Since I have nothing particularly interesting to report, other than my sister's getting MARRIED on JANUARY 7!!! and that Adrian and I are LOOKING AT APARTMENTS!!!!, here's some mushy yet true thoughts. Imagine that I'm reading them to you wearing a smoking jacket and drinking cognac in a wingback chair in front of a roaring fire...
"A professor stood before his philosophy class and placed some items on the table in front of him. He picked up a large jar and filled it with golf balls. He asked his class if the jar was full and they agreed it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. The pebbles rolled into the spaces between the golf balls. The professor asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar, filling the spaces between the pebbles. Once again, he asked his class if the jar was full and once again they said yes.
The professor then produced two cups of tea and poured them into the jar, filling the spaces between the grains of sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor. "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your passions--things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, would make your life full. The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life; if you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the important things. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness: play with your children, take care of your health, take your partner to dinner. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and asked what the tea represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show that, no matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a couple of cups of tea with a friend."
Well, actually many of you actually have the same degree, or higher, than I do, but you still have to call me "Master." I've decided that this is only fair, since I am now Caroline Winter, BA, MA.
Notes about Conovocation: there was a guy who popped open a bottle of champagne as he was hooded, and a dude who was hooded in a Darth Vader mask. Both were MSc students... apparently MAs are comparatively boring and unimaginative. Meh.
I am beginning to hate my job. There's only so much busywork, neglect, and complete disorganization that a person can take. Especially when that person didn't get the cubicle with a window because some dude showed up who used to work there and swooped in. Oh well, at least he's cute.
Last night Adrian and I saw Serenity, FINALLY! It was really good, but I wish that I'd seen the series before. I got the feeling that it would have meant much more if I had. Even so, Joss rocked once again. I love Joss.
The job is going pretty well, I guess, except everyone is really disorganized and inefficient. It's pretty ironic, really, since we are the organizational effectiveness branch...
I realized today, after opening my 30-odd unread emails, that I have been neglecting my lovely eMac and all of her joys, like you, my livejournal friends! In case I seem really weird, I should tell y'all that I feel like crap and I'm really tired. I'm SO GLAD that it's the weekend.
I can't express how much I want to move on with my life. The whole MA thing left a really bad taste in my mouth--worse even than the sicky taste that I have right now. I just want to move out, preferably into a fabulous apartment in the annex, then buy a house and have babies. How scary is that? Hmmm????
Of course, it doesn't help that I'm watching season 3 of Angel, in which he and Darla have a baby (well, she dies...) and stuff. Dude--Angel + Baby = HOT.
Anyhoo, I don't have much to report. I've spent the better part of the last week in a grey cubicle staring at a computer screen and trying to learn various software applications.
Oh, I got an email from my cin/mod prof today asking for feedback about our class, since it was apparently the worst-rated grad course this year or something. heheheheh.
We're going to a wedding today! Actually, we're kind of crashing it. Eleanor asked me to go as her date, since her boyfriend can't come into Canada, and then we needed a ride up to Alliston (where the wedding is), so we got Lynn to take Adrian as her date. I feel kinda bad about the whole thing, but it DOES make sense... it reminds me of that Friends episode where Monica went as Ross' date to that wedding and the groom turned out to be her ex or something... I forget how it ended.
When I called Adrian to ask if he thought getting the tortilla warmer from their registry was a good idea, he said, "dude, we're crashing their wedding--a tortilla warmer is the PERFECT gift!!!"
I thought that was pretty funny.
Anyhoo, off I go to kill my feet as they were just healed from the massacre at the bachelorette. Oh well, at least this time I'll be walking on carpet only!!!
Also, I bought a new dress. I look hot in it, and it was really cheap at Sears! I was going to buy one at Laura that was WAY too expensive, and not on sale as the overly pushy salesgirl had told me, but a little voice in my head yelled "DON"T DO IT!" just as the cashier told me it was final sale. I should really listen to that little voice more often. She's generally right.
Yesterday marked the end of my first week at my first real job--that is, a job not involving customers or cash registers. I think I'll like it, since what I'll be doing is basically writing communiques, researching stuff, and learning fun new software! It's cool because I have my own cubicle, nobody bothers me, I'm free to spend my morning teaching myself html (as I did on Wednesday), I can take breaks whenever I want, and they're pretty liberal with their office supplies.
