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Today is my last day at the essay and the end of my degree. I cannot describe the physical pain I am in. There is no guarantee I will get extenuating circumstance sorted and I can't live on those variables.  I just have to get on with it and submit.  Right now, I am looking forward to my freedom and never, ever having to write an essay at this standard ever again, plus reading books that I don't have to dissect.  I will be back at some form of college at night school for a couple of other qualifications, but nowhere near the level of strain that I have been under.  Mostly, I look forward to spending time on seeing people and doing some arty/crafty stuff.  When I get back to writing, it shall be for the pure enjoyment of it.

Right now, I am angry, but am using it to fuel my last 24 hours on this turkey.  I can guarantee that it will be a crap essay in comparison to what I am capable of (I am 'Update Draft' Queen), but I would prefer to take a punt and get over fifty rather than get it capped at forty or fail the degree at this stage!
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I don't know what is wrong with me.  I just don't have the impetus anymore.  It is like I submitted my diss and now I don't care.  I have written a bit on my last satire essay - but it is mostly bound with quotes rather than an actually argument.  Thing is - I'm done.  Done with the course, education etc.  I have been locked away for so long, it is literally a culture shock each time I go out further than 3 miles.  It's spring.  I've seen precious little of it.  I am surprised to see leaves, rain, shadows - like WTF?  Yet I don't to bow out with possibly the crappiest mark ever.  That's not good or me or my lecturer (who is a great lady and an absolute hoot).

I just have no drive and instead of stepping up to the challenge and finishing like a pro - I am dragging my heels, cussing all the way and just want to crawl across the line and f**k the results.  I need a good kick up the arse.  I would be most embarrassed to get such a frighteningly low score.  So I am going to offload onto dictaphone, give myself a bit of a kicking and get back to working it out properly.

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If Cornwall had underground stations - personally, I love the idea :-D

Well, I have managed to substantially edit it bringing it down from 2,000 of mess, to 1,859 of fairly understandable train of thought.  A third of it is comprehensible, the other two thirds are bitty.  Yet, I feel there has been progress made, it is just I have to fed in the theory and tailor the argument a bit.  Well, quite a lot, but i will need to motor on tomorrow.

Which might be difficult as I have a houseful tomorrow.  Friends are down from Norfolk and Prodigal 2's girlfriend is due over.  I, however, am to be locked into my ivory tower magnolia office and will leave the entertaining to Hubby and Son.
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Bingley had been thinning out around the base of her tail and assumed that it was mange or fleas or whatever, so we gave our vet a call.  Now Bingley had been a timeshare cat for a fair while, but because she had moved in with us on a more permanent basis, we assumed that Bing was a stray.  She needed medical attention.  Imagine the horror that we turn up there hoping to get her treated - only to find that she is tagged and is noticed as missing.  I was absolutely shocked and heartbroken when the vet called Bingley's actual folks, who we have found lives down the road from us.  And that slinky Bingley with the girly soft fur and cuddly demeanor was actually MISTER Bingley - very definitely a 'blue toothbrush' cat..  Anyway, we walked away from the vet minus Bingley, I was absolute inconsolable.

Bingley's folks gave us a knock and returned him to us, saying he is happier here and gave him over. I was blubbing and doing my best 'puss, puss' and we have their number etc.  It's all worked out in the end and Bingley is now crashed out in the other room.  It has taken a dent out of my research for today and I think I will do the Roger Allam skit in The Thick of It.  I am early on the train tomorrow for my last ever lecture and am in lock in all weekend so I can finish the bloody thing.

Juvenile humour at it's best.


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I find your lack of kitty treats somewhat disturbing.

Today is basically been about researching M.M. Bakhtin's philosophy and I have been redirected to his book which has been most interesting.  I will feel better when I have substantially copied notes from that and have cited and merged them with my work.  It is a work in progress :-)

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I have started late as I was at a funeral.  It's been a strange old day - friends posting old photos that i hadn't realised were in existence, another old friend calling, who I vow I will make time for post degree.  In fact, I can't believe how relieved I feel to be almost at the end of it.  There was a celebration that I wanted to go to over the weekend end and saw some epic shots.  It is one that I definitely plan to go to next year.

Back to the essay - now is the time to slot things together.  I am using the framework as described on Plymouth Uni's PP for satire and decanting the lines from the book. Go cats, go.

Well, I have managed 500 words but it was a patchy intro and the criteria set down.  I will have to start introducing more and more apt sentences and observation, which I will do between now and Wednesday afternoon.  I will then have to do a crash revision on what I have learnt and will have to seek out a clip from YouTube and explain myself to the rest of the group and qualify why I think this is a specific brand of satire, then watch the clip.  More tomorrow.

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Spent the day typing notes, about a third of which I will be using for the essay.  I have gone back to the Menippean idea as I have enough proof to cover that. Plus, it will be less hassle to prove the Menippean theory than to pull the essay apart re form and context, though indeed there will be some of that.

I have to go to a funeral tomorrow, but after that, I will start again.

