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Something was bugging me today.  I was going out for a drive to have a think and then something at the back of my head waved an index card. I remember my lecturer J mentioning it back when I was doing the mini dissertation, but I was more interested in Psychoanalytical theory rather than the feminist slant.  Now, at almost the eleventh hour, it's coming back to me and I will now have to take a crash course of 'L'ecriture feminine' which instead of skating around the issue (like I have) delves straight into the heart of the matter.  So, I thought I was going to deliver this weekend? Wrong.

Helen Cixious' 'The Laugh of the Medusa'is an interesting text and has helped me a bit today.  I now feel like I have the final pieces, but I might have overloaded the dissertation with maybe TOO many outside sources.  There has to be room for my own point of view.  Onward with the conclusion now :-)

Gave up writing the rest and settled on getting the gist for tomorrow's lecture on PG Wodehouse.  Will see if I can at least do the biblio and just get that out of the way.
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Today, I will be writing my conclusion (with handy notes that I have made at random times - not scrawled on my arms this time).  Not sure what I will be saying exactly, but I think it will a boiled down version of the grid I made from the intro.  Plus I will be seeing if my findings fit at all.  Gotta leave a little room for error, I suppose - you can't get it all right.

Later, I will sort out the general housekeeping i.e. typing up biblio/references, acknowledgements, dedication, contents index etc.  If all goes well, I will check, double check and submit this sucker early.

Remind me - just how difficult are 500 words meant to be?

I have managed to put together a not-too-shabby 800 words for the conclusion.  Two thirds has taken shape nicely and the final third needs unscrambling but I can see it coming together by the end of the week (though Thursday I will be attending a satire lecture, so that's a miss for the day).  I have phoned the Uni library to ask how they sort out the printing and it kind of goes as follows:

1) Print everything before coming to the library.

2) Get two binder covers from the staff at the counter (£5.50 each - check).

3) You will be shown how to bind and the whole process will take only a few minutes each.

4)There will be plenty of people available to assist with the binding, which includes this bank holiday weekend. There will be fewer on hand, but generally the staff can deal with small groups with no problem at all.

5) I have told them that 60+ students will be filing in between now and late Wednesday morning. They have assured me that they will have more than enough supplies.

So - relief all round.  I am even tempted to take it up this weekend to get it bound, then submit Tuesday morning when the RL building is open.  Not long now (6 days tomorrow).
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Was tagged to this pic on Facebook this morning, from a dear friend who knows only too well the pressures of a student who is striving hard to get the marks.  I have eight days left and fell asleep last night with biro scrawled over my arms just like a typical teenager - mine was mental notes that I couldn't email at the time and was nowhere near either pen/paper nor my wipe board; arms bearing captions like 'bring Granny back' and 'restructure the title.'  Suffice to say that I made note of all this when I woke up and did my daily ablutions.  Right now, restructuring the middle of the essay as it is near 3,000 words long and I have edited one minor character out to write a more prominent character in.  Like I said, during my argument that has been structured around matriarchs, I almost lost Granny!  Perish the thought!  The conclusion will have to happen later.

I notice the student forum is alive and kicking with major dissertation fears, so I know I am not alone.  We are trading dissertation information about printing and availability of staff etc.  Won't be long before we are all crossing the finishing line :-)

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Right now, I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm loving it, but it does sum up how the majority of the sessions have been.  Anyway, I have created my grid and am about to sit down for another grand read.  Hopefully, because I made a lot of superficial changes last time, the punctuation, spelling and grammar should be up to scratch.  There is a tad more bio that I have to write, see if there are any academic essays on JSTOR or PROJECT MUSE  that will say things better than I can (points mean prizes, folks!) plus I have gone some way to wring the conclusion.  So heads down on the starting block - GO!

The reread and alterations went fairly well.  Tomorrow, I will concentrate on the conclusion and start writing up the Biblio/References.  The following day, I will have one last look at other essays and see if I have to rescript putting Carter in the driving seat.  The way that this feels now, I might submit this at the end of the week instead of waiting til the following Tuesday. (because it's a bank holiday weekend and the library and intake will be short staffed, it makes better sense to do this rather than jostle for position on the day before - especially since I don't live round the corner).

