So I passed all my finals. I spent the last week throwing up and freaking out, but I made it.
Amber's here for the holidays and everyone's thrilled. My mom and my aunt are so ecstatic she's here. It almost feels like a holiday movie.
I just came down from my adrenaline run about an hour ago. I was so wound up earlier today I put my car in reverse on accident.
Do not go to nursing school if you trip out easily.
Give me all the links to anything since I'm off for two weeks and all I plan to do is cook and go to the movies.
Yuletide is nestled all snug in its bed, and I have but one more day of work before I am on break. Originally we were going to head to my dad's place this weekend, but that has been postponed to next, so I am going to go see The Hobbit on Sunday, then get a massage on Monday and my hair cut on Tuesday. We still have to put up the tree, and I have to wrap all my gifts plus get a few last minute things, but I'm feeling pretty good about where I am at. Honestly, I'm hoping for a smattering of snow tomorrow morning, so I can call in as 'working from home'. I am ready to be on my break NOW.
What's it like to live in Iowa in a presidential election year?
Presidential elections begin in Iowa a good two-and-a-half to three years before the actual election, as every candidate interested in running comes through the state to test the waters, and then to raise money and support.
Pro: if you're interested in shaking the hand of the person who'll be the next president, you can pretty much be sure you'll do it. You will have no shortage of opportunities to hear candidates speak and figure out which one has your vote in the caucuses. Show even a little interest in politics (and stay on the fence a while) and you'll be invited to every imaginable event, from get togethers in someone's family room, to enormous fancy dinners thrown on a state-wide level. If you love participatory politics, Iowa is made for you - instead of primaries there are caucuses where you have to physically stand in one corner of the room to show your support for your candidate, while your neighbors stand in other places, depending on who they support. The sense of mattering in politics is very real and pretty heady.
Cons: you can't get away from it. It's the news every day. You'll be called repeatedly by every candidate's staff until you for certain tell each of them that you've picked candidate A and not B, C, D, or E. You'll see billboards and yard signs and TV commercials for months and months before you're even close to an election. Even if you favor one party over another, you can't get away from the other party's advertising no matter how hard you try. People will knock at your door every weekend and every evening until you've picked your candidate, and sometimes even after that. On caucus day you'll receive multiple reminders about where you're supposed to be and what you're supposed to do, and then the caucus itself can last for hours. And even after you've stood there for hours, your candidate may not win because of back-door deals hammered out by the campaigns before the caucus even began. Messy!
If you're someone who's interested in doing political work, Iowa is magical. You can volunteer one day and six weeks later be running an entire Get Out the Vote campaign (as was my experience). You can pick a candidate and end up being their driver while they're interviewed in the back of the minivan by someone from PBS (also my experience). You can meet no end of celebrities who come through to back their chosen candidate. You can end up working on the president's or vice-president's staff while they're in town, and travel in their motorcade, and get your picture taken with them. You need no qualifications to do these things save enthusiasm and time (and a background check if you're around the higher-ups). It's mostly a West Wing world, with shades of House of Cards - everyone's on their best behavior around you because you have what they want: a vote. Sometimes you see the nasty side of politics (I still can't talk about the results of the caucuses in 2004 without working up a head of steam) but mostly it's a kinder, gentler system. It's just a shame that it's a system in which most of the country will never get to participate
I am full of hairline fractures right now. I'm feeling a lot of residual anger about my father's death (not the fact of it, but the surrounding circumstances), and toward my mother, on top of two difficult weeks spent with my mother, followed by two weeks of illness (bronchitis, which then turned into pneumonia), from which I'm just starting to surface. I feel as though if someone were to ring just the right tone on a bell, I would shatter into a million pieces.
And that's difficult, because feeling like this is very unlike me. I am, generally speaking, not fragile—in fact I'm fairly shatterproof—and have few skills to deal with being in this place. And I suppose things are more difficult because of the holidays—Christmas is usually one of my favorite times of year, but this year there is no energy for anything. I've been too sick to buy a tree, or bake, or send out Christmas cards, or buy gifts. Or sing Christmas carols or watch Christmas movies or indeed, just about anything.
Including breathe. ::g::
However, today I am mostly upright! My chest feels less tight; I have dragged out the serial killer Santa Claus
and put it on the wall, and lit a few candles. And tomorrow I intend to cut the umbilical cord to the vaporizer and venture back into the world.This entry was originally posted at http://aerye.dreamwidth.org/468021.html. Please comment there. comments have been posted at that site.
Quote from one of my former students currently going through finals:
"Right now I have all the stability of a goldfish given the One Ring."
Ooooh, I was late for SGA Santa this year. But I'm done, I'm done, *sings* I'mdoneI'mdoneI'mdone!
My beta really liked it.
I started my reading for grad school early. I've a Young Adult book club for one of my classes, and who could resist?
