27 November 2009

Dear LSE and King's College London,

As it has been several months (in the case of KCL, 2) since I submitted my grad school applications to your respective institutions, I would very much appreciate it if you could come to a decision as to whether or not I am accepted to my chosen program. It would make my holiday season that much cheerier to have some inkling as to where I will be in a year's time.



In all seriousness, I am getting a bit antsy waiting around to see what the result will be. Round 2 of grad school applications, this time to Oxford (2 programs) is fast approaching.

I had a nice Thanksgiving. Two days has been enough of a break for me to de-stress. I'm ready to go back to school now. But first off to DC to see Brad on Saturday!!!!

24 November 2009

Thirteenth week is here and, for the most part, over, considering that we go on Turkey break this afternoon. It is coming at an opportune moment for me as I am getting ill after having put myself through hell the past few weeks.

Last week was mostly unremarkable save for the fact that I spent Tuesday afternoon fulfilling my ODK service requirement by volunteering with FLOW Mentoring at the Chesapeake Charter School. I spent four hours helping a group of children ages 9 to 12 decorate sugar cookies, which we then took the worst nursing home I have ever seen. It was in a terrible state and I am amazed that such conditions are allowed in this day and age. It is rare that something like that affects me so, but I was incredibly upset after leaving and it took me a while to recover from the experience. The rest of the week was spent preparing for my SMP meeting on Thursday and writing my 25 page paper for the Politics of Terrorism.. It turned out quite well and it was such a relief to hand it in on Friday.

The entire weekend was spent doing the research for my 15-page Historiography paper. I started writing on Sunday night (the earliest possible time that I could do so) and finished shortly before the deadline of 2:30 on Monday. It came out at 20 pages and I am taking my father's word that it was a good paper. We shall see.

Now I have a few days to 'relax' (as if I ever could do such a thing) before my Politics of the Middle East paper and Archaeology analysis are due. Then its finals. Blah.

18 November 2009

Right now I wish that I could go back to the precise moment when I decided that taking five upper level classes would be an excellent idea. I would slap myself for I have now realized the error of my ways.

Hindsight is a bitch.

13 November 2009

My time has been occupied by procrastinating the writing of my two papers due before Thanksgiving. My favorite one is looking at terrorism in failed states with a case study in Somalia (and I've talked about this paper endlessly on here). It truly is fascinating, if a bit depressing, and the few people (namely my parents) who happen to read this blog can expect a full diatribe on the subject to appear here within a few days. I know more than enough on the topic and could possibly see myself using it as part of my graduate thesis. I think my main hesitation in starting to write is that I am using this as one of my writing samples for Oxford. When it comes down to it, it is the writing samples that can make or break your application. If this essay is good enough, it could be what helps me to attain my dream of going to Oxford for graduate school. As such, it is hard for me to begin to put pen to paper (er...key to keyboard??) as I worry that it will not turn out as it needs to. I've three pages written and consider them all absolute crap. Which ultimately compounds the fear that it will turn out to be a shitty paper. Anyways, I plan on writing it tonight and getting a second opinion from my numero uno editor tomorrow. That will give me a week for editing.

The other is a paper for historiography that is examining how historians' perceptions of the Great Plague of London in 1665 have changed over time. That should be a breeze considering that the majority of the sources for my SMP come from 1665.

Two more papers are due after the break (one on the politics of water in the Jordanian River Basin that examines the potentiality of a treaty of international cooperation in order to preserve the dwindling water supply, the other an analysis of my plowzone unit in Archaeology), but this isn't as worrisome since I will use the break to get them done.

Other than that, things have been going splendidly here. Much better than usual, I must admit, although I shall not say why here.

Today marks 6 weeks since I turned in my application to King's. Two more weeks of waiting! I'm off to DC for Lebanese with some friends and then spending the night partying like a rockstar...by writing my terrorism paper. Such is the life of a college senior who hopes to get a 4.0 this semester. It's a tough life :)

06 November 2009

I have recently been facing some criticism for my failure to update this blog regularly. I keep meaning to...but find myself too busy to actually get around to it.

My life these days centers around the following: working at the archaeology labs at Historic St. Mary's City, working at the campus store, going to class, working on my SMP (which is slowly consuming my life), working on the 4 massive papers I have due soon, and going to the gym. The gym/track are my sole stress relievers these days. I go 5-6 days a week and average about 4.5 miles a night. Karen usually goes with me. It has paid off...a few weeks ago i ran a 5k for suicide prevention and came in at 26:44 which, considering that I had (and still have) an injured ankle and experienced a rather nasty fall about 3.5km in, is not too shabby.

Back to Somalia and the plague (two topics which are neither cheery nor uplifting).

04 November 2009

10th week... 5 more left to go.

Hallowgreens was last weekend. Several of my friends (and by this I mean a veritable herd - 6 people) came from home and stayed in the suite. Despite being separated from them, I had an awesome time. I met some great people and engaged in a great round of mud wrestling (literally -- the green space in the townhouses flooded due to the pouring rain) with Brian and Karen. It was an excellent final Hallowgreens.

I am currently finishing the research for my 25-page Terrorism paper and 1st Oxford writing sample -- Failed States & Terrorism: Fighting Radical Islamism in Somalia. I now know more about Somalia than I ever thought possible. Except a rant on it sometime in the near future.

I am finishing up my final lab hours at Historic this week. The achievement is bittersweet since what I spent the past 40 hours doing --washing, labelling, and cataloguing artifacts -- is what I will be doing 20 hours a week next semester. I imagine that I might start to dream about rusted iron blobs and trying to figure out whether they are wrought, cut with wrought heads, cut, or wire nails. Ugh.

Today was my last advising appointment at St. Mary's. My schedule next semester will be as follows:
Monday: Serve as Research & Collections Intern at Historic 8:30-5:00
Tuesday: BIOL101 10-11:50; Bio Lab 1-2:50
Wednesday: Intern at Historic 8:30-5:00
Thursday: BIOL101 10-11:50; SMP meeting 4-4:30
Friday: Intern 8:30-12:30