Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Fill-In #126

Shamelessly yanked from the blog of my friend Wife, Mom, Knitter, who got it here.
I thought this seemed like just the thing to ease back into blogging. we go!

1. It's cold and _muggy here, but I won't complain because I'd rather that than hot weather_.
2. _When I was little I only liked ketchup and spaghetti sauce, but now I like all kinds of __tomatoes.
3. My favorite health and beauty product is _vanilla bath gel____.
4. _If I had I car, I could go for ____ a nice long ride.
5. Well, first of all _it's so nice to be done with exams. I feel like a whole new person____.
6. _My friend J. and I_; those were the cast of characters in a recent dream and it was _weird. I went to Boston but it was closed. The whole city was closed. That's just my luck__.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _a South Park marathon____, tomorrow my plans include _going to the farmer's market and picking something interesting to cook____ and Sunday, I want to _go see some art exhibitions____!

That was kind of fun. I might have to keep doing this.

I've really been enjoying being responsibility-free this past week. There has been lots of knitting, and lots of fun (my friend J., of the Boston-is-closed dream, came to visit for the long weekend, and much fun was had by all). And there was even some cleaning. The apartment went from disaster zone to relatively under control. There are still assorted piles of paper and books to be sorted, but at least you can see most of the floor and the number of cat-hair tumbleweeds has been drastically reduced.

I have to go make the first part of item number 7 happen now. I just recently discovered that you can watch most of the seasons of South Park on the Netflix instant viewer. I can't wait! It's one of my go-to shows when I need a good laugh.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stick a fork in me

Because I'm done!

Monday I took and passed the last of my three field exams for my Ph.D. It was American Cultural History this round, and while each of the exams was hard in their own way, this one was by far the most challenging. The reading was the hardest to digest, the written exam was the hardest to do, and the oral was hard, largely because I was a little "thought-out" by then. Also, there were no pictures to look at, unlike at the other exams. I liked the pictures. This exam was tricky. I wrote about the ways in which issues of identity -- class, race/ethnicity, and gender/sexuality -- have impacted American cultural history in the past several decades. During my oral, the professors asked my why I chose that topic (there were several possible essay prompts). They laughed when I said because it sounded easiest. (Honestly, it did.) The examiners were two of my favorite professors, and even though it was difficult to answer their questions at times, it wasn't too bad. It was very much a conversation, and it was very nice to be treated as an equal in it.

It still hasn't quite sunk in that I'm done with it all. The last few nights when I've gotten home, I've been really surprised to realize that I can relax. I don't have to read anything off my list, or make any notes on my collection of index cards, or anything. I can do whatever I want and I don't have to deal with (much) guilt about it. That hasn't happened in a while.

The next steps are picking a dissertation topic, writing a proposal, and getting said proposal approved. Then there's the small matter of writing the dissertation. But these are all things that can wait for a while. Right now I'm going to relax.

(As an aside, one of the peculiar things about being in a small program at a small school is that everyone knows what's going on with everyone else. While this can be annoying at times, it's been very nice to be congratulated every time I see a fellow student, teacher, or staff member. That kind of thing is very good for the ego.)

In the meantime, I've watched tv, I've been knitting, I even read a book. For fun. It was wonderful. I'm trying to decide what I want to read next. I'm thinking I might work my way through the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, in order. They're just about my favorite mystery novels ever, and while I read Gaudy Night once a year or so (best book about murder, romance, and higher education ever), I haven't read some of the others in ages. I also want to organize my giant stash of craft stuff so I can do some sewing and play around with the doll house this summer. It's just been sitting around since I moved to New York. I figure if you're going to keep a dollhouse in a studio apartment, you'd better be getting some use out of it.

I also have other good news to report. While I'm going to be able to enjoy my free time this summer, come this fall I'll be nice and busy. I've gotten a full time job in the library at school. With benefits! I am beyond excited. I'll also be serving as a teaching assistant for the big design survey. I'm a bit concerned about being able to get it all done, but I'm not the only student who juggles a workload like that, so I know it can be done. I'm really looking forward to getting some teaching experience.

Anyway, I think that's about it for now. I'm hoping to be a more frequent blogger, as well as a better commenter, now that I don't have the guilt of not-studying hanging over my head. But right now you'll have to excuse me. There's some knitting and a movie calling my name.