Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finally, my writing is beginning to feel like that is exactly what I want to sound like and I'm also becoming the sort of person I want to be. All I need now is patience, perseverance and a lot of time and hopefully, I'll get there.

Happy Halloween everyone. Don't let the ghosts scare you! I had a skeleton staring at me while I ate "supper" ( I refuse to call a meal eaten at six o clock dinner) and it was kind of freaky, but the people I was eating dinner with were quite wonky, so that made things a lot better.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Comforting telephone conversation and my friends from back home all it takes to get me looking forward to life again, sometimes :)

 I'm not homesick anymore and my life is slowly easing into a pattern. Technically speaking, I have more work than I have had in three years in terms of the academic rigor. But, procrastinator ( someone should ban me from using this word)-err- dill-dally-er that I am, I invariably have piles and piles of reading to do and instead, I'm either curled up under duvet covers and sleeping all day or gallivanting around the city. 

Now that things are more or less settled, there are a ton of things that I want to do, but it's imperative that I do things on time. Eight hours of daydreaming is not healthy and I'm not exaggerating. If left to my own devices, I can go on thinking about things for hours and hours.

I also have three new books- one by Nadine Gordimer, who I've always wanted to read, Rumpole by John Mortimer and The Kalahari Typing School For Men by Alexander Mccall Smith. These are all used books, so I got them cheap and I guess I really shouldn't keep buying books, given the lack of space and money that I don't have ( to spend on books!) But ah well, we all know how that's going to go.

I realise my blog has now started reading like an open diary ( an open diary with bad grammar) and maybe I'll go fancy and theme my posts. Or maybe not. Whatever.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lessons learnt and updates

Note to self
It's ok to be idealistic, but it's absolutely Not ok to use that as an excuse to be lazy.

I have a ton of reading to do and like I said before, being a hypernerd for me, is inevitable at this point in my life. That isn't to say that I'm not having fun or making friends- I am. But there are a few things I want to say here, so I can hold myself accountable for them later on :

1. No matter how difficult it gets, I'm not going to stop writing and publishing things on the side.*
2. I'm signing up for volunteering next Saturday and it's something I want to do longterm. And when I say longterm, I mean the rest of my life. There are a few causes I feel strongly about and while I think writing about it and advocacy in general is crucial for changing the way things work, to put it simplistically, I think it's time I committed to something longterm.   I will write about it here when I start work.
3. I've decided to do a Phd. I won't do it immediately- I'll work for a couple of years first, but I want to be an anthropologist on the field.

**I also have some very exciting news to share, but it'll have to wait for the moment. I don't want to jinx it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hypernerdism and other tiny details of my humdrum life

Like I said in my earlier post, the area I live in is about a twenty minute walk from my university on a good day. On a bad day, when traffic lights are always red ( gah!) it can take from anywhere from thirty to forty-five minutes. I walk from Russell Square station to Kingsway every single day, which is really good exercise, but can often get quite tiring. I also have the same songs being hammered on and on in my head now because my ipod doesn't have all the songs I want and now I need to wait till I go back home in December for new songs.

It's quite cold here now, and has been raining quite consistently over the past week or so, even though I'm quite happy to say that it hasn't rained in the past three weeks. When I was a young child reading Enid Blyton books and dreaming about going to boarding school, having tuckboxes and going for a midnight swim, I always wondered why the girls always obsessed about the weather. Now, it finally makes sense. You can't plan your day at all unless you know what the weather will be like. I always find myself having to dress accordingly before I step out of my house.

The work on my Masters programme is excessively intensive and for the past four days I haven't had time to breathe, let alone do anything else. And it's not just me. My classmates are all in the same boat.

 If any one of you is planning on a U.K. Masters, my advice would be to think things through before actually committing  to it, because it will probably mean that you can only study. Some people even manage to work despite this of course ( don't ask me how!) so if you can channel your inner hypernerd and inner superachiever, go ahead! :)

I'm actually looking forward to a fairly relaxing weekend though, even though I have loads to read up on. One of my professors invited me to go to a pujo with her on Friday. I also need to attend a seminar tomorrow and on Saturday all the Social Anthropology students meet up for a drink at the pub, something that I've organised because I'm the student representative of my programme.

I really LOVE my academic advisor who said that in order to write like an anthropologist, you need to think like one. Apart from our formal assignments, she's also asked us to locate any one piece of news ( for example, the Chilean miners) that can be deemed anthropological or looked at through an anthropological lens. I know this bit of information might seem a bit dry to some of you, but I've had some people writing to me, expressing an interest in studying anthropology and asking me what it's like. I'm obviously at the very early stages, but I'd love to speak to anyone who wants to study anthropology and would actively encourage it, especially if your first degree has been in literature!

No more academic stuff in my next blogpost. I'll be telling you exactly where I live and what I do with my almost nonexistent free time!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Classes and other things

My university is a twenty minute walk from where I live. This morning, I walked to university, attended my classes- both of which were very interesting but almost overwhelming in terms of the reading I shall have to do for every single class I attend. We have classes as well as seminars, where we discuss our work and/ or our impressions of certain texts. I also have an academic advisor for whom I shall have to pen about 3,000 words a fortnight. My classes today were entitled Anthropology and Human Rights and Anthropology of Kinship, Sex and Gender. After class, I headed over to the library.
The library is humongous and learning to navigate it will take quite a while. I took out a couple of books that I need to read for tomorrow's class and headed home. After the entire day, I was really tired. I slept for an hour, went downstairs to eat dinner and came up and wrote emails.
Yesterday was a more interesting day. A friend and I went to eat at a restaurant called Hare and Tortoise and had ice-creams afterwards. I don't really know too many people yet and so it's refreshing to get to know someone who's that cool. You know who you are ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Article published in the Traveler's Notebook

I actually debated as to whether I should submit this story for publication, given that it is intensely personal. I finally did, because I do believe in subjective authenticity and my super-awesome editor, David, suggested that I write a story cycle. This is the first in a series of stories of my time in Edinburgh. 

I'm a huge fan of The Notebook myself  and was delighted when the eds posted this in their "about us" page :

Our goal over the next year is to become the go-to place for writers of all kinds to publish select travel notes and journals, and to continue to publish our unique vision for travel ‘notes’–work you wouldn’t typically find in either a literary journal or travel magazine, but which combines elements of both.

Here is my piece. Let me know what you think :)