wrote a lot of letters... and a lot of poetry. 

Today, while finishing up a few papers, one of which is on the Métis interpreters and the Numbered Treaties of the 1870s, I ran across a few of his French-language poems in the appendices of a book called The Free People - Li Gens Libres: A History of the Métis Community of Batoche, Saskatchewan by Diane P. Payment. And this poetry is INTENSE. 
 
Caveat: the author stated that this poem is attributed to Riel, but not for sure. Either way, it's intense.
 
Scroll down for a rough English translation by me, without any effort at making it rhyme. It has more rhythm in French.
 
C'est au champ de bataille, 
J'ai fait crier mes douleurs,
Où tant qu'un doute se passe, 
Ça fait frémir les coeurs.
 
Or je r'çois-t-une lettre
De ma chère maman
J'avais ni plum' ni encre
Pour pouvoir lui écrire.

Or je pris mon canif,
Je le trempai dans mon sang
Pour écrir' une lettre
À ma chère maman.
Quand ell' r'creva cett' lettre
Tout écrit' de sang
Ses yeux baignant de larmes,
Son coeur s'allant mourant.

S'y jette à genoux par terre,
En appelant ses enfants:
Priez pour votr' p'tit frère
Qui est au régiment
Mourir, c'est pour mourir,
Chacun meurt à son tour;
J'aim' mieux mourir en brave,
Faut tous mourir un jour.
 
 
Really, REALLY rough English translation. It's kind of dramatically gory. )
 
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-04-07 06:48 pm

♪ Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows! ♪

 Today was a lovely day! ... Not the least of which was because I did next to no homework! (I may pay for it in stress later on, but man if it doesn't feel good right now. <3 )

The sun is shining! I feel that spring is on the way. After a long dark winter, the snow seems to be consistently melting. You get these lovely patches of crackly ice on the sidewalks that make a satisfying crunching noise as you walk over them in the morning just after the sun has risen. I've loved doing that ever since I was a child. 

Last class with my research supervisor. Feeling melancholy, but at least there were cookies. ) 

Happy news about pretty dresses at Fort Edmonton! )
 
Job interview for the Quebec program - definitely nailed it! )

 Today was a really good day. I needed a day like this, after weeks (months, really) of stress about my future and about papers and research and such. The end of the semester is in sight! I'm feeling really positive at the moment. :) I hope that some of my good cheer spreads across to you, o reader! I'm thinking positive thoughts your way. :)
beboots: (aang says yay)
2011-04-04 04:18 pm

Three cheers for employment!

 So I got a call this morning - I got the Fort Edmonton job! <3 <3 <3 

I'm really, really  happy about this. Again, I was 98% sure I had the job, but when they take weeks and weeks getting back to you and you hear about other people being hired for similar positions first... I feel self-doubt.

Now that's one less thing I have to be anxious about. I can focus on finishing my papers and studying for exams! 

I mean, Fort Ed not the BEST paying job in the world - I could theoretically find better paid work in a warehouse somewhere - but that's not the point. Money is all well and good, but by working at the fort I get to actually enjoy my summer. I have fun, get fresh air, do historical research, wear pretty clothes and make pretty jewelry... I get paid to talk to people from all over the world or from right here in Alberta about the history of the region, and its awesome peculiarities. I get paid to talk about super-cool historical stuff.

Plus, the vast majority of the coworkers are absolutely amazing people. 

I'm going to be in the Fort (1846) Era again, possibly in the same role as last year. :) I have a different supervisor, but I know him to be awesome, so this is great too. :) It's going to be an awesome season! :D

To end this post off (short, because I really should be doing homework right now >_>  ), here is that gleeful photograph of myself in costume from last year, which effectively describes my mood at the moment: 



(On a completely different note: so, uh, Russian cyberterrorists?)
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-04-02 04:55 pm

Positive Thinking

 I try to make mental lists of things that make me happy every so often, just in case I have a bad day.

What am I anxious about? Jobs, papers, group projects... )

Things to make me happy: visas, interviews, shopping wins, and free dinner & drinks. )
 
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-04-02 01:32 pm

MY THESIS IS OFF TO THE PRINTERS

 HEY GUYS, I FEEL LIKE WRITING THIS ENTIRE POST IN CAPSLOCKS BUT THAT WOULD BE ANNOYING. So I won't. But imagine a capslock mood. 

