The Musings of a Postgraduate Student

I haven’t spoken much about my postgraduate program, but I assure you I am still working away as my dissertation is due at the beginning of September. Spending a lot of time in the library does lead to my mind wandering at certain times when I’m reading a particularly non-interesting work and here is some of the randomness of late….

1. Yesterday, I received an email from the university library saying three books I had requested through interlibrary loan had arrived. My reaction was one of pure nerdy joy and excitement – I could not wait to pick them up! I also exuberantly thanked the library enquiry desk worker and I think he was a bit taken back by my enthusiasm! Oh well!

2. The first few weeks of classes, I carried my laptop bag that goes on one shoulder to and from university. This quickly ended because I couldn’t shove enough books in that bag, so I resorted back to the good old days of a backpack with both straps in full use on my shoulders. And, because my ‘cool’ backpack was at my parents’ house in the U.S., I was using the Brit’s giant gray backpack with the word ‘MAMBO’ written boldly across it. Funny thing is I would have been embarrassed by this backpack in years past, but it was sturdy and necessary and a welcome break for my back.

3. My dissertation is due in just over one month. I know I need to start writing, yet I keep reading and taking notes because I am so interested in my topic. Nerd alert!

4. As a follow up to number 3, my right wrist has been horribly sore from said note-taking for the past month. Yes, I do realize I could enter the 21st century and type my notes as I go along, but that is never how I have worked so I felt no need to change to the ways of my much younger classmates.

5. I never knew how much I would miss working a full-time job and having a steady income, but I do and I’m ready to get back on the career track.

6. I would not survive a two-year Master’s degree program. Well, I probably would, but one year is enough for me. Thankyouverymuch.

7. When my classes ended, I was trying to think back to what I have learned, if anything at all. [I know that sounds terrible (perhaps some of the English pessimism is rubbing off on me), but I felt a self assessment was needed after my coursework ended…the sign of someone who is used to annual self assessments in past jobs!] As I have been researching for my dissertation, I have seen what I have learned come together nicely. I had seen the effect the UK university system had on my study abroad students (I was a study abroad adviser previously) and was always impressed with the independence they returned with when it came to taking on their education. I am now a more firm believer in the British university system, which places the owness on the student to take their education into their own hands.

8. I took this photo when the sun was shining brightly through the library windows casting a perfect outline of my side profile.