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Well, for me it is coursework, but same thing, really.  Spent the day taking notes, of which I am about to type up and will spend the rest of tomorrow getting all of my other notes together to start the big write on Monday.  I do have to go to a funeral in the afternoon, but will not be staying for the wake.  The only other time I will be sidetracked will be my presence on Thursday for my final satire lecture, which will be clips of popular satire.  Promises to be an amusing lesson.
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This little minx is on the arm of the corner chair by the phone, where I can get the best source of  light to write my notes.  Bingley knows she has to stay still and not fidget, or get turfed off.  I have got halfway through and will do the rest tomorrow. I have abandoned Menippean as an argument, because I would have to go into full explain mode and decided to concentrate on form and content.  Less of a headache that way.

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I currently subscribe to pictures 3 & 8 - well, that is if I am so inclined to work.  Bit skittish today, not really settled down to anything much, except trying to find out what constitutes Menippean and work from there.  I realised that a lot of Pratchett comes under that category, so i feel quite at home in this sub-genre.

Had an interesting chat with a friend, who asked me whether I was considering doing the MA.  I cited age/health/distance/price and replied in the negative, but what I am thinking is that I need a year off and honour my contribution to the household bills.  I will be asking to be put on placement to get experience and see how I do on the job market.  Then I will see how I feel.  Actually it will be nice not living as a penniless student in essentially a potless household.

I am going to start with a grid for the essay - 2,500 words and how I will discuss the finer points.  Promise to do better tomorrow.

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As previously written, I handed my major dissertation in.  It felt odd, like watching your twin children go to school for the first time and they are in school uniforms and they look like babies.  I felt quite emotional and went to the Roland Levinsky building cafe.  I sat on the rooftop seating area with my richly-rewarding piece of millionaire shortbread and peppermint tea.  I was listening to my iPod, just lapping up the moment, then Goldfrapp's 'Moon in Your Mouth' and it got  to the lyric 'I'm alive' then the tears started to roll.  when it got to the bridge 'We looking at the moon/It's the same face we all see' and it took all I had not to copiously weep in public.

I suppose it was inevitable.  It is 10 months of very hard work boiled down into 10,000 words.  It's going to hit, isn't it? I feel a little odd not doing anything more to it.  I hadn't realised how tense I was until I went out for tea later.  Just such a weight taken off my mind.  One of my friends have told me not to look over the dissertation, once submitted because a) you can't do anything about it and b) you will only agonise over it more.  Anyway, I have to start my satire essay - need to go over Thomas Love Peacock's Nightmare Abbey with a fine toothcomb.  Note taking - let's see how my last assignment ever goes :-)

Well, I have taken a look over all of the stuff on the DLE and decided that I am going for the menippean angle with Nightmare Abbey.  I think I can get the most out of that than the other ones.  A bit more structure to work from and at this stage, I need to go from demob happy to nailing something down (the other questions are a bit more free flowing and I just want something to direct me).

Tomorrow will be notes/reading.
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 I have everything ready to go to print.  I have the title sorted and everything else - however, I have the not-so-fun time of trying to end this sucker, probably in about three sentences as my dissertation ends rather abruptly at the moment.  I have my acknowledgement list and my dedication, which is to my mother and grandmothers.  Many people are flapping on the forum, as so did I when I couldn't find the plagiarism sheet.

A friend went through it last night and only recommended a few adjustments, which I duly made.  Another is reading it this afternoon sans the last paragraph.  I feel fairly happy, but I think not entirely until I get this last bit done.

It is all done - printed/checked/double checked and have extra copies.  and I am catching the 07:50 train to Plymouth.

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This is a collage of my weekly trips to Plymouth University.   Top left and right are inside the Babbage Building, middle - steps outside the Charles Seale Hayne library.  The bottom two are from St Erth station, where I have spent many a wet and windy morning.  I was wondering if I would come to think of it fondly in the years to come.  Or bittersweet.  Or just plain bitter.  I don't know.

Yesterday, after months of being cramped at an office desk, turning increasingly word blind and nonsensical, I basically caved.  Tuned everything out and went to bed.  Today, I am going to do the rest of the little bits and a couple of friends will be having a read of it over the next couple of days.

Bibliography is complete.  I have just messaged the forum to see how many people have used on average. Meanwhile, the MD Inserts List.

  • Title page
  • Acknowledgments (optional)
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Chapters x 3
  • Appendices - N/A
  • Bibliography
  • Plagiarism statement (see handbook).

Feel a bit better.  Tomorrow, I will sort out the rest.

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I sincerely hope not, or I am screwed!

Well, I got the marks back on my first satire essay - 62%, which is just about in the zone, but I am crabby with myself, because the things I slipped up on is the fact I proofread on screen, rather than print it out and read it out loud/check it manually.  Plus there was a couple awkward turns of phrasing.  Anyway, it is a 2:1 score, will strive to do better next time.

Will attempt to finish things off over the next couple of days and yes, PROOFREAD offscreen, godsdamnit!  


I have done some substantial editing and have just pulled the intro/ch1/ch2/ch3/conclusion together.   I do know something - after yesterday's minor tank, I am a) absolutely petrified of f***ing up and b) fear that I have ruthlessly edited beyond hope.  The only thing I can so is print off the lot and reread manually.  I can't help think that I am wandering off topic here and when you have been with the project this long, you get word blindness.

Dejected.  The only thing that keeps me going is that others are in the exact same position.  I think the thing that surprised me is that so many just hope they don't get a 40% pass.  I would literally die if I did, to the point that a low 2:1 gets me.

* sigh *

I am sick to death of this.

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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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