CUE JAUNTY, UPLIFTING, CELEBRATORY MUSIC

(I would totally use the serious Civil War man icon that I have for this post, because it's the most historically appropriate, but it doesn't convey the sense of glee I feel at the moment. Imagine me as the man on the right, Jacques Cartier, at least in expression and mood.)

I just got back from Staples (AKA the office supply store) and I came back with three printed copies of the final copy of my thesis: the one I'm going to hand in for my final grade. 

It's done. It's sitting in a box downstairs, by the door, so I can bring it to school on Monday when I return a huge stack of books to the library. I had to fiddle with the formatting this morning (you have to expand the left hand margin to one and a half inches instead of just one because they're going to bind them into BOOKS), but after looking over my conclusion one final time, changing two or three words... I declared it completely and absolutely finished. 

You can make tiny little nit-picky edits forever, you know? I could probably still be making changes in a month's time, if I wanted, adding in one more source, chasing down one more salient example... but I've made myself stop. It's as good as it's going to get. And it's finished. \o/ \o/ \o/

Here my honour's thesis is, by the numbers... 

Title: Too Easily Blamed: American Civil War Surgery and Medical Care in Context

Pagecount (main body): 51

Pagecount with bibliography, title page and table of contents: 59

Number of sections: 12

Wordcount: 14,789

Wordcount (including textboxes and footnotes): 17,789

Character count: 96,768

Character count (with spaces): 114,537 (THINK ABOUT HOW MANY KEYSTROKES THAT IS FOR A SECOND, NOT INCLUDING EDITING)

Number of items on bibliography: 15 primary, 37 secondary, 52 total

Number of footnotes: 215 (many of which cite more than one source)

Number of hours put into this project: COUNTLESS.
beboots: (aang says yay)
2011-03-28 10:37 am

I AM GOING TO BE EMPLOYED THIS OCTOBER!!!

 Hey guys!

So I checked my e-mail this morning, and I found THIS in my inbox: 
Hello,
Congratulation!
Your application for a position as a Teaching English Assistant in France for the year 2011/2012 has been approved.
Your application will be forwarded to the Academy (school board) of ROUEN for an high school level which is a 7 months contract.
Before giving you the next procedures regarding your visa, could you please confirm that you are accepting this position ?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Regards,

Félicitation!
Votre candidature pour un poste d’assistant de langue anglaise en France a été retenue pour l’année 2011/2012.
Votre dossier sera proposé à l’académie de ROUEN pour une affectation au niveau secondaire d’une durée de 7 mois.
Avant de vous donner plus d'informations concernant les démarches à faire pour votre visa, je souhaiterais que vous me confirmiez que vous acceptez bien ce poste.
Dans l'attente de votre réponse,
Cordialement,
[NAME OF THE WONDERFUL LADY AT THE FRENCH EMBASSY IN OTTAWA]

All of those tears and stress have finally paid off! I'm so happy I didn't just give up when I found out my application was late! <3 <3 <3 Now I have to apply for a working Visa, do research about the city, find a place to live... BUT I HAVE A JOB! It begins October 1st, so I'll probably leave for France in the first week or so of September... <3 <3 <3 I am super excited! :D 
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-03-27 07:56 pm

Holy crap...

 Guys, I... I think I just finished my thesis. 

\o/

There are no more notes to myself, no more highlighted bits, no more "well, I should probably cite this sentence as well, just to be sure"... I did all of that today. It's pretty much done. Even the conclusion is looking so much nicer. I may rework it a LITTLE, but tomorrow, after I've slept on it and focussed on other things for a day or so, but essentially... it's done! 

I'll read through it one more time just to catch any sneaky little typos and I'll read through every single footnote to make sure I get rid of errant commas in my formatting and so on and so forth, but most of that is also finished. 

Just to head any potential tragedies off at the pass, I've also sent copies of it to myself to two separate e-mail addresses, and I've backed it up on my external harddrive. I don't want all of this to end in tears. I have other, earlier versions of it floating around elsewhere, in those places, but I spent many hours working on it this weekend. 
 
