Wednesday, April 27, 2005 ______________________________________________________________________________

It's OOOOOOOOOveeeeeeeeer! 

Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire.

I am done done done done done with this term. Done with this term! Done with this term! Done. Done. Done...

Gosh and to think that all of this madness will resume May 9th 2005, while I've got a full time job at Bateson's lab. The summer term should prove interesting.

So the real question now is why the hell am I doing summer courses? I mean I certainly think it better to take some time off, unless there's a really really good reason for a reduced course load next term and a guaranteed on-time graduation...

Good Question.

Well for the first point, I'm really anticipating being an undergrad TA for Ling 100. A reduced course load in that case is absolutely essential, because the workload for a TA (a paid 12 hours a week, a further possible dozen unpaid) come up to another full course. Plus, I might find out next year that I really must take one more course to graduate, and having a reduced course load means that I have the space to take that one more course.

This all seems to be a scramble to graduate on time. Where's this drive coming from?

That's another Good Question.

Truth is, next year April is when I promised my grandma I'd graduate. That's certainly not an unrealistic estimate, but I'm taking pains to make sure that this is really going to happen. There are too many horror stories of people who are absolutely on track to graduation and turn out that they're missing ONE course, or something like that.

Well...but...if I don't graduate on time, my grandma, being in Singapore...well, how would she know?

Good Question.

I'm going to Singapore in the summer after my graduation and she made me promise to bring lots of pictures of my graduation ceremony. Yah. No shit.

This is the official announcement. Jim and I are coming to Singapore next May at an airport near you.

I know I must've said I was coming home dozens of times since I moved here. Truth is, I was merely passing on information that my Dad was giving me. You know, he said I would get to go back to Singapore. But you know, you really should never trust a lawyer. They're so good that you believe them even though the last ten promises they made didn't materialize.

This is different. This time I'm not waiting for my dad to "allow" me to go to Singapore. I have much more reliable support systems in place. This is my promise, not my father's. This being the case, I expect a welcoming committee upon touch down. Those of you who read my blog should contact those who don't and congregate around the appropriate gate (flight details to be made public at a later time). You guys have a whole year to pull this off. Don't drop the ball now, alright?

I expect to be in Singapore for about two months. I also expect to visit Malaysia or Thailand while I'm there.

Uh oh. I feel another Good Question coming up. So how does a girl who works on the weekends and a guy who assembles hydraulic helm pumps afford to take two months out of their lives and go to some exotic location? (heh, the people here really think Singapore is an exotic location...) What about their committments? Their jobs? Their apartment? THEIR CATS?!

Well, that's where you, my good reader, comes into the picture. You see that bar on the right which contains the more permanent features of this blog? You know, the sidebar with the random pictures, the links to my friends' blogs, the tagboard, the rotating features. Yeah that sidebar. Now look close to the bottom. You see that Paypal button? *nod nod*. Now if you press that button, you will be taken to a place where you will have the opportunity to donate $5 CAN to the Joie and Jim Singapore fund. Now if you donate $5/week, you will have contributed $250 by the time we have leave here. If that's a little too much, $5/month still adds up to $60, and there's a good chance we'll spend that $60 on you when we come to Singapore. Awww...don't you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Worried that if the fund doesn't get big enough we can't come? Don't. Like I said before, we have really good support systems in place and most things are taken care of. We are saving up for it ourselves and Jim's working 1-2 hours of overtime four days a week and saving that time to take off. So some things are in order. Your donations will just help make things a little easier for us. You know you wanna...

So it's official. Complete with what you can do to help facilitate this. Joie and Jim are coming to Singapore. Next May. Better start getting ready for us. :)

P.S. the cats will be fine. Jim's Dad's agreed to take care of them. They like Jim's Dad.


posted by Joie! at 11:02 AM

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Friday, April 15, 2005 ______________________________________________________________________________

One Down 

Alright ladies and gentlemen! This post is brought to you from the Buchanan B computer labs as Joie waits for Jim (her knight in a dirty red Honda) to come pick her up so that she can avoid this winter relapse weather.

