Friday, 26 November 2010

Grad school and a Question Meme

Does it ever happen to some of you that you're working on a major project, and you're convinced you are completely organized and on schedule, and completely on top of things?  And then it comes down to the deadline and you realise you've missed something major?

Yeah.  That happened to me with grad school applications.  I started the online application part back in October, over fall break.  I asked professors if they'd be willing to write recommendation letters.  I put together my repertoire for audition CDs.  I even got my recordings done.

And then it got to Monday and I realised that, while I had asked all my professors, I hadn't actually given them the forms and instructions for the recommendations.  And oh, by the way, the deadline is NEXT Wednesday, not the one after that.  And oh yeah, Thanksgiving is this weekend and no one will be working.

I sort of panicked.  No, I completely panicked.  I also had my first major emotional meltdown of the semester (which is much better than some other semesters, but still, I was hoping to avoid it altogether!)  But I scrambled and I sent people forms, and I've done the best I can now.  Some of them may be late even so, but there's nothing I can do about that at this point, so I'm trying not to obsess over it or worry.  I planned badly, and maybe my foolishness will have unfortunate repercussions.  But it's in God's hands now.  I hope the lateness of these letters won't adversely affect my acceptance to the programs to which I've applied... but even if it does, I guess there's a lesson to be learned from that, too.  And hopefully the admissions people will look with grace on me.

And now, as a break from the seriousness of all that (and because I'm avoiding writing "personal statements": how is one supposed to explain, in 500 words or fewer, that one would be a good candidate for the master's program, and should be not only admitted but given lots of money?  I'm not good at writing about myself; I hate sounding boastful, but I can't think of any way to write this sort of thing without sounding conceited.) -- anyway, as a break from that, here's a "meme" from Jenny to help me procrastinate.  I hope you'll all join in :-)

1. What's your favorite Christmas song or hymn, and why?
My goodness.  I love too many to have a single favourite, but I do love "Of the Father's Love Begotten".

2. Which book heroine do you think is most like you?

Hmmm.  I'd like to think I'm like Harry in Robin McKinley's "The Blue Sword" - certainly we are alike in our towering height and our clumsiness! 

3. What's for Christmas dinner -- turkey, ham, pasta, or something else entirely?

When we are home, our traditional Christmas dinner is roast beef and Yorkshire puddings - with plenty of gravy, please!  However, these days we're often away, and so it usually ends up being ham.

4. What's one piece of parenting advice you wish you had BEFORE the baby was born? If you're not a parent yet, what part of parenting are you most curious about?

Well, I'm certainly not a parent, but even from babysitting I think the hardest part is discipline.  It's so difficult to punish a child, even when he richly deserves it!  How do you parents deal with this?

5. What is your guilty-pleasure food?

Oh, chocolate, definitely - and Hot-n-Spicy Cheese-its.  I could eat an entire box of those!

6. Santa: Yes or No?

No.  We hang stockings, but we kids have always known that Mummy and Daddy filled them, and we never put out cookies for him or anything.  I do like the stories of the original Saint Nicholas, though!

7. What is your most favorite part of the holiday season?

I assume we're talking Christmas holidays here... for me, I love Advent almost more than Christmas day itself.  I love the feeling of anticipation; the gradual addition of more decorations, the holiday baking, the rooms and drawers that no one may look in because they hold treasured surprises.  The nightly Advent readings, telling the Christmas story from creation to its fulfillment.  The weekly lighting of the Advent candles.  I always have a feeling of peace - anticipation, yes, but mostly of a contentment, a fullness, that I rarely sense any other time of the year.  That's definitely my favourite part!

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