So far, while I'm enjoying it, I'm not impressed with Divergent. Like the world-building and I'm okay with the occasional plot hole, but this author lost track of the facts of her story. The heroine guesses crucial information early on, and then ... is surprised when she learns that same crucial information? The Hunger Games was much better.
Still, Divergent encourages me to write. If a story with such major flaws could be popular, hey....
and I shared a two-hour personal shopping trip earlier this week with the woman who did my colours ten years ago. That was a mildly life-changing experience for me, since it got me out of wearing red and black and into pink and purple.
Most of the session was spent in Myer (department store). Initially she led us around and loaded us up with things to try, then she stationed us in the fitting rooms while she went back and forth bringing more things and giving her opinion on the things we tried on. maharetr
and I are almost the same size and were able to try on some of the same items.
We both ended up with things we wouldn't have chosen otherwise. I bought this Jag dress
for work after protesting that it had too much black and wasn't really my colour, and a navy patterned sundress that gathers below the bust Pride and Prejudice-style and gives me a bit more shape than I usually have!
I drew the line at this short hot pink dress
on the basis that my legs aren't what they used to be, but later redressed the pink balance with these pants
, which were happily marked down from $170 to $49! (If even $49 sounds like a lot, this is Australia!)
I was surprised how reasonably priced most of the things she suggested were. She rejected quite a few things because she didn't think they were good value, and suggested unprompted that maharetr
buy something from K-Mart instead of Myer, at a quarter the price.
A fun (if indulgent) experience!
The next day I went into a couple of stores while waiting for my car to be serviced, and found the new love of my wardrobe, this ( floral bomber jacketCollapse )
. I had the sales assistant take a picture of me wearing it in the store so I could send it to my sister to see if she wanted one! If my shopping skills hadn't been fine-tuned the day before, I'd never have even gone into that shop, let alone worked my way to the sale rack at the back and picked up something with roses on it. It was the first time in a long time that clothes shopping felt fun!
The moronic member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, gave a speech in which he stated that there should be no funding for research that does not either find a cure for a disease, 'improve our prosperity' or 'improve our lifestyles'. Basically, he wants universities to be patent-making centres for engineering and medicine. Maybe business studies as well. This is, however, the exact opposite of a university.
He spent quite a bit of time listing ARC research and laughing at it. He seems to have not grasped that these grants are incredibly competitive and this research is at international levels.
'A cool $150,000 went into a study of the impact of locally mined silver to make coins in Athens between the years 550 BC and 480 BC.'
Kelly found this self-evidently funny. I, on the other hand, am impressed that someone is doing what universities are meant to do - ie. expanding the pool of human knowledge.
'In another example, a cool $200,000 went to determine what young Australians are learning about sex, love and relationships from the popular media. I would suggest that these are not the type of funding projects that the government should be funding.'
I would suggest that even under his limited and misguided rubric, this would be extremely helpful and likely to 'improve our lifestyles'.
'Under the previous Labor government $253,000 of taxpayers’ money also went to study archaeology in the Central Caucuses. And $444,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent to study a history of advertising industry practices in Australia between 1959 and 1989. Isn’t that the type of study that would be better funded by the advertising industry than by taxpayers?'
In short, no. Any 'research' undertaken by the industry itself would be a hagiography. Serious research would involve criticism of the industry - probably substantial criticism - and is never going to be undertaken by anyone who is not from academia. And again, even under his stupid idea of just funding what is immediately applicable, I can see *huge* popular applications for this knowledge. If you could write a book which talked about, for instance, how women are held up to ridiculous beauty standards, then someone could translate that research into a teaching program which would be invaluable in schools.
Is this man deliberately obtuse or really this pig ignorant? Can he not see that he is basically saying that we should redefine what a university is to mean a TAFE and we should give up on being a country which in any way values education, research or learning.
1. I watched the new Nintendo Direct tonight and there wasn't a ton of new and exciting stuff, BUT it did get me even more excited about Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze! Not only will Daisy Kong be back but now you'll be able to play as Cranky Kong, too, and it looks like he can use his cane as a pogo stick, which should be fun. Also I don't remember if there was a release date for it before or not, I just knew it had been pushed back, but now they're saying February, so that isn't far away at all, especially considering I will still have Pokemon X to play and will be getting Mario 3D World for Christmas. :D
2. I was running around doing so much stuff at work today that I got a really late start on the new sale signs, but thankfully Favorite Co-worker had time to help me out quite a bit (he usually helps put up some of the signs, but he helped cutting them up for me, too, today) so I managed to get everything done just in time.
3. The weather was indeed quite a bit cooler today.
4. I had enough points on one of my survey sites to get $50 in Amazon credit! (I wish I had gotten it before I bought Christmas presents, but oh well.)Crossposted from http://torachan.dreamwidth.org/1757302.html. There are currently comments. You can comment there anonymously (please sign a name) or using OpenID if you don't have a DW account.