It’s been more than a little while (although less than eons) since I posted any kind of real update here (inquiries into “what exactly is a real update” can be directed to, well, the trash…), so here goes. Your generic “this is what I’m up to” post:
It is currently IAP, which means no classes, which you think would mean a lot of free time. That’s a complete misconception. I’m nearly as busy as I was during term, it’s just a less-stressed more fun happy-go-lucky type of busy. For example: it’s been over a week now since I got up later than 8 am (throw in a few 5:30 and 6 am arrival times into the conscious world and you’ve probably got a 7 am average). Why? That’s actually a pretty difficult question. So, as I’ve learned to do, I’ll break it down into bits.
…working on my pseudo-thesis, whose status was “incomplete and nauseatingly behind so you better get your ass on it or else you don’t graduate” as of the first week of January, and is sailing into the “it’s going to happen, really, but only if you don’t spend more than 12 hours at a time not working on it” region. Which is more comfortable? Can I abstain on that one…
Anyway, I meet with my partner and my advisor nearly every day (usually at 9 am, argh!) to draw diagrams of turbines and blades and shafts and bolts and all sorts of other fun things. Today I met with the machine shop guru to discuss set-screws and reverse threads (not doable). And so it goes. I like to think we are actually making progress but…I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch (or my turbines before they start spinning).
...taking a class on Milton's Paradise Lost because, well, I've never read it before.
…picking people’s (professors, grad students, strangers on the street) brains about “my future” and “grad school” and “life choices” and whatnot. The consensus seems to be that I have many tricks up my sleeve (and careers, too), so don’t sweat it. Easier said than done.
…reading a lot about sex and gender, and the differences between the two (sex being a biologically determined feature, gender being a societally determined one), and archaic (though eerily logical) views of reproductive biology for my Duchess of Malfi paper. Argh, I feel as if I’m falling behind on revising it (some deadline for some writing prize? Oh no…), but I guess the water-turbine takes precedence because if that doesn’t get done I won’t graduate. Anyway, I’ve been reading this book called Making Sex, which is fun not only because it is fascinating and has a lot of diagrams of people peeling their own skin off and it incites the most curious looks from people who notice the title of the book.
…taking my first drawing class that doesn’t involve naked people. I enjoyed life drawing infinitely more than this class, but it is expanding my expertise (i.e., using materials besides charcoal, drawing things besides naked people). The teacher is extremely repetitive and boring, but at least it gets me drawing, so no real complaints there. And this week our assignment is to start working with color…something I’ve never really done before.
…attending a lot of Pleasures of Poetry sessions (daily hour-long discussions of different poets presented by different members of the MIT community—literature faculty, mostly).
...trying to train for the Boston Marathon in addition to playing basketball (emphasis on "trying).
…drinking a lot of tea and coffee.
…eating a lot of scones.
...shaking my fist half-heartedly at one thing or another.
…watching entire television shows (Veronica Mars, for starters)
(Can you tell that this list is going in ascending order of importance?)
Irregularly, I’ve been:
Gallivanting off on adventures to Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and who knows where else. Vermont is cold, New York is…frustrating, and New jersey is…giving me too many things to look forward to (i.e., my PiA interview…they tried to sell me on Korea instead of Kazakhstan), so I don’t want to think about it any more until I find out if they are offering me a teaching fellowship (mid-March…ahhhhhh!).
Ok, I have some business to attend to (not really…ok yes really…ok really not…) so this brings my update (or sorts) to an end. Viva la revolucion!