I feel numb. 
 
It's nearly done!
 
(Good thing, too, because it's due on Thursday.)
beboots: (Spread teh light!)
2011-03-25 04:25 pm

For those of you who need something beautiful to brighten up your day...

 Or night, as it were. This video, a collection of an enormous number of still photographs of the Aurora Borealis, set to inspirational music. I found it here, on the Discovery News website, where you can get more information on the subject. (Note to Cassidy dearest and others studying Scandinavian languages: they link to the website of the original photographer, and it's in Norwegian, if you would like to practice!)
Aaand... for some reason it doesn't want to embed itself into this post. *shakes fist impotently at sky* Please, then go and see it here. Absolutely gorgeous. Well worth it.
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-03-24 06:48 pm

Another history linkspam!

In a continuing effort to avoid doing much-needed homework, here are some random history links I've found over the past little while that may interest some who haven't yet seen them on my twitter feed:

Historically Hardcore Posters.


Upholsterer finds 200 year old love letter inside of chair. 

Queen Victoria and Abdul - "Previously undiscovered diaries have been found by an author based in the UK which show the intense relationship between Queen Victoria and the Indian man employed to be her teacher." Accompanied by good photographs!

Audio Slideshow: mapping Africa. Really interesting look at how Europeans perceived Africa over the centuries.

Getting Negative with Edward Curtis - an interesting article and video about this famous 19th century photographer of Native Americans, and the early "photoshop" techniques he used. 

Two Minute History of Film & TV Title Design 

The voice of Florence Nightingale, recorded in 1890.

While we're on the subject of audio files... Here is the transcript of a 1949 interview with Fountain Hughes, born 1848, and his memories of his childhood as a slave. This one includes some audio files of a few of the lines, so you can hear his actual voice as you read the transcript. 

The Year 2000 as Envisioned in 1910 - by this amazingly creative French artist. 

And not quite history, more like news, but awesome nonetheless:

The 8 Most Ridiculously Badass Protesters Ever Photographed

Some uplifting news coming out of Japan - Badass of the Week, Hideki Akaiwa, who scuba-dived to rescue his wife and his mother, among others, while the tsunami raged. 
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-03-24 06:39 pm

Don't turn off brain, I need you...

Yeah, so my last post was a bit short (although it had a nifty video!) and I realize that only a handful of my friends list can read it, so I thought that I'd write an English-language update with extra information.

Stuff is slowly getting done. Last night, I all-but finished my thesis. I should feel more jubilant, but it's not done yet. I made edits based on the comments on the final rough draft that I just got back from my research supervisor. A lot of it was "good!", "excellent!" and checkmarks, with the occasional "typo" or "move this here" or "this should be your topic sentence, not this" and so on and so forth. I've also had to redo some formatting. I wasn't consistant with where I put my punctuation, outside or inside of quotation marks. I still have to chase down a few more examples/citations, double-check my formatting, and give my conclusion a bit more "oomph", but I'm essentially done!

Which is good because it's due a week from today. It'll get there. My bigger problem, now, is to finish all of the research papers that are due in the two weeks after I hand it in. I've done most of the research for them, and I have loads of reference books sitting beside my desk, so if I run across a point I need to double-check, I won't have to take the bus all the way down to the university or scour the internet for extra sources... which is good. I've just got to sit down and write the darn things, and you know what? I'm tired. And when I'm tired my brain doesn't like to be creative.

I have next to no readings to do this week (huzzah, professors understand our workloads at this point in the semester?) but now I have nothing to passively absorb: I have to be actively creative. I'm tired. I feel so done with school. But I'm going to have to keep on chugging along until I can finally rest at 4:00pm on April 21st. That's when I finish my last exam. I won't even be able to begin to study for exams until the week before. Luckily, I just have gigantic research papers in lieu of most of the exams, and they're due in the final week of classes.