What is Joie doing at school right now you may ask. Well folks, she has just completed her First final exam. That's right, you heard it here first. Joie's done her first and possibly worst final exam as of today. (Carden's class in case anyone was wondering). I'm counting on the fact that other people in this class really crashed and burned this. If they did, then Joie's cruising on to A city. I think I'll still be able to wrestle and A out of this course, but barely. I think (after that exam) that I'm more likely to be sitting at a B+ which is really really really bad, because this is one of my core courses, but what's done is done. I'm just taking comfort in the fact that there really wasn't anymore studying that I could've done, or more stuff that I could've put onto my cheat sheet that would've made this exam better. I hope that's how everyone in class feels too. :P

Ah on exam down, three more and one final presentation to go. Fantabulous. All the other exams are Psych (I memorize the textbook therefore I am) exams. No sweat. Memorization is such a fucking luxury I'm amazed that they let us get away with it. But they do and I'm not complaining. See the best part about memorizing stuff is that most students can't be bothered to. Therefore, you score decently and the slackers manage to bump the curve just enough for you to get your A. Mmmmm. A....

The only things I've been up to lately, really, are reality TV shows. The only reality TV show that I'm still interested in at this point in all the respective seasons is the Amazing Race 7. Wheeeeeeeeeee Amazing Race! I want to put in a plug for it right here and now. It's the only thing that I look forward to every week. I watch Survivor and the Apprentice really only so that I can join in conversations with Jim and his Dad. I'm not all that interested. Well, maybe in the Apprentice...and Survivor does look like it's starting to get interesting... God, I'm such a junkie.

Oh wait. I have been up to other things lately and since time is what I got right now, I'm going to tell it the long way.

Recall the end of the last post where I mention that Carden is supposed to make a call for a summer position with the National Science and Engineering Research Comission (NSERC to you). He never did. I was bugging him about it daily for about five weeks. He said that he had received no news from the NSERC folks. I was starting to crumble with panic, especially on the last day of term when it was becoming pretty evident that this summer position wasn't coming.

This summer position is important for several reasons. First I would really like an excuse to not work at the casino for a while. I love my job and all, but really, it's not that rewarding, you return home from work just bushed (not the best way to spend a summer with those gloriously long evenings) and well, it just gets old after a while not to mention it's not at all relevant to my degree. It's still the best paying entry level job, so I'm not whining that hard. Secondly NSERC are the guys who offer a fucking insane master's level scholarship. Like more than $20000USD/year insane. The earlier I make a splash with them the whole lot better. Thirdly this is the last summer before graduation where I would have a chance to get some experience under my belt that would not look out of place on a grad school application. I mean, picture this. I'm applying to some of the top programs in North America and what's my application going to read like? Hi, I'm so enthusiatic about my field of study that I fucking deal cards in a casino on the weekends. Yeah, real outstanding candidate, this one....

So I'm in Bateson's lab talking to his current assistant, an undergrad who's graduating this year. He tells me to talk to Bateson about an RA position just because he's leaving and there's going to be a space left in the summer for someone at his lab. It's the last day of school. I haven't heard anything about NSERC, this is really the best I can do. So I walk over the Buchanan E (2nd floor is the Linguistics dept.) and wait to ambush Bateson. When he arrives, he says that he's on his way for a beer, so I really only get 5 minutes. Alright. 5 minutes to pitch myself as his next RA. Man, I had better have something that would make Donald Trump proud.

I start by mentioning that Carden didn't say anything about NSERC in classes this year. Bateson interrupts immediately. He says, "Oh, the NSERC summer thing? the Linguistics department did get one this year. We gave it away pretty much instantly to one of Bryan Gick's students, there wasn't much interest." Wasn't much interest?! Fuck having a killer 5 minute pitch. I start blubbering about how I've been pestering Carden about it and how I was showing interest yadda yadda yadda. At that point in time Carden appears in the corridor and Bateson asks him about the situation. Turns out Carden was not in the loop about the single NSERC award the Linguistics department got. That's why I didn't know about it. I'm still visibly agitated but remembering that I still have 3 minutes to make my case to become Bateson's RA I try and start talking again. Instead, Bateson makes a call on his cell phone.

Uh huh. I'm in distress here! This is not the time to be making ph...OH MY GOD. Bateson's not just making any phone call. Bateson's calling the dean in charge of NSERC USRA (Undergraduate Student Research Award) grants asking him to put together another grant for me. After the call, Bateson tells me that I'm probably going to get an NSERC position under him. Asked me to just sit tight and wait for the dean to respond. Whoa.

Also turns out that Bateson is Chair or something of NSERC. Something like that.

Yesterday Bateson calls me to let me know that the funding was approved. I have my summer NSERC job and it starts in two weeks. Wheeeeeeeeeee! Much more exciting than Survivor or the Apprentice.


posted by Joie! at 3:49 PM

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