13 September, 2008

Work, Money, Stuff

The bosses have heard my cry and are thinking they can max out my allowed work hours for me. It's not going to fund me what I need, but the extra £55/week will go a long way toward making life generally livable.

Doing the math, if I can stick to my budget for personal things, even if I increase it 5 pounds from the extra shift (not always easy, but mostly possible), I can put aside a fair amount of money each week. Some of it can be tagged for school expenses, like paper, research fees, photocopying, etc.

You know, it could be worse. I'm not on a ramen diet, although I do take advantage of any free food to be had. It's kind of eerie how I feel like I'm living a PhD Comic. A small amount of money can buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, and as long as I keep the staples on hand (flour, noodles, rice, potatoes, oils) I can make a lot of great stuff. (The free stuff I get from work occasionally is awesome, too.) I do kind of miss orange juice, though, so I'm-a get some concentrate this week.

Aaaand, this post has turned into a ramble. Enough of that. I am going to go write some letters and relax for a bit, because my brain is fried after a full Saturday shift.


10 September, 2008

Grad School Defined

From the lovely Mel:

"The change from undergraduate course work to graduate course work is somewhat of a shock to the system, like someone's doused me with a bucket of cold water. Cold water filled with BOOKS and FISTS."

One Man, One Cup: the transgressive comedy of Till Eulenspiegel

This is just to show that there is nothing new under the sun.

In the early sixteenth century, the tales of Till Eulenspiegel were published. Till, a jester of anarchic and trickster bent, delighted in transgressive comedy and basically anything that would tweak powerful people's noses. Rather like Heath Ledger's joker, minus the malice.

In one of the tales, Eulenspiegel is in a jest-off competition with another jester. Desperate to win, and having been matched on every joke and trick thus far, he squats on the floor, defecates, and eats half with a spoon. He invites his rival to enjoy the other half, and then to do the same. His rival declines and Till wins.

That such a motif is present in literature from so long ago and is still so morbidly fascinating today*... well, I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to what that says about humanity in general.

* No, I have not seen it, nor do I want to. I don't know anyone who HAS, yet everyone has heard of the meme somewhere. I cannot explain its apparent "popularity."

08 September, 2008

Fun Mit Acronyms!

Well, I am now set to participate in the SSDMA* roundtable session and in the session "God's Cripples, Crazies, and Imbeciles" at the ICMS** It's good to have that very tiny chunk of org done.

Meanwhile, head for the hills, it's SSHRC*** time again! My supervisors will be writing me references, and it's nice that I will be able to draft my proposal based on some solid research and specific primary sources.


* The Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages, for those who are just tuning in.
** International Congress on Medieval Studies, more commonly referred to as "K'zoo."
*** The Social Sciences and the Humanities Research Council, a major funding body for Canadian academics.

03 September, 2008

Taking off at a run

Have you ever looked at the CV of an established professor and wondered how the heck they manage to accumulate so many speaking and publishing credits?

I'm learning. It's not about being particularly competent. It's about the nature of deadlines and the human condition.

May seems awfully far away right now. It's months and months away! So I fool myself into thinking that's loads of time to prepare a full 20 minute paper and a 10 minute roundtable talk. If by this point you are laughing hysterically, then you know what I mean.

Likewise with the book review I agreed to do in May. And the article I committed to in July. And now it's September, and the reason you don't hear from me much is my frantic scramble to make good on all my promises. It'll happen again in May, I'm sure.

And now, I'm off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of... well, he's not a wizard and he's not particularly special and he's been dead centuries but he wrote some cool stuff about deafness that I'll get back to you on.