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Academia and Tea Catharsis:

190 Replies
Fjellrev said

I’m totally buzzed from the four cups of Laoshan Black I just knocked back. Tea, you’re my friend, but everything in moderation.

Why am I already on the 40th page of this paper and it’s still not done yet? And I can bet any money that it still won’t be good enough.

Kaylee said

You can do it!

JustJames said

i’m not done my psych project. i haven’t heard from my prof. i was writing in the hospital half stoned yesterday. i have misgivings.

i believe in you! i have faith! just stay away from the torridol and you’ll be great. lol.

OMGsrsly said

Uhh, James. PLEASE tell your profs that you had a medical emergency and you’re doing your best to get everything in on time. Please. I crashed my bike and lost all my front teeth, and called my prof FROM THE HOSPITAL because I was missing an exam and also couldn’t get a paper in on time. They understand. Really.

JustJames said

i’ve tried!!! i emailed her as soon as i got home!!!! nothing! i’m freaking out. she hasn’t replied….. i have until 11:59 tonight to get this in.

i got a note from the emerg doc. it was scanned, sent to her, NADA. one of those times where i am reminded that control is an i.l.l.u.s.i.o.n.

OMGsrsly said

You are allowed to not have it in if it’s not ready. Really and truly. Do your best, but if it’s not ready it should be OK. You have documentation, and your prof hasn’t responded. (That seriously sucks. Hopefully the email was just missed. Have you called and left a message as well?)

JustJames said

no, i tried, but it is sunday….. i should leave a message? wow, what a newb i sound like, lol.

OMGsrsly said

Yes, always leave a message! It’s backup that you’ve tried to contact your prof. They get the message and it tells them when you called. :P

JustJames said

okay…. i left a message, submitted my project, looked good, maybe even great. even had 20 minute to spare (have i mentioned yet that i broke a tooth?) for some reason i checked he submission report about 20 minutes ago? i attached the wrong file…. i have no words.

D-did you say 40th page and still more to go?
/goes into cardiac-arrest thinking about that much writing/

Incendiare Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? I hope it’s finished by now!

Fjellrev said

Thanks, everyone! It’s finally done. It ended up being a little over 51 pages. Never looking back haha.

James, I hope you heard back from your professor! And you better be looking after yourself too. :)

OMGsrsly said

That is seriously the Longest Proposal Evar. WOW! Here’s hoping you can use a lot of that in your final thesis as well.

Fjellrev said

Oh no, actually, it was only a final paper for a course and has nothing to do with my thesis. The best part is my prof/supervisor was kind of expecting me to complete my thesis proposal revisions simultaneously. That will probably end up being 30 pages. Because apparently I’m a robot.

OMGsrsly said

O. M. G.

WAT!

/Dies from heart problems/

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I finished my German paper. I thought it would never happen! All six pages of it, but dude, that is a lot to write in German (for me :p )

Now I need to cram for two exams. I didn’t want to sleep anyway. I have tea! :D

Nice. Hope you do well! I just finished mine a few days ago.

JustJames said

congratulations!!

ugh, sooo much done, but so much more to do!!

I survived two 2hr exams w/ 30 min between. I have another tomorrow and a final draft of a different paper due friday, one more piano lesson before winter break (it’s a big deal, my instructor intimidates me!), the GRE on the 19th, and need to get my grad applications complete over the break. . .break? heh, what break? lol.

JustJames said

and what tea is hovercrafting you through this insanity my brave friend? because i feel i should invest!

I just had a near divine encounter with Cowboy Creamsicle (tumblewood teas) (see my recent tasting note) and I think it will be my comfort tea of choice the next couple weeks when things get too stressful!

Cider Guayusa (Butiki) is what I chose to stay awake for my exams today (I slept 3hrs last night. woohoo! livin on the edge :D)

JustJames said

oof. watch yourself! don’t get sick! do you think the people who put the schedules together think of that AT ALL? geez. i’ve been doing the same, then i got smacked with the magical three, but tomorrow is my last. i will look up your review!

Fjellrev said

w00t ich gratuliere! I hope you’ll be done with the rest of the exam/paper flurry soon. May there be light at the end of the tunnel.

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Ana said

I am so glad a thread like this exists. I completed my finals last night and for the days leading up to it I think I lived off of green tea and soup because everyone around me started getting sick. At least I had no papers to write, but I did have to memorize a good chunk of tax laws which would make your eyes cross after one minute.
Now I get to enjoy all my holiday themed teas and veg out with netflix.

JustJames said

congratulations! i’m licking my wounds with fauchon’s naissance wondering if i should be glad i have break or whether i should freak over the exam i just blanked on. lol.

