Monday, 26 March 2012

A dilemma approaches!

As I am someone who does a combined degree (Creative Writing and English), I have recently run in to trouble regarding my choices in third year.  In my previous blog entry I was talking about how I wanted to do my dissertation – and had my advisor set up and everything. I also wanted to do a creative project as that involves actually finishing the novel that I started years ago. Unfortunately, I have been told that it is not viable for me to do both options. This now means that I need to choose between the two of them – something I am finding impossible as of late. I really want to do a dissertation as I want something academic behind me should I choose to do a Masters and/or PhD. On the other hand, I want to actually finish my novel and I feel as though the only way to achieve this is to do it as my creative project. When you think about the fact that the novel in question was one I showed my tutor last year and she told me it was publish worthy when it was finished, I am of the mind that I should probably get a move on.

I have this problem where I lack motivation. It’s plagued me since the beginning of time, so I doubt that it’s something I’ll grow out of. I probably should have done so by now if that were the case. Instead, I am left with this lingering feeling of disappointment in myself and the need to actually kick myself up the backside and get a move on. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be happening.  It happens with my coursework. It happens with my real life. It happens with everything and anything and it’s really starting to bother me. Don’t let this happen to you! Find something that does motivate you and don’t leave things till the last minute. You’ll regret not setting a pattern for yourself in the first year, believe me. I’m trying my hardest to make up for this in the second year and with my third year approaching, that trying is becoming a lot more focused when I think of everything I’m going to have to be doing.

In less pressuring news, I’m enjoying the fact that I have a two week break in France to enjoy when my studies are over and I break for the holidays. I will still be manning the phones here in the Enquiry Unit, never fear, but holidays are always necessary just to remind yourself that there’s a whole world out there that doesn’t revolve around books and studying and meeting deadlines. Usually the best friend and I are more adventurous in our travels. We’ve been to Canada, America and Rome so far, and none of them have been the kind of holidays where you sit on a beach and get tanned. We like the stimulation of the mind – going to places where you can walk around and see things. Canada was our geek-out, as we’re both pretty avid fans of Stargate: Atlantis and we paid to meet the actors and go around the sets. It was a very exciting experience. America was actually Florida where we went around Disney World, Universal Studios (Harry Potter World!!!!) and Sea Life Centre. Rome included everything you think it would; the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican, and all of the Roman ruins we could get our hands on.

Why France? Pierrefonds to start with. It’s home to a wonderful castle where they film another of our favourite shows, Merlin. Then we’re moving on to Paris where we’re going to indulge our love of sight-seeing. We’re pretty easy to please and considering this is a holiday that could well have included a trip to St. Petersburg in Russia or a trip to Greece where we’re not so sure we want to get embroiled in riots, we’re pretty much taking the easy route.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Post-Modernism in a blog?

Post-modernism just doesn't work in blog form. Or does it?

I've been contemplating a post-modernist blog entry for a while now but what constitutes post-modern? Sorry. This is a question best left to my English literature course in which nobody can still come up with a viable interpretation. This is good for post-modernism but not so for my course. Imagine writing a 2500 words essay on post-modernism when you’re not even sure what it is?

In context with literature it’s probably a little easier. Meta – a thing which is aware it is a thing. So meta-blogging would be blogging about blogging? It’s all very confusing and coma-inducing unless you are, like me, fascinated by things that don’t make sense to you. I have been devouring everything and anything I can get my hands on re: post-modernism. I’ve read so many books that I would actually recommend to people. These include: House of Leaves which is quite a challenge to get through but one that ultimately pays off. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius which is another book that seems to put you off. The preface and the acknowledgments are almost chapter length themselves but I promise this books is worth it. It is very much the kind of book the title suggest! The last one I’m going to recommend now is Generation X. I took this one from the University Library because I wasn’t sure if it was one that I wanted to purchase. Rest assured, that book is now on my bookshelf; a bought and paid for copy.

Somehow my interest in post-modernism somehow led to me thinking about my dissertation. Don’t ask me how or why, it just did!

Apparently said dissertation is, “always worth talking about in your second year!” This quote comes happily from my personal tutor and future dissertation advisor. She seemed almost ecstatic to find out that I wanted to undertake this project and I had a brief moment where I pondered the sanity of actually deciding to do this but I got over it pretty quickly. The only reason I made this choice was because I’m aware that I have to have a title and an introduction before I actually start my third year. “Queer theory,” slipped out of my mouth before I’d really thought about it and suddenly I have three books being shipped from Amazon and a list of things from my tutor that I could research into. Now all I have to do is come up with a question.

            The application form for Dissertation has just literally showed up on my moodle and I’m glancing at it with something close to trepidation. It’s asking for a proposal in 200 words or less and all I’m doing is staring at the blinking cursor and thinking just how do you go from ‘Queer Theory’ to a proposal? This is a question that I am determined to tackle before the 28th of April. Be prepared for a great many blog entries detailing my long and arduous journey into the land of dissertation.
Somehow I am still hung up on the fact that post-modernism has, in my mind, anything to do with Queer theory but I’m sure there was a connection there somewhere. There was! I just need to dig around until I find it. ...