Anyway, this Saturday is a complete write-off as far as doing homework goes, because I'm going to be presenting at the History of Medicine Conference at the U of A! If you're in Edmonton on Saturday, feel free to pop by. It'll be in Classroom D (room 2F1.04) at the University Hospital. I know a bunch of the presenters, and it looks to be very interesting. It's an interdisciplinary conference with undergrads and graduate students, from the history, English, and medicine departments (and possibly others like art history, dentistry, psychology, etc.). Highlights will include talks on "The Evolution of Kotex advertising and the Introduction of the 'Negro Market'", "Eugenics in Alberta: Lasting Effects".... The guest keynote speaker is Dr. Jackie Duffin who will talk to us about "Medical Miracles: Doctors, Saints and Healing in the Modern World", which will "explore how medical science is used by the Vatican in the canonization process."

My presentation is right after the break in the morning and will begin at 10:20 (so hopefully nobody will be figeting because they have to go to the washroom or something). I'll be essentially presenting a condensed version of my thesis argument, on Civil War medicine and surgery and how it wasn't as bad as you think, really... immediately afterwards we'll have a presenter on prosthetic technologies from the 1850s through the 1880s in America (which works really well, leading off of my talk) and then we'll have a guy talk about cholera epidemics in the mid- to late- nineteenth century, which can also build off of what I say about the miasma theory of disease. The subjects lead nicely into each other!

As a side note, there's free food, too! Breakfast, lunch and snacks. :) A friend of mine on twitter said that as long as I didn't advertise with posters saying "Breakfast, lunch and cholera!"... ;) But they go so well together! Everybody loves cholera, y/y? D:

Anyway, it will prove to be super-interesting, I know it. I'll write about the highlights the next day, possibly including pictures from my powerpoint presentation. :)

Saturday is also the fifth anniversary of my little brother going into remission! This means that he's officially cured of cancer! \o/ He works in the morning, but we're going to go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner to celebrate. :)

Aaand... I was going to end off on a history linkspam note, but it kept growing so it shall be a separate post, soon to follow. (Can you tell I'm procrastinating working on my papers? Bad beboots! D: )
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-03-24 05:04 pm

Test test, test test...

 Donc je pense que j'ai déjà indiquer que ma nouvelle ordinateure a quelquechose de différent, en comparaison avec l'ancienne: ce qu'on appelle un "number pad" en anglais. (J'ai toujours du misère à trouver la vocabulaire pour les choses éléctronique en français. Beaucoup du temps c'est seulement le mot en anglais avec "le" ou "la" en avant.) Bien, maintenant je trouve que les accents (é, à, ï, etc.) sont beaucoup plus facile à ecrire à cause des "shortcuts". Je voudrais seulement faire une post en français car je n'ai pas beaucoup d'opportunités à la faire. 

Je n'ai pas encore entendu des positions en France ou Québec, mais il y a encore du temps. Je pense qu'ils nous contactent par poste et non pas par courriel ou téléphone aussi. Néanmoins, je suis encore très anxieuse. 

J'ai besoin de penser au sujet des choses plus positives, (Bien, j'ai besoin de penser au sujet de mes devoirs, papiers et dissertations, mais... ;) ) donc à ce but je voudrais vous introduire à une filme excellent, "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis". Je l'ai vu quand j'étudiais en France, et je la trouvai très amusante. :3 C'est tout au sujet des cultures différentes en France... et les difficultés qu'on trouve quand ils se rencontrent. 

Les soustitres anglais ne sont pas la meilleure, mais je sais que les dialectes sont très difficiles à traduire. 



(J'espère aussi que mon français est passable.)
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-03-19 07:59 pm

Canadian Winter Hubris

 I like to think that I'm prepared for Canadian winters. I've lived here since I was three, born of a manly Canadian outdoorsman father who puts wild game on the dinner table. I never leave home without gloves in the winter, and I never foolishly wear stilettos or ridiculous shoes if it's cold and/or icy out, no matter how stylish I want to seem. Stylish goes out the window as soon as it hits below zero, right? (I know a friend who got frostbite and lost a toe because she wore stilettos to go to the bar in January and the busses abruptly stopped running. Just bring a big enough purse to hide your bulky boots in at your destination.) There's always an emergency blanket and shovel in the trunk of my car just in case I get stuck in a snowdrift somewhere. 

I am Canadian, hear me roar. 

Anyway, the weather's been so nice lately, right? It's actually been oscillating between about -10C and +5C every day for the past week. It's been surprisingly sunny as well, and there's been little wind to surprise you with the windchill. That sounds great!

