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21 June 2011 @ 04:16 pm
 
Thursday:

  • External Examiner's Meeting: All the ecology students were in the front and all the zoology students were in the back - so typical. Yet they act offended when we then voice things. The external examiner mentioned "interesting projects" and as he said so, my forehead fell to my desk. He went on, "There was one that researched references to...oh, to whom...oh! References to Goethe!" I turned red and hid my face as I laughed. He then asked, "Who did that one?" I had to raise my hand. He mentioned that it was an interesting, creative project and that with fewer supervisors and more finalist students in the years to come, there would have to be more projects like that. I got my words in about exam feedback (having the whole subject of exams not be a mystery or taboo - and able to see our essays or feedback again) and coursework feedback. That pleased me.
  • Jo's House: The sleepover was lovely. I spent much time on the floor playing with her dogs. Claire was surprised but Jojobird wasn't at all. I love flopping on kitchen floors with pets. We drank some, watched The Women and went to sleep.


Friday:

  • Jojobird and Claire let me sleep (much appreciated, since I hadn't slept much in the nights preceding). We woke up and went into Hungerford, ambled around the high street shops. Saw a horse and carriage for a marriage. Got baguettes and enjoyed them back at Jojo's.
  • Results: I was the only non-nervous party. I figured I had made it through my personal fear-place (exams) and I had a degree, so it wasn't worth my getting upset about. I don't need any particular mark since I'm not furthering my education. The blockade (chairs across the corridor) went down and we went to look. There are only 8 or so Ecology & Conservation students so I saw immediately that one person did not receive results (I knew without looking that would be me) and no one had lower than a 2:1 (B). Read that we got our dissertations back at the office, too, which was a surprise.
  • Dissertation: Claire got hers out first and got an 80. Louise (lecturer) was telling her how it was one of the top 3; Claire was crying. I was thrilled for her but also finally recognised the knot of fear in my gut, especially that I wouldn't match up to Claire. (Dissertation mark was something I was nervous about, unlike my general result, which is actually a bit odd.) I got mine back. 80. It didn't hit me for a while as I mingled with everyone else even after Claire and Jojobird had left.
  • The Caveman: So, not really a caveman. But I ran up and knocked on my personal tutor's door. He was annoyed at the interruption to his meeting at first, but as soon as he saw it was me he brightened right up (what a relief). Mark has also grown a beard, which startled me some. He started raving and congratulating me so I rushed to tell him I didn't actually know how I'd done. He's an Important Figure within the department now so he couldn't tell me (against the rules, though he would have done in last year I'm sure :Þ). He told me I'd be pleased. I told him I was mainly surprised. "I expected to come here, see '2:1' on the board next to my name and leave." He looked surprised, then amused, and then repeated, "You've done fine; you'll be pleased." I raised my eyebrow. He declared that one day I would take over the world ("I don't want world domination") because the people who want to really shouldn't, and then we parted ways.
  • Mojo's and Library: Headed to Mojo's before anime and saw that Claire was there with her boyfriend. I gave my stuff to the Anime Society Crew and headed off to the library to make copies. I posted this, which so many people have responded to that I just can't believe it. Did my forms and headed back to Mojo's (student pub).
  • The Letdown: I was sitting with Claire and she wanted to go through her dissertation and mine again, so despite my better judgement (I hate grades and comparisons) I remained with her. She realised she had read the wrong grade page (she read the supervisor's mark of the student's conduct) and actually had an 85 for the project. And I'm happy for her. And I know it doesn't really take anything away from me, save probably being in the top three - but who cares, right? Good is good. Only my brain sucks and is a terribly mean place when it comes to grades, which is why I had been so thrilled that the two of us had received the same mark - no way to make it a competition at all! Consciously, I wouldn't want to make it a competition; but my brain has its old habitual responses from years of grade-hounding and if there's a difference in marks, my brain attacks. Attacks me, that is - it never attacks anyone else.
  • The Emo: I tried not to let it get to me but I think emotions were just running too high that day and it didn't work. I took a few trips to the loo for tears and then sat alone a bit at Mojo's, but that was also because I had been continuously around people for most of the week and needed a little alone time. I felt bad that Claire caught me with a tear - I don't want her to feel bad that she's done so well! - and love her as I do, I was still relieved when she and her boyfriend left. I was glad she achieved so highly and could go celebrate; my pain wasn't from her, it was from my head. It's just difficult to explain such things.
  • The Celebration Anyway: Emma (an almost-coursemate) and her boyfriend joined me at my table. She asked me about my dissertation and comforted me when the tears came unbidden. During one trip to the loo, Louise (reminder: lecturer) was in the loo as well and invited me to come chat with her about projects and what can be improved for future years. Louise raved about my project and how mine and Claire's were second best, then asked how I'd done again; I hid a bit and told her it turns out Claire had got second and had done five marks better than I had because Michael Shaw didn't like my lack of statistics (Nick-the-supervisor didn't care). Louise just laughed and said, "Yes, because an 80 is terrible - and fuck statistics!" Suddenly I felt a lot better about it all. My Mammalian Reproduction lecturer (Phil) was also there, so I told him I was grateful for the class despite that it certainly wasn't my best and I hadn't done very well - it was one of those difficult classes that I loved all the same. We laughed together. Eventually Phil, Louise, an Unknown Lecturer (he was too drunk to give a name by then) were all drinking together as described here. In the end I skipped Anime Society, went to Sam and Judy's (anime society people) with my housemates Roberts and Jacqueline and fell asleep on the sofa with Jacqueline.


