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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Struggling to get things done
My thesis does not have to be the great American novel.....it also doesn't have to be the best thing since Burkholder, Kubik, or Evans.

In fact some have argued (to me) that a Master's thesis is actually just about proving that you can take on a large scale research project and get it finished.

However that is not what it feels like. I want it to be an amazing piece of scholarship.....and every time I sit down to right, all that comes out feels like mediocre garbage. I am trying not to censor myself (ie stop myself before it gets on the page), but it feels as if I have a rambling stream-of-consciousness monstrosity that will take forever to turn into a coherent piece of scholarship.

I also must remember that the worst that will happen if I fail (I've had some serious failure dreams in the past few weeks), is that I will not have a degree and I will have to try again. I will not die and everyone will not hate me. However, it's hard to convince yourself of that when you've got so much (money, time, future) invested in the outcome.

Also, I have forgotten how hard it is to get someone in rural MS to call you back on time. When you're just keeping up with your contacts, you're not worried about a time deadline. So I'm staying here for the rest of Spring Break with the goal of finishing all of my papers for the semester along with getting more stuff written on the thesis and hoping I get a call back from MS sometime soon to arrange some more interviews.

Deep breath.

In positive news....I have glasses and I can SEE again!!! I had not realized how blurry my distance vision had gotten until I put them on today. I will now actually be able to read what is on the board/powerpoint projections in class!

Anyway, happy St. Patrick's day to you all (drink some proper Irish tea and eat some soda bread!)!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 5:07 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 2 comments
Friday, March 13, 2009
I'll be on the West Coast next year
After considering a lot of things I decided some time last week to accept the offer from West Coast U.

The thought that I'm going to be living on the west coast for the next four-ish years is A-MAZ-ING. I'm more than a little overwhelmed with what has to happen in the next 5/6 months (finish things here, move half way across the country, etc). I'm really excited about starting a new chapter in my life, but also very sad to be leaving FPU and all of the amazing people here.

Anyway, I'm looking at apartments and such and trying to find something decent and affordable. I had planned to fly out next week (we're on Spring Break here) because I found some insanely cheap flights.....I went to book the flight yesterday and discovered that they were cheap because the airline wanted you to stay over for 5 nights. Ummmm.....no. So I'm planning on flying up in May to get everything settled. This is actually better for me, because I'm thinking of making a trip to MS to arrange some interviews.

Also...I have a raging ear infection for the first time in about 15 years. I now remember why I pitched such a fit as a kid. Massive amounts of antibiotics and ear drops, which will hopefully make life bearable without the aid of massive amounts of advil. One good thing about ear infections though, as long as you're sitting you can basically function mentally....which means I can still work.

Speaking of working (or not.....I'm kind of dozing most of today......this particular brand of antibiotics tends to make me conk out), I'm going to get back to it!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 12:35 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Many, Many Updates
Very many updates.

First off, I have now heard back on all of my applications University of Michigan was a no. I'm a little bummed, but only the slightest bit because I've got two really good yes's from West Coast U and Flagship U. I've been offered a TAship at West Coast U, which puts it in the front running.

West Coast U has a department dedicated to Performance and Scholarship, meaning I wouldn't have to fight my professors to work on advancing my performance abilities and my scholarship. Their other PhD students are of the HIGHEST caliber (I could study with two of them and be happy), and they're all very happy with the program and the professors which means that I could probably finish my degree without all of the horrible battle scars. They also offer places to study Irish traditional music AND Medieval music....there's not really anywhere else in the country that can offer that. Not to mention that the head of the division was very up front about TA's and told me he would contact me at the end of the week....and then he did (on a Saturday morning). That says a lot to me about the department in general. The TA covers up to 16 hrs of tuition and fees per quarter (about 17,000 a year) in addition to a monthly stipend. The only possible problem I can see is that the monthly stipend is fairly small compared to the cost of living on the West Coast. I think it's doable though. Still doing the math. Other positives: there are Buddhists at WCU. Lots of them! There are several places that teach the Dharma in the city. No Soo Bahk Do to be found....but I'm pretty sure I could find a martial art I'd like on the West Coast (because FPU offers a hell of a lot of Tae Kwon Do aka let's beat the crap out of each other with large amounts of protective gear on but not actually teach you anything about a living tradition/art form/self-defense--learning how to get hit with a big chest guard on does not teach how to take a punch in real life). I could also ride my bike to school, saving lots on gas $$. And for once in my freaking life I would be able to live in a BLUE state.

FPU fell into my lap.....so much so that I don't believe I really had a choice in the matter......it was meant to be. WCU has the same feeling....but I'm not entirely sure I could make it financially in such a rough climate (it would probably be tighter that FPU, though without having to worry about tuition and fees). And that's the only doubt in my mind right now.

Paper didn't get accepted to the regional AMS meeting, but I did get a paper on Andalusian Spain and Performance Practice accepted to a Hybrid Cultures conference later this month.

On another note....I think I need glasses. I can read fine (thank god), however the board/power point projections at school are getting a bit hard to see (my roommate can see them but I can't). So I'm probably going to cart myself off to Lenscrafters at some point today and see if I can fix that soon, because I need to be able to see the freaking board.

Here's to REALLY REALLY good weeks!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 12:23 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 3 comments
Sunday, March 01, 2009
In the "What the hell" category....
So, I compulsively check one of my online applications, and today I had a new link called "Application Decision." Thinking, naively, that it would give me a straightforward answer, I clicked on it. It said:

"A decision has been made. Your program of application will inform you of the decision."

What the hell does that MEAN?!?! And of course, the mind games I barely keep at bay are now running rampant. Let the mind games begin.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 12:47 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments