I am more distressed about this than I should be. I am, at least, aware that I am unreasonable. But they’ve changed the library from being 24 hours to only operating from 8:30 – 1:00am. One of the other libraries I often use is actually closed from August 18 – September 4. My dissertation is due September 15, a LOT of dissertations are due during this time period. Please tell me who thought it was a smart idea to have a library closing for this length of time, RIGHT WHEN DUE DATES HAPPEN?! Do it in the middle of July if you have to do it, give us some recovery time for Pete’s sake. Don’t just throw us to the grading wolves to somehow operate on our own. YOU SADISTS!
I have the first chapter of my dissertation due soon. The only problem is I cannot remember which chapter is actually due. I had written “first chapter due” but had it written (along with the word count I need) next to what is actually meant to be my second chapter. Now I’m wondering if I’ve mischaptered, miswritten, or just flat out misunderstood. All are very likely.
To top it off, I am having the hardest time concentrating. I’ve been reading and rereading the same paragraphs and sentences while trying to write my first chapter. It is not going well and my time is dwindling very quickly. I am unsure what the cause of all this nonsense is. Poor diet? Probably. Lack of sleep? Not likely. I’m getting 8 hours at least every night. I am not one to really scrimp on sleeping. So here I am, writing a journal entry instead of attempting to read the paragraph again. Don’t tell me I don’t have my priorities straight.
Last week, Dr. Freckle ran a conference which I offered to help with. I was glad to be useful, I know that I am pretty dang good at pretending to be perky, friendly, and meeting people. You need me to be chipper and greet people in the morning? WATCH ME DAZZLE! I will annoy everyone with my giant smile and positive attitude before they have had coffee.
Anyway… the conference was awesome because I got to meet and greet a lot of my academia crushes. The likes of Richard Neer, Guy Hedreen, Verity Platt, and Jas Elsner, to name a few. I also was able to meet a few I hadn’t heard of previously, many of whom I was pleased to discover have Meg-friendly paper topics and writing styles. So I’ve added considerably to my academic crush list. I chatted to a professor from Cornell regarding my dissertation topic, and she suggested we swap emails because she had an article she thought I might find interesting. We never got around to swapping them, so I creeped her online and sent her an email saying, “HEY REMEMBER ME, LOVE ME!” …only maybe slightly less desperate. She responded within an hour, saying she was about to ask Dr. Freckle for my email so she could send me the article. Perhaps this is idiotic, but I was flattered she remembered me and our conversation. She was my biggest new academic crush.
Dr. Freckle kept trying to get me to go to dinners or lunches with them all, since I had volunteered to help. I wasn’t originally meant to help out, it was supposed to be just two other MA students (one who is going on to get a PhD under Dr. Freckle, and the other who had gotten a really prestigious internship at a museum through Dr. Freckle) who he had planned meals and everything around. However, I offered to help and he accepted, so there we were. I think he felt like he had to somehow include me to pay me back for volunteering, but I didn’t care anything about that. It made me feel awkward and like I was more of a bother than I should have been (though I know he didn’t mean to make me feel that way). I am just so awkward and don’t know what to do in those situations, so I kept telling him “no, thank you, though! I need to work on my dissertation.” And then would scamper away.
I am just a helpful little creature lately. On Wednesday, Abby and I are assisting Professor Soothingvoice with setting up and greeting people for a sculptural display put on by the Hellenic Society. At the end of July, we are also helping Dr. Shaggy with a mosaic workshop for a week. I am excited for both of these things, because I like to feel useful (and it forces me out of the house and to stop being a hermit). I hope it will show that I am dedicated in some ways, and that while maybe I’m not so great at Greek and writing essays, I am at least good with people. …usually.
On Sunday, I went to Greenwich with Annie. Melanie and a friend visiting from the US were meant to come along, too, but they had gone to the pub the night before and were a bit out of sorts. It worked out okay, though, because Annie and I had an absolute blast! Greenwich is the location of the Greenwich market, Royal Observatory, Prime Meridian, Maritime museum, as well as the Cutty Sark (a big ole sailing ship built in 1869). I also got to touch a 4.5 billion year old meteorite – so here’s hoping I get special powers in the future. Ya know, versus getting some weird radiation poisoning.