One thing that I can't get over is how much easier this job is, at least physically and emotionally, than retail, and yet how much more it pays. At W-S, I would spend 8 hours a day sweating, running around, lifting heavy boxes, and pretending not to hate customers. At the gov't, I'm just sitting in a cube, writing and reading stuff.
I'm actually pretty psyched about the possibility of getting a job in publishing once my contract is up, since I'll not only have experience in an office and with document management and stuff, but I'll also have finished a bunch of courses. I really like the courses, especially copy editing, although they tend to make me realize how little I know about stuff like grammar and the "real world."
My parents have gone away for the weekend, so I'm taking this opportunity to throw stuff out. My dad's Scottishness has rubbed off on my mom, so that neither wants to throw anything away, including moth-infested pasta and old, useless and broken furniture. This morning I cleaned out one cupboard. I'll do the rest this afternoon. I find it so satisfying to get rid of stuff.... I should be on one of those shows on TLC...
So, yesterday I signed a five-month contract as a Research Assistant with the government of Ontario! I now work for The Man. Oh well, at least he pays well. I'm really excited about this, but it has begun to hit home that, starting Monday, I will have NO TIME until after Christmas. Apologies in advance for neglecting y'all. Adrian and I are going shopping tomorrow to buy me office-appropriate clothes. With luck, my faithful watching of What Not To Wear will serve me well.
BTW, if anybody wants to nominate me for WNTW, I won't be offended, I promise. I would LOVE to be on that show--Nick is a God of hair. I'm actually getting my hair cut today, funnily enough. That always makes me nervous. Nobody cuts my hair quite like Rodrigo did at first, but he kind of lost his touch. Now I just go to the chick who did my wedding hair because she's nice and does a good job, but I don't know.... I had one perfect haircut in my life and I can never recreate it....
Here's a question: when you women (and men, I guess...) wear high heels, do they hurt your feet and you just grin and bear it, or are they reasonably comfortable? Even the smallest heel tends to really hurt my feet and I can't figure out if it's because they're Payless shoes, or if it's just heels in general....
I had a call this morning from a job that I'd applied for about a month ago (what's up with that???). The guy was like, "I see you have an MA and an Hon. BA. Why do you want to work in an office?" I tried to explain that I'm looking for office experience and career goals etc. Then, he asked me what kind of pay I was looking for, and when I told him $15-20 an hour, he said "Well, I'm sure you're worth that, but that's not what this position pays. Thank you, bye."
That's nice and all, but I could really use a job. This is why an MA is annoying.
On that note, after struggling to articulate what exactly what I want to study for my PhD and why, I've decided to postpone doing it. The idea of earning money (mon...ey?) and buying a house, or at least having my own apartment, is very attractive. Plus, unless I want to be an actual professor, I'm just as qualified for most jobs now as I would be with a PhD--perhaps more so, as my conversation this morning proved. I don't want to educate myself out of the market. It's actually pretty depressing how little academic jobs pay, at least initially, considering the investment that is put into them. Not only would I not make much money for many years, but I would not even be reasonably sure of getting a job.
Also, I'm really enjoying my publishing courses. I think I'd be a great copyeditor and possibly a great publishing person all-round. In a way, it's the best of both worlds--being around books and intelligent people, but also not qualified primarily for one kind of job.
Yesterday I was feeling pretty despondent about the whole PhD situation, since I'm trying to write my SSHRC thing and get it straight in my head exactly what I want to work on. Then, coming home from class, I realized that a much better angle for my topic would be to discuss the relationships between literature and cinema around WWI--that way, I can talk about adaptation as well as the cinematic aspects of modernist literature and, of course, Woolf's essay "the Cinema" that launched all of these ideas. I think that this way, my whole modernism/fantasy idea will flow much better, and I won't be pegging myself into any particular genre of literature. I can even talk about poetry if I want...
Also, today Adrian and I found this supercool bag for me--it's black leather with pink edging. Very cool yet sophisticated yet funky, AND it holds my binder and textbook with room to spare. Sweet!