Will have to concentrate on finding satire clips to discuss on 8th May and start my final ever essay on Nightmare Abbey (have skimmed through it at best and barely know what the questions are for now).
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Is it normal to wake up and think 'F**k - wish I had read 'The Iliad?''  That was me this morning, suddenly realising where I could poach some classical material.  Think it might be a bit late to take a crash course in Greek classics in any case - I am rather hoping that an academic essay or two from JSTOR will help.

I have bunced up the classic category, but might need to expand, have tied some ends together from other chapters.  Tomorrow, I will prepare a grid and see how well this has been signposted and consider writing the conclusion of which I think I have made at least one leap of deduction.  I will have a look at some of the quotes and see if there are some I can throw in that are contrary to my findings, then argue the crap out of it. I have 8 days left.  Very soon, this will be a distant memory.
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Good old Ozzy - totally get this as I felt the same whilst reading parts of my diss reread yesterday, but mostly it was about rewording.  Today I will sort this out and then look at my checklist as I feel that some of the arguments could be stronger and maybe better sign posted.

More later.

OK, so I have reduced the word count down to 9,331 and will read Mock Up Part 2 tomorrow.  I will also consider a few other essays and maybe some older classic texts, try to write a conclusion and create the inserts.  As of tomorrow, I have nine days left.  Getting closer, folks :-D

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 Cat GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I have just printed all 38 pages off and nothing brings to light editing bloopers like the printed version and a pen.  Have been with this since midday and am a couple of pages away from ch 3.  However, I do feel better looking at it, because I think it only requires tweaking in the next couple of days, plus the additions of a bit more bio and academic resource (not to forget the conclusion - still don't know what that is as yet).

The GIF is unrelated - just loved the look on kitty's face :-D

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Started late and really not wanting to do this as I had a long day yesterday.  I am about 70-80% through ch 3 rewrite but I am aware that the chapters are starting to look like three entirely different essay and that is a bit of a worry.  I don't mind that there are some different arguments and there is a sense of a continuation on a theme, but I think I really will have to nail this soon.


(PS -  took a look at my profile today and saw one cherish LJer has deleted their account and at least one other who is in the process of doing so.  I was warned by both, but am cross with this LJ ToS agreement,  which is in conflict with so many people's freedom of speech.  I am wondering if DW will really be able to pick up where LJ left off and revive a blogging network.  For the record, I don't like the politics on LJ, either - yet DW needs to prove to me that it is woirth staying with them, if I DO decamp.  Plus - WordPress is not exactly chatty, is it?)

* cue tumbleweed and a mournful harmonica sound *

I have got to the last page and will sort that out tomorrow.  Right now "All I see is words with no meaning" (thank you A. Tsibulya).  I have just run the chapters together as an MD mock up and right now I have got 38 pages/9,518 words which I will read as a project tomorrow.  You can't read it as a whole on the pc and paper makes it more frightening, but easier to read.  This is without the conclusion or aforementioned inserts which will bring the contents nearer to 50+.  Arggghhhh! It's all becoming horribly real :-/
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Do you know what I find the most exhausting at the moment?  The need to justify my observations.  Tactical arguing.  Which has been of course the whole driving force of the degree, but I am done trying to find contradictions to what I am writing, then textually shout them down.  If only is WAS still just statement/evidence/analysis.  As in 'this is my evidence, thank you and good night.'

Today is about wading in and rescuing the rest of chapter 3.  Yay - said no one ever.

One thing that I find quite interesting today is that aspects of my ACCESS course sociology/psychology have come back round to meet me four years after I first learnt it.  'Episodic Memory' is one,  the other is something which I can't discuss (not REALLY wanting to be plagiarize myself at this late stage), suffice to say that it is relevant to the picture below.

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I have made substantial changes and am feeling a lot better.  I am about 80% the way through and will be checking my amount of references per chapter.  When I am done (hopefully in a couple of days) I will be printing off the lot and reading it all together and see how it fits and what I need to do in order to change obvious blips and bloopers (I think there will be a bit of a rejig of ch 1 and track down those essays so I can mix some of them in with the other answers.

I am calling it a day for now - just heard from the satire lecturer, who has informed us that the 5% we make up will be on discussing found satirical clips and discussing them with gusto.  Not sure if I am going to chuck in words like 'Menippean' at this stage - I'll see what I can rustle up.
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I finished ch 2 early yesterday and then snuck out for tea and cake at my sister's.  Being ever the aunt for quirky prezzies, I bought my niece a pack of cat socks, equipped with large eyes and cute little ears.  Cue 'Squeee' from little one.  Think she preferred them over the Easter eggs.

