Tuesday, May 15, 2012

previously on ross and haylie, part 1

Hi all. Now that I'm officially done with everything I need to do for school (master's degree, what WHAT!!), I thought I'd catch you up on some of the goings-on here over the last few months. First up, our visit to the cherry blossoms. I would say the Cherry Blossom Festival, but because of the warm weather the blossoms came so early that they were already mostly gone by the time the Festival rolled around in mid-April. Bummer, DC. Luckily for us, though, we managed to make it out on an absolutely gorgeous day in March.

Look! It's a picture of Ross! It's been pointed out to me that this blog lacks photos of my spouse, which is true. However, I'd like to point out that someone hates having his picture taken, and so it's not entirely my fault. This was, like, the fifth take.

I don't know who handed Eleanor this bundle of blossoms, but I approve.

Side note: I was asked to wear a sari once for an Indian Fashion Show. I've never felt more beautiful in my entire life, not even on my wedding day. If only I could have gracefully walked around the cherry blossoms like this lady.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Actor Announcement*

As some of you know, it’s been a nail-biting few weeks, but I am thrilled to announce that I have officially been accepted to The George Washington University’s PhD program. Starting this fall, I will begin pursuing my (fully funded!) doctorate in Medieval and Early Modern (think Shakespeare) literature with a focus in critical animal studies.

Two things: 1) One of the kind of sobering things this application process has taught me is that getting accepted to these programs is a privilege. There are tons of wicked smaht, talented potential scholars out there, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue doing what I love in such a supportive atmosphere.

2) I’m about to get schmaltzy;** be advised. I am also really grateful for all the encouragement and congratulations I’ve received since posting my announcement on Facebook. Graduate school is hard, but knowing I have the support of the people I love makes it a little easier. Special props, of course, to Ross, without whom this—and a million other things—could not be possible. Schmaltz concluded.  

In summation: I feel very lucky and very loved. See you in 4-5 years. 

*Please award yourself 10 bonus points if you get this reference.
 **Bizarrely, Microsoft Word recognizes “schmaltzy” as a word.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

write write write

Disclaimer: Below is one of the posts I write when I'm working on a paper and need an outlet that will allow me to both feel like I am making some progress and, when necessary, express frustration with my lack of progress. I fully admit these are probably not the most interesting posts to read (at some point I talk about the cucumber I ate for a snack... exciting stuff). I mostly write these for me, and fully expect you to ignore them if you so choose. Disclaimer concluded. 

12:07am Hello all. Another term, another round of papers, another opportunity to use this blog as little more than a procrastination tool/counseling session. I'll be checking in for the next two hours or so. It's funny... I really don't consider myself much of a night owl. I much prefer mornings, but it just so happens that when I'm working on a deadline the wee small hours are when I get my best work done (I think it's because Ross, bless is heart is asleep). I'm working on a paper about the film Scotland, PA, which I love, but for some reason I'm having a hard time getting motivated. For the record, the paper is due tomorrow by midnight, and I really have been making every attempt to work on it. I'm just a few lines from my tenth page, and it needs to be fifteen. Not too bad. My goal is to write 600 more words in the next hour and a half or so, get some extra research done, and get to bed by 2:30am. Fortunately, I don't have any reason to be on campus tomorrow and can take a nap. Or two. I'll keep you posted.

12:24am 150 words down, 450 to go. I should mention that these aren't good words by any means. This is the stuff I get out of the way and onto the page so that I can look at it in the clear, cold light of morning and make it better. Something I've learned over the years is that not only am I a better editor than a writer, I enjoy editing much more than writing. So the quicker I get this stuff out, the more time I have to improve it and actually take some pleasure out of the process. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway, but it doesn't really keep me from criticizing every word I put down. It just keeps me moving forward.

12:51am 350 words! Only 250 words to go, although I might push it a bit farther. I'm peering over the edge to my 11th page now, and I'd like to be well into my 12th before I break for research. Unfortunately, I've also reached the limits of my outline. At this point I only have amorphous ideas of where I want to go from here, which might make the next page and a half difficult.

Anyway, I promised myself that once I reached 350 words I'd take a break and make some herbal tea (actually Teecino, my favorite thing to which I am addicted and for which I have Charlotte and Jeff to blame).

1:20am Yikes! Where did the last half hour go? Times moves so oddly late at night/early in the morning. 404 words now... I spent a few minutes answering an email, so I need to jump back on it. Also, I realized I had the beginning of a headache, so I skipped the Teecino (this time!) and sliced up a cucumber and sprinkled it with red pepper flakes instead. It was delicious. Spicy food is my favorite pick-me-up.

1:44am The last half hour (again, how does time fly so quickly?!) was extremely productive. I am currently at 705 words, although I might be getting my math wrong... I think I need at least fifty more before I quite for the night. That being said, though, I don't want to push it too far. One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever read was that you should always try to stop in a place where you know you have more to say. It's much, much easier to sit back down in front of the page when you have some idea where your argument is going next.

Also, I think I might be really terrible at writing about film. But in the words of my friend Katie, "we shall persevere."

2:15am 1,012 words! Wham! Pow! (These are super hero noises). A solid twelve, almost thirteen pages. Shazam! Clearly, I am pleased with myself, and you know what? I have every right to be. I stopped in a good place, and I'm feeling ready to go tomorrow. Now I'm off to research for a few minutes (I'd like to go straight to bed, but a) I promised myself I'd stay up until 2:30, and b) I can't sleep immediately after writing. My brain is too busy). Good night to all.