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I have been away from the PC for a fair while (bad night/bad stomach etc), but at least I have found out the following a) date for seeing diss lecturer (need to get my third chapter essay plan to him at the weekend), b) I know exactly what the last assignment questions are now - it is either going to be Nightmare Abbey, or Galapagus c) even if I was having sleeping probs the other night, the brain had a 'Eureka!' moment, when I realised exactly what I was going to write about in chapter three d) the healing properties of sleep and apple cider vinegar <--- seriously, anyone with an acidic tum should drink it - diluted in water.

More plodding and chipping away - started by pasting draft one into new draft two and begin tapping away :-)
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Yesterday, whilst nursing a uncomfortable face with a well-received hot water bottle,  I transferred notes for Wise Children across and today, I have begun the final chapter.  I had to leave Chapter two hanging in mid air as lecturer hung onto it until it was too late for me to write anymore for him - so I will have to back track on this and write the ending in a couple of weeks or so.  I did a tally as to how much of the dissertation I have written so far and with Intro/Ch1/Part of Ch2 = 5,267.  Ch 3 is basically a bunch of notes and currently stands at 1,482 = Altogether approx 6,309.  That number has made me feel a lot better, but I know it is something I have to really get my skates on for.

As of 3 weeks ago, I have had to chop Classic FM off, as I can't concentrate with it on and instead am content to listen to 'Brown Noise' (which I know sounds dodgy, but it's just 'White Noise' with the top end capped off.

So - plodding on :-)
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Right now, OP - I totally agree with you.

Once upon a time, back in the time when the final BA year was probably half a decade ago, a 2,500 word essay would take about six days to write and less than a couple of days to turn round.  Now it takes nigh on a damn fortnight and trying to find the magical ten resources has been challenging (a problem if you have used a fair few citations from one essay - not so bad if you are directly quoting from the resources they have used).

I am not the only one caught up in pondering and making an idea stretch into an essay.  When asking 'What are the targets of Swifts 'A Modest Proposal'? I answered 'the English colonization of Ireland.'  That's great - 5 words down, 2,495 to go, but at least I have stretched it to the full word count.  Unlike a fellow classmate, who on being asked 'Irony works in satire, do you agree?' answered 'Yes I do' but has only got as far as 1,200 to argue that point.

I am looking for a couple more quotes from books, then I will complete the biblio, proofread and hit send.  Then rest a while to ponder the rest of the dissertation and the last of the satire essays.
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After days spent wearily plodding at a desk, i took myself out for a short drive and a bit of a walk about.  It has actually made that transaction from not being quite so cold, to Spring being literally around the corner - and a very blessed sight it is.  You don't quite feel like skipping along  just yet, but definitely the step has become more * ahem * spring-gy.  Anyway, I am back at said desk, trying to untangle my argument before I add anything meaningful from other texts.

Found this on Facebook, which is a mosaic from Baobab Tree Mosaics - link HERE.  I think it's fabulous, like the Lindt Bunny made large :-)

22:32

Have rewritten the third draft and let me tell you, at about 20:00 this evening, I thought that the bloody lot had unraveled.  Nil desperandum - I pasted across piecemeal to another document and tweaked en route and viola! Possibly another essay finished, with minor adjustments, academic sprinkles, bibliography and proofreading.  Then it's onward to the final straight of my major dissertation.  The joy.

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I am pleased to say that I am a * lot * further down the line, my end of day count being 2,337, but from page 5-9 needs extensive rewriting (or at least, writing from another angle - long story, but it is important that I question the status quo and proffer a different light).

Tomorrow briefly, i will search for essays as the library at Plymouth has been devoid of actual Swift books - some one has denuded the lot and I am left with a couple that I managed to get on the hop from Amazon.  This is the penalty you pay for being a distance learner - the books are whipped before you get a look in :-/
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The same can be said for students on English degree courses.  I am about day four into writing the satire essay and really want this done and dusted after the weekend, so I can write the other half of the dissertation. I know I have written upwards of 1,000 with another 1,500 to write. 

Love the bunny.  I have two fractious cats, one of which won't stop bringing wood mice in.  We have a relatively good success rate of catching them and keeping them alive, then depositing them later down in the bigger woods.  It doesn't help that WM's diet just happens to be sycamore seeds - of which we have plenty.