...Until you remember that because of that big dump of snow we got in January, we have giant windrows (giant rows/drifts of snow created by snowplows, not a typo of "window") everywhere. That means that when the temperatures reach above zero, basic science tells us that some of that snow will melt. And refreeze at night. Then melt again. Repeat ad nauseam. The sidewalks go from being puddles or streams one day, and ice rinks the next.

And because of the windrows, the ice/water/whatever it decides to be on that particular day has nowhere to go. So it accumulates.

Now, after all that setup, I begin my story.

I spent much of my day doing homework, from about 9:30am until my sister came by to visit at 5:00pm or so. I was pretty productive! However, aside from opening the window every so often, I hadn't gotten any fresh air for the day. So after supper I decided to go for a walk. I would normally go for a jog, but that's just asking for trouble. I don't want to slip and break my writing arm or something, this close to the end of the scholarly season. 

Anyway, so I was navigating the ice and puddles just fine. I was on the home stretch. (I walk a sort of circle around my neighbourhood so I approach the house from the opposite direction that I started out on, which is how I got no warning.) I was walking down a hill, and I saw a lady and her small yippy dog, coming from the opposite direction. That's why, when I saw the giant LAKE of melted snow at the bottom, I presumed it to be passable. I mean, that lady and her tiny dog got across, so why can't I?

It was HUBRIS, plain and simple. I'm betting now that the lady just saw the giant pool of water and turned right back around... but didn't bother to warn me. :P Thanks, random lady. 

Anyway, I saw that the temporary lake was fairly deep, probably reaching halfway to my knees. But I saw a few footprints on the snowdrift on the side, so I figured it was pretty solid. I didn't want to go all the way back up the hill to pick a different path, so I continued on. 
 
BIG MISTAKE. The first ten steps or so were fine, fairly solid. I only sank about a handspan or two down into the snow. And then suddenly, I plunged downwards, up to my knees. My feet were soaked instantly: there was more water hidden beneath the snowdrifts. 
 
It was too late to turn around, though. Taking a desperate glance behind me, I decided to man up and keep going. Dry sidewalk was only about ten meters away. I plunged down through the snowdrift almost midway up my thighs a few times. I then veered slightly right, clinging to the chain link fence, but I couldn't get far just pulling myself along with my arms. I had long since reached the point of no return, though, so I had to keep going. 
 
In the end, I remembered something I'd learned in girl guides, about what you do if you should find yourself on thin ice: you spread your weight around. So what did I do? I got down and crawled. 
 
I literally crawled across this patch of snow and ice so I wouldn't get completely soaked. I was in no real danger (although I've since noticed some bleeding scratches on my shins from the snow when I was sinking deeply through half melted ice and got a bit of an abrasion when I came back up), and especially not from drowning or freezing or getting hypothermia so close to home, but... yeah. 
 
There was a guy walking his dog coming down the hill at me just as I got up. I warned him off. The sidewalk was impassable. He thanked me for telling him, and he went in the other direction. I can only hope that the prints in the snow from my flailing the last six or seven meters will warn other people off. 

I'm wearing pajama pants now, because damn it if the ice didn't melt off of my trousers and soak them as soon as I stepped inside the house. :P
 
Canadian winters still need to be taken seriously. Even if (and maybe especially if) it's above zero. 
 
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
2011-03-12 03:00 pm

My honour's thesis is progressing!

 Good news, everyone! I'm actually FINALLY starting to feel somewhat comfortable with my thesis! I've been working on it for... way too long. Technically I began in October or November of 2009, when I took a 300-level history of American medicine class with my current Honour's supervisor, Professor Susan Smith. I wrote a short, 12 page paper on Civil War medicine and how it wasn't as bad as people say, really. 

Now, nearly a year and a half later, here I sit, with piles of books on the Civil War and 19th century medical practice surrounding me, threatening to topple at any moment and trap me here in my study space, and... the end is actually in sight. 

I'm planning on handing it in on March 31st, so I can get a chance at winning an award. (Money! Glory! Stuff that looks good on my resumé!), and I really am gearing on handing it in on that date and not two weeks later because there is only one other student planning on applying for it. That means on a most basic level I have a 50-50 chance of winning it. Odds don't get much better than that. 
 
