sangre_fria: (Bleach- Urahara okay heart)
[personal profile] sangre_fria
And isn't that scary? Well, maybe not "scary", but it's definitely a little weird. As soon as I got home from England, it was all about applying for graduate school.

Basically, if I can manage to make a high enough score on my final exams this year, I won't have to get a Master's Degree. Which would mean jumping straight to PhD/DPhil stuff. So I've had to spend an exorbitant amount of time recently just figuring out which schools I'd like to apply to, and which departments would suit my interests best. All the applications have to be sent out this autumn, so it's certainly not something I can put off.

Of course, applying for graduate school also means taking standardized tests like the GRE, so I spent several hours last Thursday doing just that. It's a bit like the SAT, but you have to write two essays as well, and the entire test was computer-based. It's a bit of a disadvantage, since you can't skip ahead to other questions and then come back to the ones you found difficult; it's just one question at a time, which must be answered before you can move on. But I suppose I didn't mind too much, especially since I could see my score for the verbal and quantitative parts right away; and I should be receiving my essay scores soon as well.

And then there's funding. I've had to take out a loan for this year's tuition already (Welcome to the wonderful world of student debt!), so I definitely need to scrounge up some financial support for next year. Thankfully, there are some very tempting deals out there in terms of grants and scholarships, so I've been looking into those as well. Just last night, I sent in my entry to an essay contest; I somehow managed to win one of their cash prizes last year, so we'll see how I do this time. Every little bit helps, right?

So I leave again for England in exactly two weeks from today, and my main responsibility right now is to study. But on top of that, I'm also hoping to upload all of my pictures from my summer trips. I might be able to do a little of that today, even; we'll see. Oh, and I'm going to take a Friday night off before I leave and sneak off to Halloween Horror Nights; there's no way I'm missing that.

I know that I've been a bit out of the loop lately, but I really hope everyone's been doing well and enjoying the last bit of their summer and/or the start of the new semester. ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-19 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That feeling where you read something you've written and it dawns on you: "A whisper ago, I was 18 and steaming through college, now I'm in my undergrad senior year?", huh? It's spooky. It's like sweat-free adolescence squeezed into the denim back pocket of an exceptionally obese gentleman. Spooky. Especially so because an Oxford year is half a normal year. (The truth, you see, is that Oxford orbits a black hole! They store it in the Radcliffe Camera, that's why it's round. Oh yes.) ^_-

It's a bit of a disadvantage, since you can't skip ahead to other questions and then come back to the ones you found difficult; it's just one question at a time, which must be answered before you can move on. I would die over and over again in an exam like that (read: I'm impressed). I always review all the questions at the start and then let the answers flood into my mind like bubbles rising in a marsh. I do essays, poems and shall one day do novels in the same pattern: I sit back, read everything, and the answer constructs itself like lime jelly in an oven. Probably has the same weak structure too!

The tute system took its toll on me early on. Not being able to say, 'Can I get back to you on that? My mind will deal with your question in a moment, Don, it's just finding the piece of metaphorical loo roll on which it stored that meaningless fact. Please wait until my eyes flash with life again.' was a new experience.

Your prizewinning essay last year, what was it on?

Oh, and:

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-19 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Whoever this lovely person is, they are wonderful and deserve ten internets.

I'm rather terrified of Standardized Tests now. Chilling! Everything's computerized and I've seen people walking around with enormous stacks of note cards mumbling words no one has ever used before, ever, trying to memorize their meaning. Schizothemia? Epicaricacy!

What are these lime jellies, and were can I get some?

Off to England again for Michaelmas term? I must try to call you before you leave, but if for some reason I can't, good luck, be safe, hope your voyage is pleasant. Don't forget your hat... erm... scarf?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-19 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Unfortunately, it needs food colouring to really look lime-like (limey?)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-23 08:25 am (UTC)
ext_104199: (pic#)
From: [identity profile]
Wow....I'm more than half-tempted to give it a go...