Ana said

I’m trying not to think about it and enjoy the ambiguous time before I weep when grades are posted. :)

JustJames said

oh, you too? sigh. yay tea.

Hopefully you won’t be like me and get sick as soon as you get out of school. >__>

Pic is related
http://puu.sh/5KQf3.jpg

JustJames said

oh no! it’s a distinct possibility. about 45 minutes in the miserable kidney became miserabler and i stopped being able to think. i honestly have no clue how it’s going to go. pretty sure i aced the final project, and i have a doctor’s note….. still, not sure.

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Sammerz314 said

Seven days until my final comprehensive! Ahhh I want to get it over with! So much anxiety!

JustJames said

i’m pulling for you!!!

You can do it!

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Sammerz314 said

Thanks! =) Procrastination results in me having to study the entire (well, maybe 2/3) text in less than two weeks lol

Fjellrev said

I still think you’re going to pwn it!

Roughage said

Here you go, some advice on structured procrastination:
http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/
I find that having something else that needs doing helps me focus on my thesis! :)

Sammerz314 said

What is your thesis on?

Roughage said

It’s a cognitive analysis and textual archaeology of the Viking berserker. Basically, I am reappraising berserkers, suggesting that they were not the lunatic nudists of popular imagination, and making the case for modern language usage being a hindrance rather than a help when analysing them.

OMGsrsly said

That is awesome, Roughage!

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Kat said

I’m praying I can post on this thread tomorrow, after I have gotten some headway into a paper on T.S. Eliot that is due Monday. I’m struggling to start it. But it must be done.

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Roughage said

Not long now, I hope. A solid week of editing my thesis and I should be able to sleep for a bit on Monday. Sheng puerh has been the mainstay of my overnighters this week, but a little Da Hong Pao is working miracles today. Bit bored of it now though. What tea should I have next?

JustJames said

mate is always a good boot…. as is guayasa… i just don’t like guayasa, lol. wow! i just looked up and saw your earlier post on your thesis…. question: when is modern language NOT a hindrance? are you talking about modern english or norse? modern language in reference to text or spoken lore? oops, that was more than one question, lol.

fascinating.

Roughage said

To answer your questions:
Modern language can often be a hindrance to understanding and can also guide research in the wrong direction to some extent, because it creates preconceptions about the interpretation to start with.

Modern English primarily, but also considering the modern Scandinavian languages and German, because they all have words that derive from Old Norse ‘berserkr’, and which all mean roughly the same thing.

Modern language in reference to text, film, tv, usage on internet forums, games, etc. Basically anywhere I can find examples of how people interpret it. Sadly the overall impression is of a particularly one-dimensional interpretation that bears little resemblance to the more nuanced interpretation of ON ‘berserkr’ that is evident in medieval Nordic countries, and even less resemblance to the probable reality of the Viking Age berserkr.

JustJames said

i have so many more questions…. but i fear they would be a) exceptionally basic and b) unhelpful as you crunch.

i am an informal polyglot. some languages i speak fluently, others i understand but do not speak by proxy of the languages i know. i am also part bloodhound: i follow my nose everywhere. i always want to know why, where it came from and when/if it changed.

linguistic change/modernization is much easier to track in printed word to a point, in my exp. the initial printing of the bible is a good example of that.

brilliant brilliant brilliant! some day we should meet for tea and i will pick your brain!

Fjellrev said

Roughage, your thesis sounds fascinating, and that’s awesome that you’re a Vikingologist. Scandinavian languages was one of my majors in my undergrad (hence the mjǫlnir in my picture) and I wanted to go on and do stuff like that in grad school but I couldn’t find a decent Scandinavian MA programme, even in Scandinavia, so now I’m in linguistics. But I hope you’re enjoying your programme and researching your thesis topic.

Scandinavian language and history were my interest too, but my small university only offers German, it is the next best thing.

Roughage said

JustJames: like I need any more excuses to procrastinate! :)

Incendiare: I’m sorry to see that you could not find a good MA programme. Everyone should get the opportunity to study Vikings and Scandinavian languages. My first degree is in Scandinavian Studies and my MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon studies, and I am so pleased I was able to do these. As for enjoying my research, yes I do enjoy it. It’s the writing it down that I hate!

Fjellrev said

Shelley, that’s great that you’re also interested in Scandinavian languages, but Scandinavian programmes are hard to come by in NA, for sure. That’s why I chose German as my other major since they go so well together. I hope you’re at least happy with German.

