beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
 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: (Default)
 So [livejournal.com profile] beckyh2112  got me thinking about lists, and organizing my thoughts and goals, etc., in time for the new year. :) 

Awesome things that happened to me in 2010:
-For the first time in my life, I managed to actually KEEP a new year's resolution! This bodes well for the future. I vowed to take up push-ups: I began in January barely able to do one set of five knee push-ups at a time, and now I tend to do sets of thirty or thirty-five in a day. I think that I'll keep going with this, working my way up to fifty at a time by the end of school this April. :3
-I figured out a topic for my thesis! (Now, to actually WORK on it...) I've kept up with the honour's programme, which means that I have consistently kept a ridiculously high GPA... through lots of hard work. I just have to keep it up for one more semester... 
-Everyone in my immediate family has remained healthy and happy, more or less. No deaths! We're all going strong. :)
-I went on an amazing trip to the British Isles. The experiences I had there will stick with me for my entire life. :) I had fun, learned history, became independent, and realized that I can always work my way through the troubles life throws me. Keep calm & carry on, right?
-Despite setbacks, I was hired at Fort Edmonton in the funnest job I have yet to have. Where else would you be able to dress in costume and talk to people all day about fascinating subjects? Learn to light fires with flint and steel, and cook meals with wild game in cauldrons on fireplaces? I learned valuable skills that will serve me well in the case of civilization-destroying apocalypses in 2012. ;)

Things I am anxious about for the coming new year:
-Jobs jobs jobs. I have an almost guaranteed job at Fort Ed for the summer, but what am I to do for a career? I'm going to apply for grad school for the year afterwards, but in what program? Decisions, decisions... 
-I do feel a bit lonely at times. I mean, I have a very loving family and some very good friends, but I have to say I wouldn't mind meeting a special someone. Until last year, I never really understood that old adage: "all the good men are gay or taken." This year I found out that damn, that is so true! D: Still, I hold out hope. :)

Things to look forward to in the new year:
-During the second week of January, I get to be an extra in the short film "Northern Lights"! It's a ten minute movie that they're filming for the new Capitol Theatre they're constructing at Fort Edmonton which will serve as an introduction to the park and to Edmonton's history: it's to tell 10,000 years of the history of the area in 10 minutes. I'm going to be one of the extras in the background of the fur trade era scenes. :) I'll have to skip a class to do it, and there's apparently going to be a ridiculously early start time (like 7:30 in the morning at a place that's nearly an hour a way from my home during rush hour), but it will be entirely worth it. :)
-As of sometime in the next year, my little brother would have been in remission for five years straight, which means that he will be effectively "cured" of cancer! :D Huzzah and well-wishes for my brother dearest!
-While this could (and is) also placed up above under the "anxieties" list, this year will also be the year that I figure out what I'm doing with my life. Probably. :) So that's something.
-I have two very good novel ideas floating around in my brain right now. I'm not going to wait for November: I'm going to actually write them, I've vowed to myself. I'll work on them in between working on my thesis and doing other things. :) Which brings me to...

New Year's Resolutions. As I did so well on last year's resolution, I will have several this year:
-Keep up the exercise! I'll keep doing push-ups, and I will endeavour to do at least three days of intense exercise a week: that's swimming sessions, jogs, etc. I may join the fencing club or take up Tai Chi with Cassidy dearest. :)
-Stop chewing my nails. It's a horrible habit I've had for as long as I can remember. It's not as bad as some people, but I'm self-conscious about it and I want it to stop. Must resist...
-Be more confident in myself. Be more personable. Stay positive. I generally am an optimist, and I hope to stay that way. 
-WRITING WRITING WRITING. I'm going to try to be a more prolific writer. I've got my thesis to work on, but also those novel ideas as well as several fanfic in the works. I endeavour to FINISH some of these stories floating around on my hard drive. Also, schoolwork. 

Hopefully, these aren't unreasonable resolutions! ;) I love you all! Happy New Year!
beboots: (Default)
 I was really stressed out yesterday. Right now, I'm just focusing on getting through this semester, and finishing my degree, while still trying to find stuff to actually apply for. As of now, I have no clue where I will be in September. 

