Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Strop over

I've stopped stropping and sulking about my essay. Really, life's too short. Particularly when you're as busy as I am.

Really, I should be too busy to blog. But why work when you can do stuff on the internet?

I had a lovely time at Ruthie's hen weekend. Took a bit of sleeping when I got home (roughly 12 hours) to recover. Now I'm trying to prepare for Soundcheck, apply for a job as a tutor in halls, and read for Thursday's seminar. I also need to think about two seminar presentations, an essay and my dissertation proposal. I'm off to Soundcheck at 6.00 on Thursday and get back on Monday at midnight. Tuesday I will be sleeping, Wednesday and Thursdya preparing for the next seminar and then Friday we're off to Belfast for Stephen and Ruthie's wedding, which we're very excited about. It's all go.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A big Monty Python foot on my head

On Wednesday I felt like this had stamped on me. I got my mark for the module I did last term.

You remember how hard I worked? If not, see here and here and here and, finally, here. I worked VERY HARD on my essay. I rewrote it about 9 times. I gave 7 solid weeks of my life to that essay. I worked on it on Christmas Eve.

Let me reproduce for you the comments that were written on the marksheet:
"This was in many ways a competent* essay, but the arguments were left underdeveeloped and some of the contentions were rather dubious**. The first half of the essay consisted entirely of a reprising of the literature***, and the critical analysis failed really to get off the ground**** [here we go onto a second sheet which wasn't photocopied very well]... so detailed critical examination ... [no idea what this word is] was offered, and the understanding of it appeared frequently somewhat superficial.*****"

I got 50% for my essay. That's 'as bad as possible while still scraping through to MA standard'. I was devastated. I want to do a PhD. I need to get funding for that. To get funding you need to be 'stellar'. 53% for a module does not equate to stellar, I'm guessing. So I cried for most of the rest of Wednesday. Thank you to my Sanctus friends who were very kind to me, and also to Em - we spent an hour on the phone reassuring each other that we are good at what we do.

However, yesterday things began to improve. I went to see my current tutor******, who gave me advice on reading critically and assured me that my academic career was not over yet. And then when I went to my seminar it transpired that only one person in the class had got over 60%. One person, who managed last year to get something like 70% for an essay she wrote when she had just had a baby (seriously - she had the baby in November and got an extension on the essay) got less than 60% for this one.

So I'm treating this as a learning experience, which of course it is. I'm seeing where I can improve. I've stopped crying quite so much...

*when 'competent' is the best thing which can be said about your work, you know it's time to shoot yourself.
**'Dubious'???? I liked my contentions. And I think if you are going to say someone's contentions are dubious, you should at least say which ones and why.
***This is probably true
****And this. My secret fear all the way through last term was that I couldn't do critical analysis. Having your secret fears confirmed is very unpleasant.
*****'Superficial'? That's mean.
******If you see this man, buy him a drink.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Global finance, anyone?

Today I am reading about Global Finance. It's pretty dull. However, I have Valentine's Day cheesy music on the radio to keep me company. I do love it. I have quite a lot of work to do because I have some very busy weekends up ahead: Ruthie's hen weekend (I can't blog about it because it's a surprise for her) then Soundcheck then Stephen and Ruthie's wedding. I'm looking forward to them all but have to work hard to get my reading done round all of them.