A brief word:
*looks at date of last post* Well . . . I don't think that needs too much explanation. However, I will give a brief word (hence the intro) on my independent study which I completed during my semester abroad.
Two important things I've learned: Stick to deadlines, and don't depend on professors to press you to meet said deadlines. As a procrastinator of both the perfectionist and lazy-ist varieties, I ended up giving myself a real headache when I realized just how quickly the weeks were flying by. I also realized two weeks after my first paper was due that I couldn't write a sufficient personal essay on my Scottish experience until I, you know, actually went to Scotland. Makes sense, huh? Too bad I hadn't considered that sooner. I did appreciate my sponsor's flexibility in letting me delay submission until after my first trip with my family, but that had its cons as well as its pros. I was the one responsible for contacting her, not the other way around, so I let those deadlines slip like sand through a flip-flop. Wait . . . yeah, I'll go with it.
Anyway, I did manage to get everything done, and I got an A- for the final grade. The downside? Only that I didn't have an opportunity to get initial feedback on my work like I claimed I would in my study proposal. Which I would have appreciated greatly, despite having gotten a good grade. It would have been especially helpful for the short story, even though this professor does not specialize in fiction.
It was enjoyable all the same, and it gave me a good taste of what to expect for my senior project next spring. I'm glad to be going into that with a stronger sense of my work habits on long-term, independent projects, and what I need to do to improve them.
And studying my Scottish roots was fun. I can't wait to visit again next summer. :)
The rest of the semester was great, too, although I wish I had made more of an effort to travel, but doggone it traveling is expensive! And even though I did work study at my college's London campus, I could only work four hours a week most of the time. That was because of my internship, which also didn't turn out as expected. I admit I was a little envious of one of my classmates, who also lived in the same flat as me and eight other people. She's a journalist major, and for her internship she read manuscripts for a publishing house. She would share with us some material she had looked at, both the good and bad, and even though she spent a good deal of her time reading stuff outside of work, she clearly enjoyed the job and the people. This same company is apparently reinventing its image - new name, logo, etc. - and expanding to the U.S. They'll probably be able to offer her a job since their American office will be brand new and they'll want input from a member of their target group (?).
What about me, then? The writing major? I was supposed to do grant writing (which is a valuable skill) at a eye charity. In the end I did do some writing, but nothing as big as grant proposals. I mostly helped with drafting letters of introduction based on previous letters and sending out information packets to potential corporate donors. That work was all vital to the sponsorship process - don't get me wrong - but I can't reallly say how much my writing skills either contributed or were improved by the internship. The main benefit of this experience was a look into how charities operate, especially one facing heavy competition from bigger organizations like Red Cross. Even people working for a good cause have to fight and scramble for an income nowadays.
So, what about now? What does a college girl who has returned from a semester abroad do now that she's back in the States?
Visit colleges. That's right. My dear little sister is heading for college next fall (2011), so she's been making trips to the campuses of her prime choices. Since I'd have to go along anyway, I've decided to take this opportunity to look at graduate schools. Holy cow. That application process will certainly be interesting, but I don't think it'll be nearly as strenuous as hers. Oh, how I remember those days . . . filling out seven copies of the common application, answering the short and long answers, deciding on a topic for my essay, and filling out the supplemental forms of each college. And the activity sheets. Oh, god, don't get me started on those damnable activity sheets . . .
Where was I? Oh, yeah, graduate schools. I want to focus a little closer to home in my choices, but I'll need a decent pool of candidates since the writing programs tend to be tiny, thus a higher chance of rejection. And by tiny, I mean miniscule. An average of 7 students per genre. *headdesk* But if I don't get into a program I really like, it just means I'll have to wait a year to apply again, and in the meantime find a job to earn me money for that tuition. *shudder*
That doesn't mean I won't enjoy what summer time I have left. One of my goals is to make weekly updates on at least one of my stories. Looks like it's going to be The Last Nosferatu as that's where my head is right now and I've taken the time to write up a complete summary for it. Now it's just a question of fleshing out full chapters.
To be honest, the reason I've been procrastinating with the Blood Wars series is that I'm still missing out on a lot of information regarding bits of the Trinity Blood plot. The things I am wondering about are:
1) How much time passes between the end of Rage Against the Moons and the beginning of Reborn on the Mars?
2)What are Leon and Hugue doing during ROM? I know they each got a chapter in the manga, but those were filler stories conceived by Kiyo Kujio. What was really happening with them? Do they show up towards the end of the series?
I'm also looking forward to finding out what happens to the Count Four and the Four-City Alliance in RAM, and to Imperial politics in Stories Untold. And whether Alfonso is still alive at the end of RAM. Those things I can wait to read out about when the rest of the novels are translated into English, though. But it's such a long time to wait! :'(
All right, I'll say just one more thing before I wrap up this post . . . . .
New chapter of Blood Wars: The Last Nosferatu: http://mllerevenant.deviantart.com/#/d2u6c7g
READ IT! NOW!!
Nah, just kidding. :D
But seriously. T_T