Onward :-)

22:11

I have written about 700 extra words and I think I am making headway.  Because I have gone both word blind and brain dead, I am calling it a night.
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I'm not having a bad day, but I am prevaricating.  I would say I was far crabbier yesterday when family were out having a Crap Donald's burger - I personally don't like burgers, but really wanted to go out and see people.  Managed 600+ words yesterday, but as I have had family over and as it's just after half three in the afternoon, I have kinda lost momentum.  I wrote an additional 200 word planner on my Android about one this morning, but need to get on with it.

* meh *

21:24
All in all, not a bad day.  With extra notes added, blended and edited, I have managed to write about a quarter of it, with the detailed plan lodged underneath, with notes for links etc.  Time for me to sign off and watch rubbish TV
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Well, I have started my critique of Swift's 'A Modest proposal' and I have found that my brief encounter of Swift three years ago will really NOT help me.  Reading one's own work from thirty six months ago is quite an eye opener.  Not badly written as such, just not to the standard that I have today,  Plus all of the books/links etc. I had back then either do not correspond (dead links) or somehow do not marry up to the quotes (Ouch - thou shalt not proofread on the screen as by then you are word blind.  Print a copy off).  Some are also books that I cannot locate again as they were with Truro/Penwith College and are not available from Plymouth Uni.  Curses.  No short cuts here :-/

Anyway, he seems to be highly hacked off with the Anglo/Irish problem and I am trying to sift through as to whom he is most pissed off with and write about it. Just want this out of the way so I can get back to writing the second half of Diss chapter two, most of Diss chapter three, the conclusion - THEN overhaul the lot. Probably several times.  Great fun. 
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Must admit to going back to stage one of the second chapter and even further back to rewrite an intro, so that the rest of the essay chapters fall into place.  I am trying to figure what it is that I am missing, why the bloody thing lacks coherence.   If I am centering in on 'the mother' what does that mean in the instances that you have chosen.  On and on and on.  I have got to get a handle on this, or I can't write the diss, pure and simple.

21:25
A lot of head scratching today and a lot of referring back to the intro and the first chapter (oh and the 'recommendations to both).  What is it that I am not conveying?  Beats me right now.  Maybe I am not signposting the bloody obvious again - perhaps I am expecting them to be mind readers.  A bit 'FFS, you MUST have read the book, haven't you?' (and dare I say it, I sense that my lecturer has not = male and specialising in war history and Victorian imperialism).  I I maybe speaking out of turn and he is a sweet guy.

Going to bed.  This is going to be my ever waking breath from now til May 3rd.  67 days then - or less, actually as I am meant to get it to the media centre way before this.  Brilliant.

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Yesterday, I worked very hard, then decided to work on - despite knowing that I couldn't see properly out of my left eye.  This has got to stop, I can't keep getting migraines like this; I have had two inside 4 days.  My problem is that I get engrossed, forget to eat/drink/comfort break and most crucially, I tend to hold my breath too long when concentrating

I will carry on with the notes, but there is something else I have to read and get the gist on today in ready for tomorrow's lecture on George Villiers, Viscount of Buckingham's The Rehearsal 

18:55
Finished notes - 7,494, now onward to read this bloody Rehearsal script.
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For 'drink coffee,' read 'eat chocolate' and you have pretty much got me in a nutshell.

Today, I haven't done too badly, I managed to write up another 2,500 or so notes - another couple of hours and I should be half way.  Tomorrow will be full on, as in the evening, I will have to read something specific for the following days lecture on satire (right now, I am not sure what it is - the link is in an email somewhere).  Getting somewhere, need to make more progress.  Need a plank of Dairy Milk, but that is not forthcoming :-/
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Spring feels like it is here, with the first semi warm and sunny days since September last.  I have to fight the urge to go out and catch some shots of the first shoots of spring.  Chapter 2 isn't exactly in the bag - in fact, I posted it with great trepidation as a cry for help (messy beyond belief and I couldn't get past rearranging the same old crap).  Now I have some breathing space, it is time to go through and write up crucial notes for Chapter 3, rather than sit around letting the grass grow under my feet.

