08 September 2009

'Oh, we're halfway there'

I told myself that I would get my graduate school personal statement done by tonight and so it only makes sense that I am now updating this. I will get it done, just perhaps not as early tonight as I might have wished. The first week of school is finished and today marks the start of second week (out of fifteen). Each passing means that the workload increases just a wee bit more, the stress levels rise, and the deadlines for my graduate applications become a little nearer.

Term started on Monday with a bang. I have a seeming inability to refuse those who ask me for help and, as a result, found myself awake (just barely) at the early hour of 7am in the campus store. Not having worked there for the past year and a half, my first few customer-service interactions were rough to be sure. However, I quickly got the swing of things and was once again at ease behind the til by 10:30 when I left. My first class of the semester was Politics of the Middle East. We will be discussing the culture and contemporary problems within the Middle East as well as American misconceptions about the region. It looks incredibly interesting and should be relatively easy in terms of workload (especially compared to the past year in the UK). We have a presentation, a midterm exam, a final paper of 10-15 pages, and a final exam. No sweat.

1:20-2:30 was Politics of Terrorism. The combination of a fascinating subject and an extremely interesting professor means that this will most likely be one of my favorite classes this semester. Once again, it should prove to be pretty easy: a public debate, midterm, a final paper and presentation of 10-15 pages (although I have grand plans for mine and hope to have my limit extended), and a final exam. Immediately following was two hours of Historiography. If any class is going to give me trouble this semester, it will be this one. The subject is dry and I have no inclination at all to study it. However, I need to earn the A (all A's this semester if I stand any hope at all of getting in to graduate school anywhere) and so will give it all the effort that I've got. I then ran back to the campus store to work from 5-8. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the time I returned to my flat.

I reported to work back at the campus store at 7:30am on Tuesday morning. I worked until 11 stocking shelves and filling book orders. At 2, I reported to Archaeological Lab and Analysis. Our first class was in Kent, but we will spend the rest of the semester in the archaeology labs at Historic St. Mary's City about a mile away. This class looks so cool. We will be spending a total of 40 hours in the lab over the course of the semester outside of class helping with the museum's research. In addition, our final project will be to take the contents of a recently excavated 5ft x 5ft square and process and analyze the contents. We will then write an analytical report which will enter the museum's archives and contribute to their overall understanding of the site. I am terribly excited to get started. The only downside will be having to bike to the labs in the rain.

Wednesday and Thursday passed in much the same manner as Monday and Tuesday. On Friday, I drove to Branch Avenue Metro after class to pick up Brad for the weekend. My flat had a black & white party, and both he and Elysa joined us in the merriment. Quite fun.

I spent all of today with Elysa working on grad school applications, part of which I am now off to finish.

Week 2!

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