Roughage, I noticed that you live in the UK. I know Scandinavian programmes are more common there, especially at Oxford and Cambridge. I contemplated applying there but I was so hell-bent on actually living in Scandinavia and experiencing the languages firsthand whilst going to grad school. Iceland accepted me but their programme is too culture- and history-centred for my liking. Oslo’s programme was being remodelled the year I applied so no dice. Then the one I was accepted into in Sweden was too culture-centred too. I guess it is such a specific field that you don’t really have too many options.

I think the writing down aspect always kind of kills it! Does your programme encourage an exchange, like studying/research abroad for a semester?

Roughage said

When I did my first degree there were only five universities offering Scandinavian studies in the UK. I went to Newcastle and studied Norwegian there, which involved a year abroad in Norway. For my MA and my PhD, I studied part-time while working full time, so I was not able to consider any exchange programmes and did not look into them in detail. I know that a lot of my friends have managed to live abroad, and are currently doing so. Most of those are in Iceland, where there are generous grants to study Icelandic (if you are under 35). For me, studying the culture is just as important as learning the language, so I have not noticed the issues you have found. I do think that there are very few courses where you can study the modern Scandinavian languages, while there are a lot more where you can learn Old Norse and study Viking Age and medieval culture.

Fjellrev said

Yeah, I did notice that medieval studies are a lot more common, which is indeed fascinating. Oslo’s programme interested me because part of me wanted to continue studying Old Norse and runology but yeah, just too bad it wasn’t offered the year I applied to grad school. The culture is most definitely just as important as the language, but it’s not what I wanted to research.

That’s still great that there are five universities in the UK which offer Scandinavian studies programmes though. Here in Canada, there is only one, but only at the undergraduate level, unfortunately.

Roughage said

I’m not actually sure how many universities there are left that offer modern Scandinavian languages now. My original department closed down some time ago, so there could be a lot fewer left, even though medieval studies is on the rise.

I noticed that Toronto (I think) was looking for Norwegian and Swedish lecturers the other day. Is that the one university that offers it?

Both of the schools to which I am applying for for graduate study offer Scandinavian languages: University of Colorado and University of Washington. Colorado has an undergraduate Nordic Studies program and Washington also undergraduate and graduate programs. I’m not eligible for a program exclusively in Scandinavian studies, but I’m hoping to pick up a third language (for my minor language) for my comparative lit studies. University of Oregon, which I also briefly considered has a Scandinavian studies department too.

Fjellrev said

Too bad about your original department. I wonder if it has to do with lack of interest or budget cuts. The one university that offers it is the University of Alberta, and even then, you can no longer obtain a degree in it as of this fall because of budget cuts. It’s really sad.

Interesting if U of T would be looking for lecturers. Perhaps they’re trying to offer more languages, but not necessarily a programme.

Roughage said

It was a shame to see my department go. I was in the last cohort to graduate from it before it was closed down. The closure was political in part and also motivated by a lack of interest in anything that did not bring in lots of money.

I went looking for the advert. It was at the University of Alberta, so no new departments opening up.

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Kat said

Welp, three pages in—17 to go— less than 2 days. Wow, I suck.

I can almost feel your pain.

But you can do it! :)

remember, words like, "don’t and “it’s” can easily become “do not” and “it is”…. YAY FOR MORE WORD COUNT!

my profs don’t even allow a paper with any contractions in the first place.

Roughage said

Yup, formal writing here too. No contractions permitted.

Kat: are all your assignments by page count? I ask because our university works on word count, so I am not familiar with using page count to measure the length of an assignment.

Fjellrev said

Best of luck! Writing a twenty-page paper in two days is brutal enough.

Kat said

There’s no word count but a page count, but I’m going by the general rule that 300 words is one properly formatted page in a MLA layout, which is a pretty good way to tell. I haven’t actually checked how much I wrote on this paper, as I like to keep my assignments in single spacing as long as possible so I can see my arguments in closer proximity to each other. I’ve never had a university use word count for assignments (my undergrad didn’t either) although literature studies tend to use page count more, I think, because my friends in sciences or public health all used word count and single spacing (which would never happen in a literature paper, because MLA frowns on single spacing with great distain, even more so under the 2009 formatting rules.)

Anyway, the update is—I went out with my boyfriend last night, because we’re being needy as I’m leaving for like 20 days for the holidays (ugh…). So I’m minisculely beyond where I was. It’s going to be a long day.

BUT I HAVE TEA!

Roughage said

Page count seems weird to me: not precise enough, but I guess it’s how they have set it up.

As you say, at least you have tea. Good luck.