Some good and not so good news about my former fellow students.  On the NSGN front - a student who was an FdA from my old college dropped out re discrepancies about her work.  A genuine mistake on her part and it got to such a position, she dropped out in December.  I am glad to hear she is doing well and in a nice job, but ultimately very disappointing.  Her running partner also is struggling, as she took English with Politics and is finding it a strain, not to mention quite alienating.  On a brighter note, another fellow Truro colleague, who graduated last September has passed his teacher training literary test and the all important evil maths test - closer steps in becoming a teacher.  I am very pleased for him, think he will do a good job, too.

Anyway it's tappitty tap time :-)

22:57
I have written out 2,633 words today and barely made a dent (just over 10% of it) but it should settle soon, because it is about fleshing key characters out and that will be narrowing down shortly.  I have to concentrate on the relationships with the protagonists' key mother figures and add the others in as incidentals, as and when.  Dead tired now and I have Prodigal 1 and  granddaughter over tomorrow, so I won't be seeing this til about 2 in the afternoon.
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...and may I say, one of the longest in my life? I know there are going to be some that will disagree with me, but after reading his 'McFlecknoe' rant, I am actually rather nostalgic for Juvenal whining about the rich and how they clog up the street with beggars, flunkies and other hangers-on.  In short, he does go on a bit , doesn't he? Unless you have a dictionary of 17th c terms, you spend half your life trying to understand the 'changed' meaning for some of the words - i.e. the 'sinister' hand meant to be the left hand.  In short, he had it in for Thomas Shadwell, who thought he was heir presumptive to Ben Jonson. Oh dear.

I have another hour or so of reading, then I will read the rest on the train.  Let me tell you that 2 hours then goes at the blink of an eye!


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A lot to do today, as I am up in Plymouth tomorrow. I really need to get the draft to diss lecturer by the 15th February, so I can have a chat and proceed forward.  Meanwhile, here is a picture of a handy book dispenser - seemingly a Pop Up Library in Indianapolis.  What a fab idea.

18:30

The problem is - sometimes you come across a part of your work that doesn't gel.  You can't articulate WHY - you kinda know what you say, but it just doesn't come out right.  Usually, I come across this problem, I write in layman's terms so when I come back later, I can write it with more of an academic head.  This isn't working at the moment.  I look at it and it seems a bloody mess.

They say that when you are under time pressure, you produce your best work - for me it really doesn't.

21:32
Well, it's turned out a bit better now and am on the final part of the chapter about the interaction of the protagonist with the male characters and how it contributed to the rest of the story..  great.  Now I can sleep and get ready for tomorrow's lecture on Dryden.
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After very little sleep, I am back at the coalface (well, the desk) and am about to work really hard - my play off is to watch the Terry Pratchett: Back in Black biopic.  I am still looking forward to it, but I didn't realise that his closest family and friends will be playing themselves i.e. his daughter, Rhianna, Neil Gaiman, Paul Kidby and favourite reader Stephen Briggs etc.  This might be harder to watch than I had thought.

Onward.
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Plodding on as I do - enthusiasm can carry someone a long way.  Right now, it is pounding out ch 2 as per usual, in time for my diss lecturer to read it and see me in the fourth week (10 days from now). I have new impetus - after speaking to a senior lecturer, I am going to be attending the post graduate fair, with view to possibly going further.  I also am considering getting a placement somewhere via Plymouth Uni.  It is early days yet.  Have read the MA English Literature page and am definitely interested.

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I haven't been at my desk since Monday and I sit looking at it, well blankly quite frankly, my dear.  Weather is being it's usual misbehaving self, either stormy and freaky or just hungover grey.  Penzance is especially getting a lashing and the above photo is a comparatively bright one of the waves just crashing in.  More photos and footage HERE

Well, time to open up the document and contemplate the next step.

23:02
Bit fed up as I have got problems with trigeminal neuralgia at the moment, but for some reason on a different side of my face (meh, it's all related and inconvenient, though at a level that I can deal with at the moment). Can't say that I've achieved much, but I have done some work and even added academic that will be absolutely polemic to the argument.  Full speed ahead tomorrow.
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After being awake for 36 hours, I slept for 14 hours and have done very little except go to the gym today.  Tomorrow I start afresh at the desk.  My first satire sesh was excellent - run by the very excellent Dr Min Wild and we discussed the language and nature of satire and of course, Trump's presidency turned up.  This will run and run.

 

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