Saturday, 22 October 2011

First and Second Weeks

Term is officially a quarter done (as the terms are only eight weeks long here).  So far, my goal has been to create a relatively regular work routine.  This has worked, more or less, I would say. 

I've discovered that I like working from home in the morning, because then I can really enjoy my morning coffee(s).  The only place at school I've found where one could work and eat/drink is the graduate common room in the English Faculty, but that wasn't really designed as work space, so I haven't used it.  Otherwise, there are the fantastic libraries, which do not allow for the consumption of food.  This is sad because I've realized that I get very hungry while sitting and doing research.

I've also discovered that I don't mind working evenings and weekends, but I suppose this is what I always did during my undergraduate and Master's degrees, so I guess that makes sense.  Also, so far, I'm quite enjoying my research, which helps a lot, since it's kind of my life now.

Rowing, alas, did not work out for me this year, as I could not pass my swim test.  You had to do two lengths of the swimming pool, 5 m of underwater swimming, and then tread water for 2 minutes.  My problem was that, even through three tries, I could only force myself to stay underwater for about half the necessary distance.  I was saddened by this fact, but I'm kind of happy I don't have any 6:50 am practices to worry about anymore.

I've found other things to get involved with, like being library rep and being on the conference organizing committee.  Both committees met for the first time this week.

Last night, Tim and I donned our "smart" clothes and headed over to Mansfield's chapel for a jazz, chocolate, and champagne night, which was great fun.  No room to dance, however.  Also, they ran out of champagne about an hour and twenty minutes in, which was very distressing for all involved.  The chapel became suspiciously emptier after the champagne ran dry.

I've also taken in a meeting of the Interdisciplinary 19th Century Culture Forum, which is a gathering of student from English, History, and other subjects who discuss the 19th century (and go on field trips - next week to the Museum of the History of Science!).  I also attended a fantastic seminar on bigamy in sensation plays and novels this week, which I loved.  Also, it reminded me that I really need to read more sensation fiction.  I've got Wilkie Collins' No Name sitting on my bookshelf...  (Currently reading Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray for the first time - took me long enough!)

And now I'm in lockdown mode because I have my very first deadline coming up on a piece of writing I need to get in to my supervisor next week.  I'll be happier once I'm on the other side of that, but I am happy to be forced to start writing out my ideas early in the dissertation process, even if they don't necessarily make it into the completed work.

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