Kat said

Yeah, I agree with you, actually. When I teach, I’ll probably give a word limit, not only because I don’t want students pulling weird stunts with margins or anything, but also because I think in word counts, because as I said, I like my argument to be spaced tightly so I can see more of it, and don’t expand the paper until I’m finished.

I blame MLA.

And it’s cold in my room, and I’m having the worst time keeping my tea hot. It’s depression. T.S. Eliot and cold tea…

If the page is properly formatted to guidelines (it’s not hard to tell if the margin isn’t 1inch) there should be little difference between the page limit and word limit. Unless a page is submitted electronically, how can the instructors even know if you reached the word count? A page count is easier than a word count from a hard copy, so I think that might be the reason that some instructors chose that guideline.

What doesn’t make sense, though, is that writing sample guidelines for my grad school applications give a page count (10-15 pages), but no formatting guidelines. Theres a lot of room for variation in length there!

Roughage said

Cold room and cold tea? You should really get to grips with T. S. Eliot in circumstances like that! ;) Here’s a link to ‘Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life’ to cheer you up and distract you. :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3Pyp0HJqLw

Shelley_Lorraine: We have digital submission and hardcopy submission. The students have to do both. Having a page count and no formatting guidelines sounds like a recipe for trouble. I hate page counts, because we used to have to write essays by hand to a page count in school, and I have tiny handwriting.

Kat said

I still have awhile to go, but I don’t have class until four, so I should be okay. Maybe my tea will stay warm. I feel like this marathon paper writing is the only time I really find chai comforting.

Roughage, I have the opposite problem with hand writing. My handwriting is MASSIVE (and terrible) and making it smaller is really difficult and puts a lot of strain into my hands which already have problems with swelling and stuff when I write too much. (My handwriting is so big, to avoid causing my hands to swell more, I have to write in wide rule paper, which is so embarrassing and unprofessional. ) Anyway, written assignments with page limits always suck for me, because I take up probably twice as much room as most students, and thus have half the space to make my argument. Luckily, I almost never get assigned them anymore—at least with a page limit. Now that I’m in graduate school in a more artistic based field, I can’t even imagine me having tests anymore.

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Roughage said

Ok, I’ve had a decent break and am now filling up on a 2005 Xiaguan “Tibetan Flame” sheng puerh. Lovely stuff. It’s what the yak herders drink, although they make it with yak butter and salt. The smoky sweetness is really waking me up once more, so time to get back to the slog. 82000 words and climbing. Yay, go me! :) Of course, the word count will dive when I rewrite the methodology chapter to account for what I actually did, rather than what I thought I was going to do!!

Fjellrev said

Wow, that’s amazing! You go!

JustJames said

somehow i don’t see anything slowing you down. i see you channeling that annoying (yet true) chumba wumba song. =0) go man go.

last time i went that big i hit a wall at 87K…. keep on going and don’t look up, man! i got it back, but i didn’t appreciate the stuttering speed bumps at the time! lol!

Roughage said

Ok, 5am, my eyeballs are swimming in tea now, and I have finished editing another chapter. I’ll get a couple of hours’ sleep then back to work on the final one that needs editing this weekend. After that I need to add in the introduction and conclusions as well as the bibliography and hope that the whole lot is less than 100000 words, or I shall be cutting bits out.

I recall finding it hard to write 1500 or 3000 word essays as an undergraduate, and have heard similar complaints from those that I teach. However, these days I really do wonder how anyone can say anything useful in so few words. I could do with an allowance of twice as many words for my thesis and then I could include almost everything that I want to include.

JustJames said

agreed. first time at post secondary i was honours english on scholarship…. this time round i keep essay questions to bullet points. at first my profs poo-poo’ed my methodology… until they began getting 30 page labs routinely. they realized it wasn’t so much for my benefit as for theirs. no one objects anymore, lol.

3000 words is me being disciplined with a short answer.

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Sammerz314 said

In my program we usually do not write many essays. However, I did have to take several courses, part of the general requirement, which do require essay writing. Frankly, I hated it! I recall putting it aside until the night before each and every time LOL. I usually still managed to do ok, though. Essay free now =)

Sammerz314 said

P.S Are contractions not forbidden in formal writing in all cases? lol

Same here. I don’t know how some of these people in the thread are writing these monster papers. I’m in graphic/web design so there isn’t really research papers. COM classes destroyed my psych though. The first one I could not finish on time(over whelmed by it) and had to turn in late. The second one….. well after I turned it in I was brain-dead for two days. I couldn’t even play video games. I just wanted to sleep and not think of anything.

P.S. I also do essay fairly last minuet I can never start something early.

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