Anyway, I've been working on this particular document - the thesis itself - really since this past December. I agonized over word choices, organization, numbers of sources, etc. I also beat myself up inside for not starting to write it earlier, like, last semester when I was only taking four classes instead of five like I am now. I felt WAY better this past Wednesday when all of us History honour's students met up to compare notes on what we'd done so far. Two of the other five hadn't even begun writing the thing yet, still finishing up their research. Even the mediating professor seemed taken aback by this statement. Granted, they're not planning on handing theirs in until April 15th, but when asked by the professor how long they thought it would take to write 50 pages, one guy answered: "two weeks."
 
Now I feel much better about the series of drafts I've handed in to my research supervisor. I just finished making the edits based on the second draft she looked over, and I'm still planning on handing in a third draft next week. 
 
Today, I read through the whole thing to make those changes. It's starting to come together. For pretty much the first time, it actually looks GOOD. 
 
And about an hour and a half ago, I reached 50 pages. 
 
AKA the required page count. \o/
 
Now if only meeting this goal meant that it was over and done with... ;) I've still got a bunch of edits to make, and there are some examples that I still need to track down, but... the bulk of the work is done. I'm going to FINISH it. 
 
I feel GOOD.
 
(Now I just have to stress out about the other four papers I have to write this semester, most of which I've done little more than do some reading, plus some outlining. That'll be my task for Sunday. But for now, I celebrate!)
beboots: (Civil war lithograph)
2011-03-10 06:27 pm

Unusual incidences in Civil War camps, by Dr. Wilder of the 55th Massachusetts

 I think I mentioned a few weeks ago (it was before things went crazy with the job application) that I’ve been reading this really awesome recently published document. I suspect I was talking to [livejournal.com profile] feral_shrew  about some history subject or another. The edition I have of this text (the only published edition?) is entitled Practicing Medicine in a Black Regiment: The Civil War Diary of Burt G. Wilder, 55th Massachusetts. It’s edited by a historian named Richard M. Reid, and only came out in 2010.



About the surgeon and his diary... )

Discovering exotic flora & fauna, recruiting others to do your collecting for you, and making spider-silk jewelry! )
Quick note re: adaptation )

Astonished horses! )

Unusually large amounts of spider silk! )

Bitching about Doctor Brown )The epic quest for sweet potatoes... )
The quartermaster resorts to monetary fines to make Wilder actually eat something )
Billy the horse! )
African American superstitions re: pulled teeth, and on the method of "locking" the door of a tent )
A colonel admires Wilder's awesome horseriding skillz )
Well, HE hasn't seen any fleas yet... and he also almost loses his hat. And falls off his horse. )
Wilder overhears a debate amongst the men of the regiment and is surprised. )
beboots: (Default)
2011-03-09 08:07 pm

I'm getting mood whiplash with this job application...

 Update on the whole France-job-application thing. 

I checked my e-mail this morning, at 9:20am Ottawa time (that's 7:20am here). I had an e-mail back from the Madame at the French embassy in Ottawa about that piece of paper. She had e-mailed me back probably within the first ten minutes of her shift. :)

She couldn't read the file (the scanned version of the sheet that needed to be signed). BUT she requested another version. Which said to me: hey, not all hope is lost! If my application was that bad, she would have probably just gotten fed up and said not to bother, right? Right. So I sent her several more versions in different kinds of image files. Still, no dice: the image was "flou" (a French word that means roughly "blurred, fuzzy, vague"). I sent her a different scan of it in the hope that the quality of that one would be better... but no. I found out later that while my handwriting was nice and clear, because the sheet itself is PINK (cursed colour-coded bureaucracy!) the rest of the text just wasn't showing up. As other people have to actually sign this form, this is no good. My scanner is very, very old, and not the best quality. I got no response to my last e-mail. For like an hour.

Checking the time, I realized that maybe she had gone to a meeting or to lunch. I mean, I couldn't expect her to hang at her desk for hours on end paying attention to me and my troubles, right? Anyway, I had to get to class, so as a last-ditch effort, I used the fax machine in the family's office room for the first time. I'd noticed that the Madame had had a fax number in the signature of her e-mail, and I didn't know what else to do. I sent the woman an e-mail explaining that I'd sent her a fax... but I got no response. 