So for now, here are a couple things to distract you (that may indeed even prove useful!)

-Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling. (Also, others in that Grammar Pack of Posters)

-Sounds Familiar? A neat-o compilation of voice recordings of different regional dialects in England, some of which has analysis. If you've ever been fascinated by English accents, linguistics, etc., definitely check it out!

-Have a picture of a white peacock on the attack. And a video of an incredibly shocked hawk while I'm at it. And a video of an animal that clearly enjoys life.

Also, for when things get really stressful, have a gorgeous nature time lapse video of Japanese landscapes with soothing piano music:


(And now I need to stop procrastinating and actually get back to writing that book review. Hey, cut me some slack, I've written 7 pages already!)
beboots: (Civil war lithograph)
 My facebook status this morning read "in contemplating the pile of books sitting next to my desk, ready to be poured over for three separate papers including a 50 page thesis, I have had the sudden urge to flee the house. >_> Instead, I remain here, trapped and weighed down by several large hardcover books. Besides, they're in between me and the door. D: "

Almost all yesterday and today (granted, it's only 2:30 in the afternoon as I write this, but I began working both days before 9 o'clock in the morning), I've been chugging steadily away at my homework. Mostly readings. This is the first chance I've really had to start working my way through the research for my papers. 

I took out a whole whack of books about a month ago from the Rutherford library (taking full advantage of my extended library privileges now that I'm in my fourth year in the honour's programme), but they've just been sitting in my room as I've been distracted by things like midterms and Spooktacular volunteering. To be fair, there may be a connection between zombies and gangrene and thus Civil War medicine, but whatever. 

Anyway, a few days ago, I stacked the books I have out by category (AKA which paper they're to be skimmed through for), and as I got an e-mail reminding me that half a dozen of them are due within a handful of days, I began working on them first. I have a growing pile of books next to my school bag that are ready to be returned to the library. I feel like I'm getting stuff done! ... At least in my scholastic life. :P

I'm actually writing this because I just finished writing a rough, 2,000 word outline for my honour's thesis on innovations in medicine made during the American Civil War. Hopefully my research supervisor will like it and have lots of helpful suggestions (but not enough of them for me to feel like this isn't a solid base), so I can then use it as a template for my 50 page thesis. I'm getting excited about my topic again! ... But also slightly intimidated by the amount of readings I have to do, because I also spent an hour and a half trolling through the library databases adding things to my bibliography and my "to read" list. Lots of short documents have been digitized and are available for free online, though, which is a plus!

In other news... I'm doing National Novel Writing Month again this year! I'm not nearly as happy with it, though, as I was at this point in the last three years I've done it. My characters seem flat, and I'm having a lot of trouble writing action. Not like fight scenes, but just ACTION, like moving from one space to another. Told from the first person POV, my main character just seems to want to THINK all of the time. She's too perceptive! Stop it! D: 

I think that I bit off more than I can chew, and didn't do nearly enough planning, despite the fact that this is the first year I've even tried to create character profiles for everyone. I think that I should have thought of an entirely different novel set during the Civil War era so that I can use a lot of the research I've been doing for university. :P I may actually have to drop this plotline and make up my wordcount by writing out some fanfic I've been meaning to write for a while... Probably a Temeraire piece, so I actually have fun writing this month, possibly an Avatar: the Last Airbender one. Right now, I don't think that my novel will be going anywhere without significant overhaul, and while I'll cast my eyes upon what I've written so far again throughout the month, and I WILL try to add to it, I don't think that it's conducive to my stress levels (or my writing ability) to grit my teeth and type out something that clearly isn't working... 

Yeah, so that's the decision that I've made, for now, I think. I still need reassurance that I've made the right decision, though. :(

Also, here, see how I'm doing! 

beboots: (confusion)
 So after I posted that list, yesterday, of all of the things I have to do in the coming months, I felt incredibly stressed out. I made tea, and that made me feel better, and then I did some more homework, which could have made me feel worse but at least I was getting stuff done... And then I remembered this photo that Erin took of me while I was in York in June! I predict that this will become my profile picture on Facebook towards the end of October/into November and December. It was the motto of our trip in Britain, what with so many crazy things happening to the members of our group. 

