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Ooh, I totally have to answer this. So, got a BA in General Humanities. Don't even need it for my job.

I bet no one has any idea what General Humanities is. That was always the fun part, trying to explain it, when people asked me what I was studying. "Well, it's general, you know, about humanities." *insert confused nod* I think the best explanation I ever came up with was it's like a general English degree, only the classes were from all over the Humanities department. I took English classes, Canadian History classes, Philosophy (bleh), Chinese, even a Film class. I think I had a broader range of classes to choose from, compared to my friends. That always made it interesting.

Heck, I even took a Creative Writing class and it counted towards my degree. Fiction writing, for credit!

Of course, none of it prepared me for a PA job in the oil and gas sector. Good to know my university days were worth my time. ;-)
Yay, had my convocation today! I'm bloody tired but I'm officially done school forever. :-D

I thought there would be more speeches, but only the guest receiving the honourary degree, the President of the university, and the Chancellor spoke. Funny thing about the President of the university, this is probably the only time any of the students get to see him in person. Usually he's too busy accepting cheques from people on the university's behalf. So he had a boring speech and just sat there for the rest of the ceremony. I didn't even get to shake his hand. But I have my degree and all is good. I majored in General Humanities and now I never ever have to explain what my major is to people. It's so obscure and useless that it was just me and one other girl who received BAs in General Humanities.

So bye-bye U of C. It was nice knowing you but you're never getting your hands on my money again. ;-)
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Jeez, here I am, all ready to find a permanent job, and the employment agency comes through, but it's the employer who's being less than stellar. I've been waiting on an interview since last week, but to my surprise, the employer or whoever is handling the hiring process is away on vacation until tomorrow. It would have been nice to know that. Sigh. Sure, doing absolutely nothing has been nice, but I could be doing more productive things (and making some money).

At least the employment agency has been nice about it. They already have a temp job lined up for me if the permanent job falls through. It's with one of the companies I worked for last summer, the one where I got to read books when there wasn't anything for me to file. Actually, it's the exact same job. It's easy to believe that asked for me personally because I did such an awesome job, but really, they probably only want me back because I know the job and they won't have to train someone. It's been a year though; I really don't remember all the details of the job, except the parts where I got to do nothing and the free lunches.

The one plus: I didn't fail any of my classes! Marks were up surprisingly fast this year. I'm under the impression my Chinese prof curved the marks though. I don't think I did that well. So now I'm just waiting on the university to review my grades and approve me for convocation.

But in the mean time, vacation in one week! Does anyone know what the weather is like in San Francisco around this time of year?
Whoo, last day of classes! I will never ever have to take another Chinese class again or haul myself out of bed for a 40 minute train ride to the universe. Now I have the real world to look forward to. Oh boy.

As is the tradition here, the last day of classes is Bermuda Shorts Day. Wear your shorts and get horribly drunk before noon. I actually saw people drinking beer before 10:00 this morning. But the joke's on them. It was only zero degrees Celsius when I got to the university and it was snowing by the time I finished my last Chinese class (11:00 am or so). I've never been one for drinking so I can only laugh at how everyone had to scurry and move the beer gardens inside.

Just two exams and I am officially done university forever. It's kind of scary and great at the same time. In university all your time is spent worrying about work and getting that one essay done before it's due. At the same time you had entire summers to just slack off if need be. Now I have to find a job and that's eight hours of solid work every day. Only advantage of that is you leave the work at the office and when you get home you can do anything. No homework to worry about. The weekends are your own, too. I'll be happy to have more time to write but we'll see how I last with a 9-5 job.

And I am so close to finishing off the last essay I'll ever have to write. I'm tempted to have a note burning once I'm completely graduated. I've always wanted to do that.
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Whoo, first day of Reading Week! Yup, these things can start on a weekend; how lame is that? At least it's a week off school, though one of my profs was silly enough to actually assign reading for the week. Who uses Reading Week to do school work? Don't all profs know students take this time to do nothing and then frantically try to catch up two days before the break is over? I wonder what the profs do during the break? Surely they're slacking off, too.

Looking back at last year it seems I spent the week playing Xbox. I wouldn't mind doing that this year, but no, I've got essays to write and research and boring books about the Peloponnesian War to read. Sigh. Though one essay has to be about the Spartans; maybe I can use that as an excuse to rent 300 or something. :-D
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(Rant time!)