For hours. 

I'd brought my laptop to school, but I just got more and more anxious at the lack of reply. (Last night I couldn't get to sleep for nearly two or three hours, I was so anxious about all of this). I couldn't have done anything more than what I'd already done, though. :( 

Then, after my last class ended just before 3pm (AKA just before 5pm, or home-time in Ottawa), I thought "screw it!" and phoned the long-distance number to the French embassy on my cell. The madame I'd been e-mailing picked up on the third ring. I politely explained who I was in French (I amazed myself at how calm, collected, and FLUENT I sounded, hellz yes) and she explained that the fax HAD worked! :D And that she was sending off my application to France this week! :D (I think she'd just forgotten to send an e-mail explaining this fact. BUT ANYWAY...!)

So, in summation: IT WORKED! EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT! I MAY STILL BE IN THE RUNNING FOR THIS JOB! I didn't ruin my application because I forgot one measly signature! The hours of stress and attention to my e-mail inbox over the past day have paid off!

But man, this application is giving me mood whiplash. Elated/excited to deep panic and fear and then excitement again! D: I'll still be really amazed if I get an interview... though I still hold out hope! We'll see how they like me in France.

On a completely different note, I spent some time this afternoon going over baby pictures of my twin sister and I with my mother. :) It gave me a good, well-needed dose of the warm-fuzzies.

Anyway, on that subject, here are a few things to cheer you (and me) up: 

Tutorial for how to make a cupcake fondue! 

Red pandas playing the snow in a Japanese zoo!

High definition video of a kitten jumping and playing in snow motion, with beautiful inspiring African music in the background!

Heartwarming story of a pseudo-tame lion released into the wild. LION HUGS!

beboots: (Default)
2011-03-08 06:27 pm
Entry tags:

One stupid signature.

 Okay, guys, so remember all of that brouhaha last week? About the job application to France? And how I had originally thought that it was due in March 15th, not March 1st, and then I had to rush to get it all put together and sent off but ultimately I got it in and everything was all right? 

Apparently not. :( 

Dad walked into the study about half an hour ago - this is just before 6pm my time, or just before 8pm Ottawa time - to tell me about a phone call he had received DURING THE DAY yesterday from the French Embassy in Ottawa. Apparently I'd forgotten to sign ONE PIECE OF PAPER. But it's all right! Because I can just sign it and scan it in and I'm good to go! The lady at the other end said that she'd send me an e-mail with the document and everything would be fine as long as I got it in that day.

Dad only told me this NOW. I hadn't seen him all yesterday, because he'd been out at the range for supper so I didn't see him in the evening... and it completely slipped his mind.

I rushed to check my e-mail. Nothing. 

And then I remember that I have a third e-mail for other stuff - I created it so when my university e-mail address is no good anymore, probably sometime this may, I'd still be able to have a professional-looking e-mail address to give to employers. I'd thought that I'd set it to forward e-mails to my university one. Apparently I forgot to click ONE button to activate it.

I rush to check THAT e-mail address, and there the message sat. 

"Bonjour,
Vous m'avez envoyé votre candidature, mais vous n'avez pas signé la fiche rose "demande de contrat de travail simplifié!"
Pouvez-vous me faire parvenir le document rempli par scan aujourd'hui sinon je ne pourrai pas accepter votre dossier.
 Le document est en pièce jointe avec les instructions .
Merci."

AKA - I've send in my application, but didn't sign the pink piece of paper for the government application. If I didn't scan it  and send it TODAY (AKA... YESTERDAY) then they can't accept my application. :( :( :(

I scanned it and signed it and struggled with the beast of a computer downstairs that froze halfway through the scanning process and then the internet explorer froze and shut down and then I FINALLY sent it off... probably a day and a half too late. ;_; 

I feel like a complete and utter idiot. I feel sick. ONE STUPID SIGNATURE, guys. Fuck. I need a hug. 

Emoticons can't express the devastation I feel right now. I'm normally an optimistic person, and I really hope that they'll accept it and send it off separately anyway, but I've probably made the worst impression ever on them. I can't get anything organized. Fuck. I'm an idiot.