Time to Catch Up | Life & Mind

Hello, everyone! And welcome to my new followers! It’s always such a little thrill when I get that notification email that someone else has decided to start following my blog. I’m especially sorry I’ve been a little absent lately. So much has been going on with school and I’ve had to do a lot of thinking about the future. I think it’s very appropriate that I do a life update today because I finally I made a decision I’ve not wanted to make.

But first, I thought I’d catch you all up on what’s been going on, starting with moving into my apartment last month…

I moved into my on-campus apartment finally! 

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At the end of September I received an email telling me I received a placement! I have a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with an undergraduate, but she’s been quiet and sweet so it’s not been too bad (although I’d still prefer a private apartment). The only thing that has sucked is that the building has had an on-going bug problem, so the week I moved it I was getting eaten alive. It was really bad, my legs and feet are still healing. I seriously thought it was bed bugs, but luckily that’s been debunked. So now I just need to spray every now and then for safety, and I’ve not had any problems on that front for a couple of weeks now.

My car was rear ended in the apartment parking lot.

It happened the week I moved in and was so frustrating. Luckily I saw the girl do it so I was able to get her license plate number, but she was pretty cooperative. She didn’t want to settle with insurance, though, so there was a lot of stress on my end with finding where to get my car repaired (a tail light cover had to be replaced) and getting an estimate for her so she could write me a check. I’m so glad that’s over with now.

Film studies is the bane of my existence right now.

The instructor is a very harsh grader. I’ve gotten no grade higher than a B- on the two major assignments I’ve turned in and it honestly feels very unfair. I know I’ve not turned in A-quality work or anything, but I don’t think they’ve deserved Cs either. I wish I could drop the class, but it’s requirement I’ll need to get out of the way eventually. And I need to be a full-time student to keep my scholarship. She’s letting us revise all our papers, but I honestly don’t know it’s worth the effort or not. I have some time to decide what to do. I might need to go in and have some words with this woman.

& in more exciting, slightly more positive news…

I’ve refined my research goals for the semester.

I’ve been struggling in my research methods class because I have a stronger affinity for critical theory research and it’s been an adjustment to think about more quantitative research. I’ve definitely seen the value in it, though, and see how it will make me stronger academically. I also feel confidence that my interests are leading me into slightly uncharted waters, which is exciting because I feel like I’m carving out my own place in academia.

I think I want to do a whole post on what I’m researching in the near future, especially now as I have a better idea of where I’m going with it after speaking with my instructor today. It very much ties into book blogging and online community, so hopefully you might be interested in it! I’d also like to involve any of you who are interested in it in some way, shape, or form as I discover how I want to collect data.

I’m extending my studies at UT Dallas.

This is the tough decision I did not really want to make, but realized today is in my best interest. In my last Sunday Snapshot, I talked about realizing where I wanted to go to for my PhD and registering for the GRE. Well, I’ve realized that I probably will have a better chance of being admitted if I do another year at UT Dallas. I can get more TA experience if I stay. I’ll have more time to develop research projects that I’m finally establishing now this semester. I’ll also have more time to build my CV with publications and conferences. So yeah…It’s not really the worst.

Now I know a lot of people in the program and will be able to build stronger connections here. I’ll also be able to take more advantage of the specific professors I have here and what they can teach me. Today I went to a workshop where I learned about Lilypad Arduino and learned about the possibilities of wearable technology. Fun, cool stuff like this is why I’ve loved this program and make me think that another year here will not be the end of the world.

So, I need to decide what I’m doing with this blog next…

I do not intend to stop, but I do feel the itch for change again. My domain name is going to expire this year, so I’d like to change it to something more catchy, shorter, easy to remember. That will also entail some new blog graphics which I only just did this summer! But I know it’ll be worth it. I’m honestly thinking of working with a professional to create something cool and unique that I won’t be tempted to change every few months.

As for what is immediately coming next (as in this weekend), I intend to do a Fall ’16 TBR with the list of books I want read by the end of the year. I only need 16 more to complete my Goodreads Challenge, so I’m going to start looking for shorter books so that I can accomplish this because I just don’t have the time, or inclination really, to be devouring so many books each month anymore.

I also want to do my NaNoWriMo Prep Series either next week or the week after that (last of October), because I still intend to participate in NaNoWriMo and I know a few of you have been waiting for it and I’m so sorry! I intend to dedicate some good time and effort to those posts so they were worth the wait (hopefully)!

Thank you for reading!
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