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-23 08:23 am (UTC)
ext_104199: (Bugger)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, and this is just proof that you'd get along swimmingly with the denizens of Oxford. ; P

Oh, don't let it bother you too much; if we survived AP exams, we'll survive this, right?

...That reminds me that I need to buy more Jello; the Brits have no idea what it is, by the way. XD

Please do! I would never leave my beloved scarf behind, and I'll certainly expect to hear from you.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-23 08:11 am (UTC)
ext_104199: (Hell of a scary crack in your wall...)
From: [identity profile]
Ha! I always wondered why I kept getting the heebie-jeebies every time I walked past the RadCam...

My essay was in response to a prompt about the book Atlas Shrugged, though I can't quite remember the question now. But I remember pulling most of my supporting details from John Galt's speech over the radio. Apparently the resulting essay was decent enough to make me a semi-finalist; go figure.

Oh, and thanks for the comic; that one really made me laugh. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-25 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just started Atlas Shrugged a few days ago. Hopefully reading it shan't ruin my sense of noble ethics too much. Are you much of an Objectivist, by the way?

:decides to get spaghetti-fied into the Rad Cam:

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-02 07:53 am (UTC)
ext_104199: (Merlin- Destiny's bitches)
From: [identity profile]
Ha! No worries; it's a very deep book, and even if it doesn't harmonize with your standard of ethics, I'm sure you'll find it entertaining nonetheless.

I wouldn't say that I'm an Objectivist, and I didn't agree with absolutely everything in Atlas Shrugged, but I had to admit that the book really made me stop and think. Much of the book made sense, I suppose, and some of it was a validation of what I've observed in my own life so far.

When you finish the book, we'll have to discuss it. : )

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-19 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jeez, stop making me look bad.

So the GRE was easy? I guess I should probably start studying for that. I'm not worried about it, but standardized tests are incredibly hard for me. I don't care about the author's intent. I only care about what I got out of it. No, I'm not bitter at all...

Good skill with the Grants versus Lee and the scholarships.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-23 08:17 am (UTC)
ext_104199: (Doctor Who- Bigger on the inside)
From: [identity profile]
Bah, as if anyone could make you look bad. You're the one with the steady internship/job-prospects.

I wouldn't say that it was easy, but at the same time, it didn't live up to my initial reaction to the thought of taking it. (Which I'm sure you still recall, since I'll never live it down...)

Oh, and sorry about missing your call tonight; my family was demanding a small Doctor Who marathon, and by the time we'd finished, it was way too late to call back. Expect a call sometime soon, though.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-23 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well that's true, it would take an army of political campaigners working around the clock to tarnish my reputation. Unless, they found those photos...

Hey, your reaction was to be expected and since you did well you should be living it up, not down.

I still think you underestimate my college schedule. Unless you were watching Doctor Who until 5 AM, you probably would have been able to reach me without waking me up. Try calling tonight around 9. Looking forward to hearing from you.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-19 09:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The whole applying for graduate study is scaring me a little too (even if for me it is teacher training rather than DPhil/PhD) Where are you applying? The States (and founding the first international branch of *LES) or are you staying in the UK?

Am I right in working out that you arrive back in the land of Ox sometime on Wednesday of 0th? Ring me from the aiport bus if you want luggage help since I'm in the same room as last year and it is easy for me to nip to the busstop and also to helpget your stuff out of storage (I owe you some luggage carrying duties anyway!) xxx

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-23 08:33 am (UTC)
ext_104199: (Bugger)
From: [identity profile]
I'm pretty much going to apply everywhere and then see what happens. It may make my choice harder in the end, but at least I'll have options. Oh, but it'd be great to start up a light entertainment society over here...Can you even imagine? XD

Yeah, I'll be dragging myself down Cowley Place sometime (preferably early afternoon) on Wednesday. I'll have my cell phone with me, so I may actually call upon your generous offer. Of course, I might just get pig-headed (as usual) and vow in the heat of the sleep-deprived-and-jet-lagged moment that I'll do it all myself.

In that case, you should still be prepared to come over once I've showered and enjoy some tea and sweets in order to christen my new room. : )


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