So, I am back to ch 3 with a LOT of quotes to fiddle around with and quite a bit of paring back to do.  I have 15 days left til hand in.  Trying not to freak out at this point, but I have a lot to sort out for the end production.  It goes something like this:

  1. Title Page
  2. Acknowledgements (optional)
  3. Table of contents
  4. Introduction (including details of any abbreviations)
  5. Chapters x 3
  6. Conclusion 
  7. Appendices (if any)
  8. Bibliography
  9. Plagiarism statement (see handbook)

So - a fair bit of sorting/printing to do.  Not a lot re the basic housekeeping - it's the grand edit that's important, plus the biblio and submit sheet.  Back to the drawing board - I have emailed more notes to my account in a bid attempt to tighten some of this up.

I have been looking at ch 3 and have substantially winced, because in comparison to ch 2, it is full of holes.  I suppose that is to be expected.  What is NOT to be expected is that I have a couple of key quotes missing, cannot find said quotes in notes, only to find that the Wise Children book has gone missing.  Hubby is usually very careful about my stuff, but there was an incident about a fortnight ago, when we had a succession of wood mice move into my office.  Now the place is absolutely crammed with reference books, paper folders, essays etc and I could not find it at all.  Cue Hubby having to go carefully through it all for over two hours.  Tense time, but it was found at last.  Am a little behind and need to get things sorted ASAP re the essay.  Right now, it's a mess and from a distance, like my office, it looks like it has had a session not unlike 'slash and burn' agriculture.

A difficult day - so much to reappraise.  I have a feeling there will be a substantial rewrite of ALL of it.

Can't you see me here mama
Mama, mama, mama, please
Can't you feel my heart
Can't you feel my heart
Can't you feel my heart oh
Now listen to me mama
Mama mama
You're taking away my last chance
Don't take it away
Can't you feel my heart?

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Usually, I would celebrate Easter, but I find that I am too busy in the final throes of the degree to be able to do this.  Plus, Prodigal 1 is working, Prodigal 2 is nearly forty miles away with his girlfriend and as I am under degree-related house arrest, I cannot see sister, niece, granddaughter, friends etc.  I know it won't be long now and I know that in the future I will be expected to work holiday weekends etc but at least a) I will be paid, b)I will be allowed to take legitimate time off.

Meanwhile, full steam ahead.
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Ad previously written, I will attempt to get ch2 finished by midnight tomorrow.  Plus side is that some very important books turned up today - thank you, Amazon Prime!

But onto basic maths - I have to divide up the dissertation word count roughly as follows.

1,200 = Intro
2,700 = Ch x 3
0,500 = Conclusion
0,198 = Spare Words (just in case)

I need to shave off 159 words before I close ch2 - however, that might not be a difficult as I think.  I seem to have doubled up in a couple of areas i.e. said the same thing in a different way and on more than one occasion.  I will keep to the deadline as being 23:59 tomorrow night, so I can start fresh and well for the overhaul of ch 3.  Clicketty click.

Need to get rid of 107 now, but will leave it til tomorrow, as I have gone word blind.  I have also added Word Dumps to the end of each essay so I can either dump what I don't need at the bottom, moving them to another Dump Document, or put in reserved quotes from other essays, so I can mingle and blend from the the dump into the essay.

I have totted up that I have got about 9,550 words all in, but with a long way to go, which means getting a transcript of the intro, pasted onto a new document - boil it down to its key components, then use them as a checklist against everything I have written in the up-and-coming chapters.  Plus I have a 500 word Conclusion to write.  At this rate, I believe I might be on time instead of running perilously behind.  Then I will have to do a crash course in 'Nightmare Abbey' - a pain as there aren't any Audiobooks that cover it.

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Done with the note taking, now it is time to add to the essay and get this project edited and done.

I have not got 2,962 words for ch 2, of which I will have to substantially pare back and make those arguments work.  Not for the first time, I wish I had more time, but I want this chapter tied up by Sunday, so I can move on. I think I am going to have to pull in more critical names, but I kinda like the arguments as they stand.
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Today is about copying out quotes from the 7 day loan books with view to giving them back tomorrow.  Left it til last minute, but I am fairly good at typing fast and will record the data re publishing house/year etc.  Not overly fond of lugging the lot to Plymouth tomorrow, especially so near to Easter hols (trains will be packed).  So heads down on the starting block......GOGOGO!


