Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The good things: one of two Hs.

So in my previous self-lamenting post I had mentioned that there were some good things that kept me barely hanging on and this is one of them:

One of the conferences I presented at was the ACLA annual meeting held at Harvard University. The funny thing was, when I applied, I didn't know it was at Harvard so when I got accepted it was a bit of a shock, really. And my family and friends dropped their contents, which was hilarious. But it was all thanks to my friend Gerard who suggested the topic! If he hadn't suggested the topic, I wouldn't have had a paper to submit.

Other than that, presenting at Harvard was a pretty amazing experience. Boston was, for me, unexpectedly small...I could walk everywhere without really needing the to use the subway. And, dear clam gods, why did nobody ever tell me about clam chowder before? Delicious! I went to Salem, which was a bit of a let down (or maybe it was just getting utterly lost in the rain and fog). The only thing that bothered me was that a lot of things were closed because of the season. Which was a bummer because there were a lot of things I was interested in doing that were unavailable.

And the other thing: the weather. Nobody told me that it was going to be like this 95.9% of the time:

But still, it was good. I'm developing a tolerance to colder weather. And I had one of the best egg tarts I've eaten ever!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There will be more upbeat posts later...

It's been a month since I last blogged and it's due to a mixture of high levels of busy and distraught. Some good things have occurred, and I try to think about them to keep me afloat, but it's been difficult. I realize that some people may be surprised because I haven't mentioned any of this, but I don't like talking about what happens to me. I have a hard time opening up and talking about things.

The first thing that has me upset is that one of my dogs may have a tumor. The vet put her under treatment to see if it was an infected abscess that hasn't broken, but no it's highly probable it's a tumor. The worse is that she is old (we've had her for almost twelve years and she came to our house as an adult) and that the location of the tumor makes it almost impossible to eliminate. She's been doing okay so far, she doesn't seem in pain at all, but needless to say I am gutted. There's been a lot of crying because, come on, I love my dogs. And thinking that she may die in a lot of pain, or worse, that I may have to make the decision of putting her down literally makes me sick. So far Damian is the only one that I've told because I haven't felt like speaking about it at all. I just feel like spending as much time with my dogs as possible.

Second, jobs. Everyone knows that the job market sucks monkey gonads and I'm really feeling it right now. I've secured a freelance job until late June, but that's it. That's all I have. And I've applied to around...14 jobs. I've only gotten four replies. And most of them were: sorry, full! Or, we have no money so it would have to be pro-bono. I'm holding it for two that may have some hope, but I don't want to get my spirits up.

Third, but closely tied to second, money. All of my available money is currently compromised towards another conference I will be going to later in the year, but I will talk about that in another post. I'm really glad that I got accepted (only 35 people were selected to present), but it's going to be very expensive. So everything I make off this freelance gig is going to the Intelligentsia Conference Fund (aka Stella's savings to go to conferences). I'm okay with eating lunch at home (it's healthier and it saves money), but it really stresses me out that I have to ask my parents to help me out. As someone who has been working for such a long time, to find myself in a position where I have to ask for help really hurts me. It makes me think that there's something wrong with me, not with the job market (though I am aware that I am over-qualified for most jobs out there).

Fourth, and quite possibly the straw that broke the camel's back, is academia. I was supposed to defend this summer. Meaning, I was supposed to finish. But yesterday I got an e-mail from one of my committee members saying that that committee member in particular would not be available from less than two weeks onward. Despite my previously speaking to this committee member about my urgency to defend in summer. Needless to say, it was like a slap in the face. It just took the wind out of me and right now I feel aimless. I'm still going to finish my thesis in summer, but now I have to defend in fall. In addition, I haven't received papers from the school I'm going to apply to so now I have to go through the dog and pony show of having the request them all over again.

There are good things, yes. I'm trying to hang on to those. But right now, these things are overwhelming me. Not to mention friends who are going through unsettling situations that worry me about their well-being.

I guess that will be all for my first post in a month. I didn't mean for it to be a negative post, but that's what I needed to let out right now. The following posts will be about the good things that have happened (and are happening) and the DIY projects I've been doing. Since lack of money means having to bust out the fabric and sewing skills. Which I don't mind because it is practice.