I have to say learning Chinese for these past three years has been fun. I actually know a language that most people couldn't figure out at first glance. But lately I've been hating it more and more. It's not really the professor's fault; I'm more annoyed with the Chinese program as a whole I suppose.

Every year they have a speech competition. During my first year you wrote something and the professor chose two beginner students to take part in the competition. By the time you hit the intermediate level, you don't get a choice. You're automatically entered based on the criteria that you're enrolled in a Chinese class. I guess in the eyes of the competition people your willingness to be in a Chinese class means you want to participate. Um, no. I hate that we don't get a say in this. Yes, it's part of our mark, but I don't want to speak in front of a panel of judges for a prize I know I won't win. A panel of judges who ding a bell if you go over your time limit.

In addition, this year they're holding the speech competition in conjunction with Chinese New Year's celebrations. I'm not required to go to the celebration, but my prof basically is bribing us with bonus marks if we do go. I was even considering going just for the bonus marks when the prof sprang on the class lyrics for a Chinese song. A song, for whatever reason, that every Chinese program student must sing at the celebration. Wait, I didn't sign up for that at all. What happened to free will? Now it's bribes all around. The prof wants six students to sing the song on stage. Those who want to will receive a gift. You know, there's a reason why not a lot of the students have shown up for these things. Forcing us to sing isn't going to make it better.

I'm in my last year. I think I've just stopped caring.
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Le sigh

Jan. 13th, 2008 11:36 am
locker_monster: (Dangerous River)
Well, it's back to university tomorrow. I know I shouldn't be complaining. Every other university has been back for a few days now, but I enjoyed just sitting around on my butt doing nothing productive. This is my last semester, too, so I'm totally not in the mood to be all academic. At the same time I don't want school to end because after that's done it'll mean I have to enter the "real world". Gah, I'll have to find a job come May.

I wish I had something planned for my last day of freedom. Oh well. One more day of sitting around without feeling guilty that I should be doing work instead of slacking off.
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Whoo, I'm half-way over to being over! Wrote my one exam for this semester so I'm officially down for the fall. I just need to get through the winter semester and then I'll be done university. And it only took five years. Now I have time to do nothing. :-D Slacking off is now just slacking off and not wasting precious essay writing time.

And I'll have time to get some writing done. All the good ideas always seem to come when you're super busy.
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Here's a silly question for the university students on my flist: I want to make a reference to the American TV shows that are filmed and produced in Canada, but are essentially American productions, in my term paper. How the heck do I prove that these shows (Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1/Atlantis) have mostly Canadian cast and crew? I'm trying to say that Canadian broadcasters are getting around CanCon requirements by airing these shows and that American popular culture still manages to get into the country despite all the requirements and regulations. The only way I can work this in and back it up with research is to find a paper about American TV shows filming in Canada but at this point I'm really not in the mood to go look.

Or should I just bug my prof? Or should I not even bother, because working in some of my favourite shows into a paper is a sign of lunacy?

But I think it also raises another point. If these crews are largely Canadian does that mean a Canadian perspective is finding its way into American TV? Just look at Stargate. A majority of the crew are Canadian. Even some of the writers are Canadian. Heck, one of the executive producers is Canadian. And Atlantis has the added bonus that it has a Canadian character. I think Atlantis is the only show where a major character is Canadian and it's not a Canadian TV show.

Or is Atlantis actually a Canadian show? Canadian money is obviously going into the production. If you argue that then you can argue shows like Doctor Who and Torchwood are also Canadian since the CBC provides funding to help pay for the show. In fact, the only reason the CBC can air Doctor Who and Torchwood is because of the Canadian money going into the production.

I think I'm going to leave the reference hanging for now and maybe look for a paper or article later. My brain can only take so much at a time.
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Blargh

Oct. 27th, 2007 02:54 pm
locker_monster: (Angry Robot Devil)
Term papers suck. That is all.
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Essay woes

Sep. 16th, 2007 02:47 pm
locker_monster: (Jayne hat)
A week of school and I already have essay woes. I suppose I only have woes because I decided to start the research for my paper the day I learned I had to write one. But also, the topic is just throwing me off. We have to discuss popular culture. Pop Culture! A realm that includes, among many things, T.V., movies, music, books. Potentially I could talk about things I've actually seen/heard and care about. I don't know where to start.

The topic is: To what degree is Canadian popular culture a reflection of its counterpart in the United States?