I have written over 1,500 word notes today with view to writing more.  Wish the diss would go this easily!

So very pleased to find more perfect quotes to support my stuff - over 2,500 words in note form.  Perfect - can argue with much more clout.  After my excursion to Plymouth library for one last round up of books tomorrow, I will come back and carry on with my note taking with other key books :-)
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To be honest, yesterday was catastrophic - a combination of self sabotage and outside things happening (Prodigal 2 in a funk because he lost his job in telesales).  It was all a bit 'dark night of the soul' stuff, too.  Like, 'You're not good enough/You're going to run out of time/There will be nothing on the other side when you get out.'  On and on.  Inner voice carping and I wonder why I won't let myself be good enough to get this important mark (major dissertation = 40% of final year mark).  Today I have been up since the early hours and am more driven, plodding on and seeing what I can achieve today.

There are more than enough words, but I am adding the academic stuff and turning it more into an argument.  Let's see what this looks like at nine tonight :-D

I have just done a quick tally to see how many words have been contributed to the final dissertation so far. 9,069.  There will be a lot more written and pared back before I submit.  For instance, I know for a face that I really should at least five more outside sources in this chapter alone and I have precious little for ch3.  Plus 500 approximately for the conclusion.  Still, it is heartening to see.

A friend of mine is due home tonight and she is usually my confidante.  I think I need a bit of a pep talk, so sometime over the next few days, i will have a chat albeit brief.

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People on NaNoWriMo tend to know about Plot Bunnies, which are defined as the following: plot bunny is a story idea that refuses to go away until it is written. The term's origin is unknown but is known to predate NaNoWriMo. Because plot bunnies tend to multiply quickly, the term is thought to be related to the oft-quoted John Steinbeck quote about ideas and rabbits - "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." --John Steinbeck.

From the Wikiwrimo website.

I believe that it assignment writing, this is pretty much the same thing - except you are writing about other people's plots but en route, you are trying to read it from an obscure angle and trying to work out the intentions of the theory reader as well as the political intent of the writer etc.  So, by extension, I believe I have a variant of Plot Bunny (academic strain), possibly a relation to the Lopearred Sitting Around Bunny, possibly known as Can't Find Your Own Bun With Both Hands variant.

I can identify with the pic - it definitely feel like this.

I have started ch 2, not realising I had so little in the final cut.  I have far more in previous drafts, but will have to use the information sparingly, because it was up in the 3,500 mark and I really should discern.  I find I am not alone in the struggle for getting through this.  One look on the students' forum shows that one has quote "hardly started"; another is about half way through, another is "getting an extension" for hers.  One has chapter one and two, isn't doing a chapter three and doesn't have an intro or a conclusion yet (re conclusion - me neither.  I am kinda hoping it will be apparent when I have finished writing the rest of it.  500 words of 'Well, f***ed if I know").

Well, I had better add to the rest of it, or it will look like I haven't achieved much today.
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After substantially rewriting the intro, I look at Chapter 1 and draw a bit of a blank, but I am aware that either the next two has to draw similar content, to ch 1 Or I have to rewrite ch2 and ch 3 first - THEN go back and rewrite ch 1.  I think things will be better re ch2 beginning, so other than a few nips and tucks, I am leaving ch1 alone for a while.

I will have to possibly link up other secondary books - I used 'Handmaid's Tale in ch1.  I cannot think of a literary book that links so closely with either prostitution or appearances.  Scratching my head here.  Will post on several forums for advice in any case.  You will be surprised how many closet bookworms come out of the woodwork with good counsel at the 11th hour :-D

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Above is the Writer's Cafe at the top of Babbage Building. Very empty.  The campus was quite busy - very few lecturers around but most of the students are revising etc.  Classrooms are curiously full - let out to companies outside the uni set up.  Last peek in looked like a 'buddy bonding' course that business are so fond of.  Sweet.

In regards to my general output, well, I have overshot my timetable by about 2 days, but I will restart tomorrow.  I am done with the intro for now and will go forward with the beginning of chapter one tomorrow.  I wanted perfection - but I feel I am not going to get close, until I let the intro go for the time being and concentrate on the rest.  Thankfully, the first chapter looks like I will not need to do so much to it (I hope!).  Plus side is bringing home several wedge books that filled the rucksack and gave me a hernia on the way down to the railway station.  The price of paying for state-approved education.

June 2017

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