Fun fact about the Prime Meridian: I read recently that this line isn’t the real Prime Meridian. With new science, it can be more accurately measured, and is technically 334 feet east of this point, apparently near a trash can. However, this was the one from the 1800s, so it still has relevance. I don’t care what anyone says, I’ve stood in the east and west hemispheres at the same time. Fight me. This whole thing is made up anyway!!
This weekend happened to be the Greenwich Docklands International Festival (GDIF for short), so there was a lot of live music, performances, and art exhibits. One of the art exhibits happened to be the “Museum of the Moon,” by Luke Jerram which is a huge, blow-up moon made with real NASA images. The exhibit was hung in the air from trees, and there were speakers playing excerpts of the moon landing recordings around it. After exploring the observatory and watching a show at the planetarium (WHICH WAS AWESOME! Not to mention hilarious. The guy kept doing weird impressions and cracking jokes), Annie and I went and lounged in the moon area, people and moon watching. There was a little boy who, in a very serious voice, told his mom, “This isn’t the REAL moon.” She played along with him saying, “Are you sure? How do you know?” One of the security workers overheard and chimed in with, “What do you mean? This is the real moon!” It was pretty dang adorable.
I took a short snap-video of the moon when we first got there, but I had to take the sound out, because there was a woman talking behind me about not shaving her legs for awhile and whoever she is dating at the time having to get used to it. Now, I am not opposed to this, because I also follow this teaching (ain’t nobody got time for shaving all the time), however it was not the ambiance I wanted for my moon video. Silence it was. You’re welcome for that pointless story.
All of this was well and good, relaxing in the sun while staring at the moon… until the wind caused the moon to fall. At first, the moon dropped down from its top holder, with a cord still holding it from the top, just lower. I thought maybe it was a moving exhibit and it changed during different parts of the day… until the left wire it was attached to busted and the moon dropped completely to the ground. There had been people lying underneath it, so they started running (naturally) out of the way. I am allowed to say it was funny, because the moon wasn’t extremely heavy so no one could be seriously injured. Can you imagine if you were chilling under the moon and suddenly it fell on you? Annie and I had moved from lying off to the side of it about ten minutes before it dropped. Everyone in the moon area just sat and stared, watching as the security people tried to shoo people from touching the downed moon (these were adults, and I wanted to shout at them for acting like little kids), trying in vain to figure out how to fix the exhibit. Finally, a guy came over and kicked us out because there was no way they’d be able to repair it (bummer).
After leaving the falling moon area, Annie and I went to a stage area we had passed through before. The same man (dressed as a Victorian style old woman, wearing two different shoes, who knows why) who had been DJ-ing there before was performing. He had to have been DJ-ing from at least 1:00 – 6:30. I would have been dead, but he was still doing well from what we could see. When we walked up, he had remixed a rap song to be the Hokey Pokey, and the whole crowd was doing it. Annie and I didn’t join in for that, but afterward, he started playing other songs (such as the ever classic dance tune, “Satisfaction” by Benny Benassi) which Annie and I couldn’t resist. We ran into the crowd and started dancing along. He ended with a song on “London Pride” and made a joke about how he wasn’t trying to say London was better than anywhere else, but he wanted to be proud of where he was from. He just wanted to be proud of how someone comes and gets the bins on a Friday! Also, just looked him up… his name is Christopher Green. His performer name is “Ida Barr, Grandma Gangsta.”
Annie and I danced, sang, and all in all, it was a damn great day.
I keep having nightmares about failing my courses. It’s really starting to get to me. Last night, I dreamt Dr. Soothingvoice was handing out our papers from the Greek exam, and everyone received their papers back except for me. For some reason, in my dream, this meant I failed. I guess because it meant she was signaling she wanted to talk with me afterward about my paper. She gave Abby hers back, and she had gotten 100%, so I wrote a note to her on a scrap piece of paper saying I had failed, and some kid (who was not a real person in my class but a dream creation that reminded me of that chubby kid from the Sandlot) saw it and started making fun of me. Gimme a break, mind. I’m already going to fail the course, you don’t have to make it worse by giving me nightmares before I get my results back!