The Canadian in me instantly thinks "no degree". Canada has its own pop culture; it's just not that well known. It only seems like Canadian pop culture is copying American pop culture because American pop culture is everywhere. Look at typical evening television schedule. I bet 90% of the programming is from the States. But if you look at the argument from that way, you can also say Canada is reflecting the U.S. because we keep importing their shows and watching them like fiends.

I don't know. I think I want to argue that Canadian pop culture is a reflection of American pop culture but only in things that aren't influenced by the region you live in. Like, Canadians and Americans dress the same, speak the same language, drive the same cars, eat the same food, but really, people in China can wear jeans and eat North American food. When it comes down to literature or art or music then that's when the two countries start to diverge. Some things you'll only get from living in the country. Just look at my icon. The word toque isn't even used in the United States (what do Americans call toques anyway? Wool hats?). So I guess looking at popular culture stuff like T.V. shows will support my argument but it's hard to find academic articles about the effects of pop culture. Plus, not a lot of Canadian television has hit it super big in the States. I can think of Due South off the top of my head. Anything else?

I'm still waiting for some books to come in from the library so maybe those will help me shape an argument that can last ten, double-spaced pages.
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And so ends the first two heady days of school when the profs let you out of class early and you have no homework to worry about. It's all downhill from here.

In a truly sad turn of events I started the research for one of my Canadian Studies term papers. The thing isn't due until November 15th but I've taken courses from this prof before and I know he likes a lot of research. It's like a guaranteed A. I checked out three books from the university library and a fourth is on its way. I can't decide if this makes me really studious or really lame. :-) The topic isn't half bad though: "To what degree is Canadian popular culture a reflection of United States popular culture?" Basically, do we Canadians just copy everything the Americans do or do we have a unique pop culture of our own? Not really sure what my argument will be. First I have to find a definition of popular culture that's to my liking and I can't do that since the stupid university library website is down and I can't access the article index. Blargh! That's my best source for research materials. I do have one thing in my advantage. The other Canadian Studies course I'm taking is about Canadian humour and Canada definitely has a unique brand of humour. I can totally work in what I learn from that course into the term paper.

My other course for the fall semester is a genre fiction class, or a slacker English class. This year I'm taking the Detective Fiction course, or Dick Fic as it's sometimes called. While the books for this class look interesting I'm not that excited. I was more excited for the Science Fiction English course I took two years ago. It was stuff I actually liked and could BS my way through if needed in an essay. Also didn't hurt that the TA, who filled in for the prof while he was away sick, was a big Stargate fan and liked to use the show as an example. We'll see how Dick Fic goes. The prof wants to show some movies and was thinking about screening a Prime Suspect as well.

One final exam but my semester seems essay heavy this year. Hopefully I don't go crazy before Christmas.

(And it occurs to me that now school has started up again I'm posting more on LJ. Apparently procrastination starts from day one.)
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New semester started today. Ugh. :-P

I think I got used to working over the summer so now school feels like such a chore. I mean, with work sure you waste the day, but you get paid for it and the weekends off. With school it's work all the time and the rewards of your efforts can't buy you books and food.

Plus I've completely forgotten all of my Chinese so I'm essentially screwed. I really need to review but I'm just too damn lazy. Or it could be that I'm a bitter fifth year student. And I know I used to be one, but all the n00b students are kind of annoying. They walk so slow when I'm in a hurry to get to my next class and they're still hanging out in their high school clicks, clogging up the hallways. It doesn't last people! You'll be so busy you won't get to see your friends as often as you like. And dang, the campus felt so crowded today. Where did all these people come from?

Maybe it was the cake. They were giving out free cake today for some reason I couldn't bother myself with. Y'know, instead of free cake why not lower tuition. That would definitely make me feel better.

On the plus side, I don't have a lot of textbooks to buy this semester. I managed to borrow a few of them so my hard earned textbook money can go towards something else. Like maybe a new iPod. The new ones are coming out in a couple of weeks and the new iPod nanos can support video now. Though, I really don't need something like that right now since it would be totally distracting.