Sunday: (Saturday was a bum-around day)

  • Oxford: Roberts, Jacqueline and I travelled to Oxford for a Legendary Evening with John Cleese as part of his Alimony Tour. First we picked up our tickets at the theatre and then headed to Four Candles, the nearest Wetherspoons pub. I bought Roberts a pint and we all ate a good helping of food while having a laugh.
  • The Show: Fantastic show. It was definitely a fans' tour. We got to relive some of Cleese's glory days with him and he had some fantastic anecdotes. He ended the first act with, "I think we shall take a 20-minute break and come back to talk about black humour" which delighted me to no end. Yay black humour. (: He played the clip of his speech at Graham Chapman's funeral, which was rather touching. He hurried away after the show but we assume it was for a Big Life Thing since he cancelled Monday's show in Oxford.
  • The After Show: Roberts, Jacqueline and I revisited Four Candles for a pint (Roberts) and a pitcher (me and Jacqueline). More laughter and then the trip home. We were all exhausted.



Now it is Tuesday and I have still not received an email from Dr. Savva (important coordinator or something) telling me that my payment (from last Wednesday) has been received and that I can come get my results. I can no longer say that I don't care what I get. I think it's the combination of thinking that I might possibly have pulled off the unbelievable (to me) and tackled a first (A-grade degree), still not knowing if I have and not knowing when I will know.

Yesterday I went food shopping but that's all I've been able to handle really. I want to be cleaning my room and reading and doing all sorts of exciting things but the above issue won't leave my head and I can't seem to inspire myself to do anything. Plus Jacqueline has left the house 'til tomorrow (and she leaves for good this coming weekend) which leaves me with 6 boys and I want to slaughter most of them, at this point, just for the state of the house. People are packing up and leaving Reading and I'm going to be here until the end of July...so I'll see everyone for graduation, but much of my time will be spent alone. Which is good in a way, I suppose, but it has also been nice to be busy. This is the real Wrapping Down point and it's getting to me. Makes sense. Not conducive to room-cleaning, organising or packing, though. :B

Anyway. That's me accounted for! Hope you all are keeping well.


Kiwi
Eyes to see
"The one person who really knows me best says I'm like a cat - the kind of cat that you just can't pick up and throw into your lap. No, the kind that doesn't mind being held, only when it's her idea; the kind that feels what she decides to feel when she is good and ready to feel it."
[Ani DiFranco; Virtue]
 
 
Current Mood: confusedConflicted.
 
 
 
101mutts101mutts on June 21st, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
Wow, that sounds like a roller coaster! Louise's comment is awesome. Teacher/Professor relationships can be lovely. Dr. Savva what's taking you so long? Hurry the freak up.
Kiwi Crocus: Text || There - I said it.cranky__crocus on June 21st, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
Definite roller coaster. Now I'm supposed to be out of the amusement park, but I'm waiting around for the purse I lost in the toilet (which I've done in real life before, and it was probably more fun then than it is now as an extended metaphor). Louise in general is awesome. She kept telling me to email her any time I want to do a PhD. I told her that was very unlikely, but I may send a chatty email some-when down the line.

Of course teacher/professor relationships can be lovely. (: What I was shocked about was that she actually remembered me from her classes. Then, teachers here don't really do office hours (at least non-humanities teachers) yet that didn't stop me from going to her office to work on cat genetics until I understood it and not leaving a moment sooner.

Dr. Savva has to wait for an email from finances that my payment went through. At this point I'm blaming the finance office.

And at this point, I'm fully ready to say 'hurry the fuck up' over 'freak' or 'frak' or whatever non-real-cuss words I use to not use profanity. I'm none too pleased at the moment. I feel as though my life is on hold.
gerristgerrist on June 21st, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
What a sucky place to be stuck. So sorry Kiwi. It WILL end soon. You fees show as paid on the website so all should be well.

Perhaps a plan of action for the a.m. would help? Up and Atom Ant in the a.m. to deal with these people?

Finance Office Telephone:

+44 (0) 118 378 6700

Dr Demetris Savva Telephone and Email:

+44 (0)118 378 8460 d.savva@reading.ac.uk

GOOD LUCK MY LOVE!! Mom
gerristgerrist on June 21st, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
"She kept telling me to email her any time I want to do a PhD."

Perhaps in a year, after a GOOD break, if she has a scholarship for a Doctorate you'd be interested. : )
Kiwi Crocus: H&M || Sets self on fire.cranky__crocus on June 21st, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
No a.m. time for me. Maybe an afternoon plan. I am not Up and Atom Anting to go deal with uni. Reading - they've had enough early mornings out of me. I'll call the finance office in the afternoon, though. Savva can't help me until he gets an email from finances so there's no reason going to him (I already spoke with him when everyone else got results).

No. There isn't a scholarship big enough to get me into a PhD programme in a year. The thought of it just made me punch my desk in rage and, uh, I don't usually do active anger. I don't even want to think about it; my head is still screaming at the thought.
albalark: Common Academic Termsalbalark on June 22nd, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
It's been a heck of a ride, my dear, but you should be SO proud of yourself!!! You did a stellar job, under a crippling level of emotional stress. Now imagine what you are capable of after this - yep, I don't think World Domination is too far off the mark! ::g:: It's time to relax now and enjoy your summer. You've plenty of tme to think about the future. :-)
Kiwi Crocus: Nature || Pink tree contrast.cranky__crocus on June 27th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this. ♥