23 December 2009

It is break -- excuse lack of writing ability

As promised, here is a more extensive update.

The past two weeks have been absolutely insane. This is indicated by the fact that my body has already started to repair the damage that it did to my emotional state by simply blocking it out. Indeed, when I think back, the majority of the end of the semester is a black screen punctuated by a few good moments. To recap:

Friday, Dec. 11: Turned in final paper for Politics of the Middle East after missing my 6am alarm and finishing the final sentences at 10:20 (in preparation for my 10:40am class). Now know too much about inefficient agricultural practices and the potential improvements to be made in the realms of virtual water and desalination technology. On the plus side, its completion meant that my final writing sample for graduate school was finished. Went shopping with Karen to relieve stress and then to the gym for ages.

Dec, 12: Party in the suite...sort of. Still, a wonderful night.

Dec. 13: Last day at work was spent reading through my Politics of the Middle East texts. 11 chapters in 3 hours (the remaining 2 were devoted to the Politics of Terrorism).

Dec. 14: Politics of Middle East exam. Prior to taking this exam, I had heard stories of people simply blanking out upon seeing their exams, but didn't believe that this could actually happen. Well, despite the hours that I had poured into re-reading my texts and typing up my notes (my way of studying), I completely blanked as soon as I saw the exam (one essay question comprising four huge components). It wasn't especially difficult, but it was as if my mind had become a sponge that had suddenly been wrung dry of its contents. It was horrible and it took me 20 minutes before I could actually write anything. The rest of the day was spent freaking out over the fact that all of the hard work I had put in for the semester in order to be able to apply to Oxford for grad school would be for nought if I got a B. Gym, of course.

Dec. 15: Spent the entire day working on my Historiography take-home final. Politics of Terrorism final from 7 to 9pm. It went extremely well. I was all set to stay in the suite afterward and work on my take home, but my suite-mate Chris managed to convince me out to go to midnight breakfast (a once-a-semester event from 9-12am during exam time where they serve a free breakfast in the Great Room and provide entertainment as a way of beating exam stress). I am glad that he did. I returned, went running on the track, and then set down to work.

Dec. 16: Miserable day in which I woke up at 6am to work on my massive ARchaeology Lab analysis report. Turned in Historiography final, found out that I got an A on my politics of Middle East exam (as to exactly how, I have no idea. Also got a perfect score on my paper, but that is beside the point), and pushed myself to the limit in order to get the report done. Finished at 4:30 (for 5pm deadline), but had both printer and car troubles (the lab is located a mile away off Rosecroft Road), which resulted in my sprinting across Waring Commons and through Kent Hall yelling for people to get out of my way in order to get the report printed. Eventually turned it in at 5:02, but scared my room-mate Karen half to death in the process. The afternoon culminated in my almost having a heart attack due to stress. Going to dinner after handing that report in was a surreal event. Officially, I was done with finals. But it just didn't feel...real.

Dec. 17: Work. Gym. Packing.

Dec. 18: Drove home. Found out that I had been accepted for the MA International Relations at King's College London. If I accept (and at this point it seems highly likely that I will), I will leave for my internship in Edinburgh in May, head straight to grad school, and not return to the USA until September 2011. It is a realization that is both scary but thrilling.

Dec. 19: It snowed 23 inches. I spent most of the day shoveling the driveway in an attempt to escape the freezing temperatures inside the house.

The past day or so has been spent finalizing the various components of my applications to Oxford. With an offer from King's, I now have no need to apply to St. Andrew's or Edinburgh. So just the two Oxford applications and then I am done with this grad school business. Currently waiting on LSE. My grades this semester were sufficient enough so as to boost me above the 3.7 mark and allow me to apply to Ox. Such a good feeling./

20 December 2009

I will post a better update soon, but for now:
1. It snowed ridiculous amounts here (parent's house in Laurel) between Friday and Saturday night. 23 inches!
2. I was accepted for the 1-year MA International Relations in the Department of War Studies at King's College London.

17 December 2009

Life keeps trucking along, for whatever reason. Every day I wake up from my four hours of sleep amazed that morning has come again.

The past two weeks have been absolutely hellish. In the past fourteen days, I've given two presentations, given a lecture on Somalia, argued in a debate, written 2 15-page papers and 1 25-page paper, and taken two exams. I am burnt out, both physically and mentally. I've been so geared up and stressed out that sometimes it takes going to the gym twice a day in order to tire myself out to the point where I can actually attempt to get some semblance of sleep.

Despite all of this, I am content and happy (Two words that do not often appear in a sentence accompanied by 'I am'). I am aware that things have a habit of changing quite quickly, so I shall just hope for the best and remember how I am feeling at this moment.

That said...I am now done with fall semester of senior year!!!!!!!! Thank god!

06 December 2009

This was an excellent week, mostly for reasons that I cannot and shall not disclose here.

I can say that there is a strong possibility (VERY strong) that I will be in Edinburgh as soon as two weeks after graduation until August. For legitimate purposes, mind you. Unfortunately, I cannot say any more about this as of right now. But it is a separate offer from the job offer that I had mentioned previously.

It is as if the floodgates of possibility fell open this past week. The future is uncertain, but thrilling all the same.

In other news, it is snowing everywhere else in Maryland, but not here at St. Mary's. Scratch that: it did snow for about ten minutes but did not stick. Instead, it rained and maintained a steady bone-chilling temperature all day. Absolutely miserable. It doesn't help matters that Waring Commons, where I live, has been freezing for the past two days. The air-conditioning keeps turning on periodically and I have been forced to wear gloves in order to get any work done at all. Between the cold and the incredibly dull reading that I have to complete on hydropolitics (for my paper due on Friday), I have spent the day feeling as if I am slowly dying. Not a pleasant feeling at all, to be sure.

02 December 2009

All of my hard work on my Politics of Terrorism paper paid off: A+. I was also asked to present a briefing on the situation in Somalia to the class to take up the entire class period on Monday.

01 December 2009

I received an unexpected job offer today. Without going into much detail, I can tell you that if I fail to get into graduate school that I can at least expect to be working in Edinburgh, Scotland by this time next year.

It is a pleasant feeling to know that one has someplace to be.

In other news, today was almost the perfect day. I have not been so happy in a long time. The job offer and an A on my Historiography paper (completed in under 2 days for those who do not remember) had a little bit to do with it, but not entirely. As to the rest.... :)

SMP outline, archaeology lab report, and a 20-page hydropolitics paper due before the 12th. Four exams before the 17th. Excellent.

In the meantime, I am procrastinating by working on my graduate school applications to Oxford, Edinburgh, and St. Andrews. :)