Sunday, 17 April 2011

Post-dissertation life.

Ok, so it seems I still actually get some readers. Fancy, just as I was going to just end up blogging on Tumblr alone. Seems I've been read from all over the world - I knew I had one or two views from Korea, in the past, but lately I've had a surge from American places, and in Europe. Though partly because someone searched for Tangled pictures on, and, and got the same image each time. Dunno if that was a bot or not. But the comment from a dude in Georgia was real enough. As was one from my Welsh friend.

This is the image I used on my front cover.
So I finished my dissertation - it's final title is "'Penitent Harlot': The Life of Mary of Egypt Between the Eighth and Fourteenth Centuries". I tell you, it was a relief to get that thing finished. My tutor had been supportive in an unsupportive way, and I was one of those that *could* have got an extension, but chose not to and to just get it done. Sure, I won't have got a First, but who gives a crap? My grandparents (grandmother in particular) are very proud and have a shiny, specially bound copy and my grandmother has posted a picture of it on her facebook to show off to her friends. She thinks the subject matter alone is impressive, even if my conclusion adds nothing to the academic field. Well, possibly a little to undergraduates, but not a lot - I'm sure some scholar somewhere will have noticed the same 'ground-breaking' discovery I made at some point. I think it should earn me some marks though, as it is a clear demonstration of my detailed knowledge of the text. I noticed that the later versions do not mention any form of washing Mary's feet, either with tears, or when the lion appears and licks them, but they name the day of her burial as ShereThorsday, or Maundy Thursday. I looked up Maundy Thursday, and traditionally, one washes his feet, as part of the day's rituals. I wondered if perhaps the compiler of the collection in which this amended version appeared, who had a penchant for dating texts and emphasising any numerical significance or mysticism, chose to date her burial as Maundy Thursday in the lent calendar because of the previous mentions of the feet-washing. So I hypothesised this within my third chapter, a little.
In the end, my total word count was 10,166.

Anyway, I've got another 2 pieces of coursework due in the week starting the 2nd May, and I've spent the last 17 days or so doing absolutely nothing uni-related, and it's been great.
...well, not absolutely.... I have planned my final essay on Richard III. It's question is "What impression of Richard III do the non-chronicle sources give?" - answer to that? Not a great one. He's passive aggressive, too clever for his own good, ruthless and very religious. And not in the good way - he blames everybody else's impurities for the state of his country and reign but his own personal problems. And what's more, it looks as though he's murdered his consort, Anne. It doesn't matter whether he did or not - it's how he is perceived that ultimately loses him followers. He's also grabby and too hands-on. None of the nobles got any decent rewards, and as such had nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain by supporting Henry Tudor when the time came. He "brung it on himself, the stupid tosser", as the locals would say.

I've been home since the evening of the first of April, and I've set to losing a stone in the next four months - that's 3.5lbs a month. I've already nearly lost 3lbs, but I have to keep going when I'm at uni, or else I'll balloon and all this hunger will have been for nothing. The problem with university is that I do less exercise, but the way that cooking for one works is that I end up eating more than I used to. So I've been putting on the pounds on and off for the last three years. Granted, I've done a lot better than most people - but first year I was very unhappy, and only in the final term of second year and all of this year have I been treating myself more, happier and even drinking a bit. Not a lot, but alcohol does not make the calorific pizza go down past the hips.

So really, my diet involves eating and being a liiiiiitle more active. I'm not going to start jogging. I have yet to find a sports bra that is both cost effective AND fits. See, if you're a woman, having large lumps of tissue and nerve endings bouncing around is uncomfortable and impractical. I'm not about to get a black eye from it, but I wouldn't be surprised if they got misshapen or stretched or something from the force of movement.
And with that image I move on to the food.

I've pretty much just been making sure I don't eat more calories than I burn by living and occasionally moving about or doing exercise. With larger dinners and meat and stuff, I just make sure I only have as much as is necessary, and if my stomach isn't full, fill up with some liquids or have a small snack bar. Eating less is the main thing. I have small but healthy lunches, a nice dinner, and depending on what time I get up, a slice of toast for breakfast and/or a chocolate milk, or an energy bar, just to keep me going till lunch.
My favourite thing is to get about 15g of mixed peppers and an apple, chop it up, throw in some walnuts and pumpkin seeds, and then add a forkful of mayonnaise - this is MY version of a Waldorf Salad, just no celery. (That stuff is foul).
I've had very little chocolate, but I'm not going to cut it out of my life - that'll just end in binging or something. I have to learn to restrain myself again. Imagine I'm out in the countryside with no shops in walking distance, even when the chocolate bars are right in front of me in Spar.

So yeah. That's my catch up. Oh, and I really really really dislike religion at the moment, for various reasons. I might have a mini rant about this stupid letter some stupid person wrote into the radio times complaining about a fascinating documentary series, Buried Secrets of the Bible.


Nic said...

Congratulations on finishing your dissertation. Mine didn't add much to the academic field either but frankly, I disagree with those who think that a dissertation needs to. I made a fair few points in mine that demonstrated a in-depth knowledge of the text and historical events but I'm not going to flatter myself that I'm the only person who could possibly have noticed it. I might be the first to refer to it in a dissertation but I'd be surprised if I was the first to notice it.

But anyway, it's definitely a special moment when you see your sweat, blood and tears all bound up and ready to go. We were actually warned that any unbound dissertations wouldn't be marked. A few idiots decided to call their bluff and received - you guessed it - an automatic fail but I wasn't interested. I sympathised to a point but I wasn't going to risk my grade on something as trivial as dissertation binding. Apart from anything, I slaved over that thing for months on end, I was adamant that someone else was going to suffer through it too!

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