Gah. That's all I have to say right now.
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Good day

Apr. 23rd, 2007 02:29 pm
locker_monster: (Warrior Zoe)
As Mal likes to say: I had a good day. And I do realize the day isn't over yet but I've been up since 5:00 am so my day started a lot earlier than normal. I have my Bio-Ethics final exam to thank for that. Do they really expect us to think clearly at 8:00 am? Bio-Ethics was hard enough to follow when I was wide awake. But aside from that setback, everything else that followed wasn't half bad. I took my first steps towards finding a decent summer job. I stopped off at an employment agency on the way home; I was all prepared to just hand over a resume and then get a call back saying that would want me to come in, but they saw me right away. Naturally I was dressed like a slob, 8:00 am exam after all, but these were only the people trying to get me a job so it wasn't the worst first impression I've ever made. The only downside was I was really tired and hungry so when they asked me to do some tests, I'm sure I could have done better. Also, my math skills are like non-existent; I haven't taken a math course in four years so the math based questions probably made me look really stupid. But I'm all registered now so they could be phoning at any second to tell me there's a job waiting. I can dream, right? :-D

When I got home, I found some lovely e-mails telling me all of my academic stuff has been sorted out. Which now means I don't have to worry about that stupid half credit of Comparative Lit. I was moaning about previously. The Assoicate Dean is allowing me to take the entry level Comparative Lit. course, which is really nice of him. Plus, everything is in the right place now over at the degree navigator. All I need to do now is finish off my 20 full course credits and I'll be done university! Next year. A year later than I planned. Oh well, it's all good.
I should be graduating this year. This is my fourth year of university but I'm still four full course credits short of my required twenty full course credits. That's mostly my fault; I should have taken five courses in each semester but most times I couldn't find courses that fit with my degree that also fit into my schedule.

But there's one thing that isn't my fault. I need a full course credit in Comparative Literature to fill a requirement in my degree. I know I probably should have taken the entry level course during my first year or even during my second year, but I suppose I never really thought about it or had space. Now that I'm in my fourth year, I can't take anymore entry level courses so Comparative Lit. 201 is out of the question. Okay, fine. The university usually has courses that don't need a prerequisite; I've taken a bunch of courses like that. But the stupid university doesn't have any other Comparative Lit. classes. Nothing. No 300 level or anything. How can I be faulted for not having any Comparative Lit. credits when there's only one half credit course to begin with?

When I talked with the Humanities Associate Dean at the beginning of the year he said I could take some literature courses outside of English, effectively making it a comparative literature course, to help cover the requirement. I took Russian Lit. this semester so I'm only a half course credit away from completing the requirement. Of course, when I look up my degree on the degree navigator the university provides it says my Russian Lit. class isn't being counted towards Comparative Lit. Either the program is horribly logical and can't bring itself to put my Russian Lit. course under a section where it normally doesn't belong or the Humanities Associate Dean never told the university or the degree navigator people about his agreement with me and probably other Humanities students who are in the same situation.

Okay, done ranting. Need to go fix this mess.
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So, to top off a whole year of Creative Writing, the Creative Writing profs have got into their heads that all the students in the program, Fiction and Poetry, should do a public reading. Which I think is the most evil thing they could come up with. I hate public speaking. What's even worse, I have to read something of mine. In public. In front of people I mostly won't know. Did I mention evil? But I doubt I can get out of this. Unless I come down with laryngitis, which would be great. :-D

I also thought I would take this opportunity to post some original fiction. My class is making this chapbook to be sold at the reading so this is my submission. It's likely it's also the thing I'll be reading. So, good to know if it's crap before I get up there. ;-)

Because I have, like, a month more of university before classes are done for the winter semester and then finals have to be written. Sigh.

Teaser:
     

Because school is making me sleepy and making icons is more fun. Plus, Ten/Rose angst!icons.

Teaser:

     

Should be writing Russian Lit. essay. Made nine Doctor Who icons instead. So: the Doctor and his sonic screwdriver (and no, that's not an euphemism).

I don't know how people do it. How do writers write drabbles? How can they create this wonderful story with so little words?

I only wonder because my Fiction Class is throwing together this chapbook as an end of the year project. We all have to submit something. Now that the layout has been sorted out, the request has come down: one story, 350 words or less. 350 words or less? Gah. We had to do something similar at the beginning of the year with these writing exercises. We couldn't go a word over 350 and it really bugged me. I rarely came up with anything decent.

And here's something else to boot. The chapbook is going to be sold at some Creative Writing gala thing in April (where I'll have to read something for two minutes but that's a post for another time). I doubt many copies will be sold outside of the class, but the thought of having my crappy story out there for other people to read is just... depressing. Or scary. I think I'll go with scary.
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