anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

I'm writing this on the ferry from Dover to Calais; and the reason I'm writing this on the ferry, instead of last night in my room like I had intended, is because I got back at 9.45pm from my super awesome gym class last night, and for some reason (I wonder what it could be), ended up spending 1.5 hours packing for a two-week trip. Then I wasted about 30 minutes hunting for my HSBC digital secure key thing for online banking, which I had to look for because my main account was in overdraft and so I had to transfer money from my other account to the main one. In the end, after I was royally pissed off, E found it in my backpack - which was bizarre, and which I still can't quite fathom, for I have absolutely no recollection of putting it in my backpack, and I have no idea why I would even do it. Isn't it strange, how some parts of our lives are wiped from our memories, just like that, as if they've never happened?

So much for the pointless, rambling preamble. The point of this entry is three things.

PhD

Still not submitted, but my supervisor has read it and given me the okay to submit it. Before this, when I was still waiting for her to get back to me, the thought of it being in its state of non-submission was stressing me the fuck out, especially since I have to (and desperately want to) move out of my current house in August. Now that she's given me the okay, I feel so much better - precisely because the fate of my thesis is now entirely in my hands. John has given me his comments, Raffael has commented on almost half of it and will give me the rest of his comments soon, so basically everything is now within my control again. This, somehow, is all that matters; the actual work, I tend to think, will just sort itself out.

Interlude

As I absolutely hate the current place I'm living in (owing to a combination of my ground floor room, housemates who have left me out of their socialising and whose socialising in the kitchen I can hear from my room, thus making me feel like I don't have my own space), I'm thinking maybe I'll move out early August, as soon as I can, then focus on the thesis. I think I'll start seriously house hunting when I'm back from my trip. I really hate the house. But I don't want to talk about this right now.

Teaching

I've just finished teaching a two-week law course to a 17-year-old kid from Romania, as part of a broader summer school programme to let high school kids interested in applying to Cambridge get a sense of Cambridge.

I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by my ability to explain legal, moral and philosophical concepts in a way that he seemed to have mostly understood. As I designed the syllabus to give a good balance of private and public law, the first week was spent on the law of torts; specifically, duty of care, and public policy exceptions to the duty. It was only when I had to explain it to the kid that 1) I realised that I'm better at explaining things than I'd thought I was; and 2) I finally understood what I was meant to have learned in Year 1 of law school.

The second week touched on jurisprudence and law and morality more generally, so it was my area of 'expertise' (still feel like a fraud referring to myself as an expert on anything law-related). It was lucky that the woman running the programme chose the session on homosexuality and the enforcement of morals to sit in for my appraisal, because this is one of the few things that I can claim some decent knowledge of - and at the end, she gave me really good comments. She said I was articulate, measured in my responses to some of the kid's slightly ignorant remarks about travellers in Romania, and that she couldn't tell that it was my first time teaching law (and second time teaching, period). So I was quite pleased with myself.

In fact, and like I've said, I was really quite pleasantly surprised by how it was sometimes quite enjoyable, especially when my student was engaged and responding to my questions, and when I pushed him on a couple of points, he knew where I was going before I had to say it. In retrospect, starting with duty of care was probably a bit much, as I think it took him some time to understand the terms, let alone how the courts analyse the legal issues; and so, in retrospect, it wasn't so unusual that he didn't get it as quickly as I thought, unreasonably, that he would. But the point is, it was quite enjoyable. I don't know if I would still say the same if I had to teach university undergrads, as the intensity of my knowledge would need to be a lot greater; but still, for what it's worth, it was fun.

What I didn't like, though, was the teaching preparation. I think each session took me at least three hours to prepare for - and in the end, there were only tw hours of teaching. So in terms of my monetary rewards, this job wasn't that great, especially given that my thesis is still not done, so I could have spent a lot of that time working on my thesis instead. Still, it was a good experience overall.

Writing

And now, the main point of this entry: I FINISHED MY EPIC DAREDEVIL FANFIC.

When I say 'finished', though, I mean that I have written the ending, and it's pretty much how I want to end it. But because I was rushing to finish it yesterday before heading to the gym (and this was because I knew that I wouldn't have much time to do it on my trip, and I want to focus on my thesis after the trip), I do not like the way the very last part was written, and I will definitely rewrite that bit before starting a second draft. But the first draft is more or less there. And it feels pretty amazing because this is the longest thing that I have ever written, and the longest thing that I have ever finished - which gives me a lot of confidence in my ability to see a writing project all the way to its end. The piece now stands at 285 pages (1.5 spaced, Times New Roman font size 12) and 127,929 words (including chapter titles and chapter numbers). I finished it at Chapter 13 to mirror Daredevil's 13-episode seasons...lame, I know, but not as lame as not wanting to end it on the 13th chapter because of 'bad luck'. Ugh, I'm really stupid sometimes.

So yes, I'm really pleased that I managed to finish it. The re-write is going to be a real pain in the ass, and I always cringe and literally cover my face with my hand when I re-read the things that I've written...but my goal was to finish this, and I did it, and so I will enjoy this feeling of accomplishment until I start mentally eviscerating myself for the bad writing.

This ferry is making me a bit sick. This entry was supposed to be more reflective but it's hard to be reflective on a ferry that's threatening to make me sea sick, and a tummy calling out for food.

Looking forward to the South of France!
Tags: london, phd, rant, teaching, writing
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