So when we saw a print of that famous Second World War unpublished propaganda photo in a poster store in York, we just HAD to take a photograph. And I think that it's the best photograph of me from the entire trip! And it really sums up certain emotions really, really well. Particularly how I felt for about ten minutes yesterday after writing that list. I just thought I would share with you guys. :)


Also, in other news: the Commonwealth Games in Delhi were kicked off today! :D Mum woke me up early (well, at 7am) to watch the opening ceremonies, live, with her. The drummers and dancers were cool - I particularly liked that bit where the children suddenly flipped off the golden outer layer of their outfits to reveal the Indian national colours, then painted those henna'd hands on the sheets above their heads. Uh... if you didn't see the video, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. But it was cool.

Furthermore, the march of the athletes was very much a geography lesson for me. Who knew that Britain had conquered so many tiny islands...? ;) Also, I couldn't spot dad in the crowd of 251 Canadian athletes, but I didn't really expect to. The Canadians had snazzy outfits! (As did many of the other athletes.) Go dad go! :D
beboots: (Default)
(First, a welcome to my new readers! Sara tells me that more have come here by way of her mother. Man, now I have to make an actual EFFORT at being entertaining, and not just writing whatever, I suppose...)

I think that the unofficial motto of this trip has become "Keep calm, carry on," after the famous unprinted British propaganda poster from the Second World War. (it's actually very visually appealing, and is on the cover of my travel journal - I will try to find merchandise to bring home.) Of course, when we say it, there are a few vulgar extra words and a lot of humourous emphasis, not to mention silly facial expressions...

First, I should say that Chad seems to be doing okay. Last we heard, he was going into surgery last night, instead of this morning, so he may be coherent when we visit before lunch (bus system allowing). 

We four girls have been pulling things together. Both Sara and I have been super impressed by Kelsey and Erin, who are holding up well, considering. There were some tears and group hugs yesterday, though. Stress = bad, and this whole situation is nothing if not stressful. Sara has promised to teach me some yoga moves, which will be great for de-stressing (oh man, when I say that word aloud it sounds like "distress" :P ). 

You know, until 5:00 or so hit, yesterday was my favourite day of the trip. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, the grass was green, the mountains misty and beautiful in he background... I was shooting deer and native breeds of cattle (with my camera, not a hunting rifle: sorry, dad. ;) ). It seemed like everything was going beautifully!  

We had split up because Sara and I wanted more of an intense workout, and the others just wanted a meandering mosy about, and by splitting up, everyone would get what we wanted. We would meet for a birthday supper in Killarney itself. 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, yesterday was Chad's birthday. Happy birthday, Chad! D:

Sara and I still owe him drinks. Because we're only acquaintances, we figured that this would be the best way to go - and besides, it's not another trinket he has to carry! We've determined that we will take him out for drinks in canada in several months' time when he is once again capable of holding beer in both hands.

That should be a joke, and sounds like a joke, but it isn't. 

I should also mention that I could have been neighbours with Chad in that hospital room. Sara as my witness: once during the day I was going down a gravel-paved hill far too fast, and, like an idiot, only braked with my front wheel. Only my experience as a cyclist and a minor miracle stopped me from experiencing the same fate - AKA flipping head over heels over the handlebars. Bikes is dangerous, guys!!!!1! (I like to think we would have signed each others' casts, though.)

Regardless, this is another location that I'd like to write a picture post about upon my return, so keep an eye out for that! I loved Killarney (this was like, the one thing that I was the sole person planning on this trip). And I'm very sad that three other group-members didn't have the same experience. Even so (crap, I need to think of something with which I can end on a positive note, uh... Oh! I've got it!), like a phoenix from the ashes, this trip will rise.

Provided, of course, that we keep calm and carry on. 

P.S.: I still know where my towel is.   

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