schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Conclusion: I'm still not very good at studying. I get distracted too easily, I did almost nothing yesterday (in my defense there were extenuating circumstances, like being almost nauseous from hunger because I forgot to eat breakfast before going to the dentist - okay, still my fault), today I also reread long fics instead of studying... but at least I did study for four hours, that's something. But not much. (I bet LB I could do six, hmpf.) I'll do a bit more, and it'll be fine. The exam is tomorrow at noon. Terrible timing, because this is the one time I would have wanted to watch a Critical Role episode live. (I'm so nervous!) Ah well. Better luck next time. At least what I'm studying is interesting (more details some other time) and no matter how well I'll do - I'm very curious because I feel like I really can't say - I'm glad I'm learning again.

Back to uni

Sep. 1st, 2017 12:03 am
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
I'm a university student again! o.o I'd been vaguely thinking about it for a few weeks, and then it happened really fast. I asked a week ago if I could cut back on work hours, on Monday I got the okay from the company, and yesterday I enrolled at the university. Sooo I'm actually doing this. *wipes hands* I'm nervous.

I had always planned to do a Master's program eventually, but when I do it'll be full-time and I don't think I'm ready yet. But work isn't really intellectually challenging right now and also not helping me figure out what else I want to do. So I'm doing another bachelor program, business law, at the same university where I finished my first degree (which has the nice side effect that I can directly transfer several credits from my previous program to the new one.) I'm not completely sure yet if I'll like the program enough to finish, I'll find out. I don't actually want to work solely in business law, but it is very interesting. I think that together with my socioeconomics degree it'll open up some nice job opportunities, and I'll try to get into as many interesting internships as I can.

My current work contract is until December, and I'll be working 32 hours, so I'm not doing many lectures to start with, especially because I also need to read up again on those lectures that I technically already did, but that was in some cases eight years ago. I already know it'll be very tiring. First exams are in early October! Partially it's also kind of a test for myself I think, how much I can do. I think I can do it. My problem was never the studying, the problem was getting myself to study, and I like to think I've improved in that area. I think I can do the work, and I have the support network, and financially it's fine, and it should definitely be doable; and if I'm lucky, it'll also be fun.

Me, BSc

Feb. 23rd, 2016 01:47 pm
schneefink: Teyla and Sora with drinks, laughing (SGA Teyla and Sora cheerful)
Today I officially got my degree! \o/
Bachelor of Science, sounds good. (LB said economics isn't science, but in the same conversation he complained that other people were doing boring math, I told him I'd get him a shirt saying "math snob.") Unlike the old Austrian titles, like Magister/Magistra, it's usually not used as an address, which is a pity but otoh, whatever.
I'm finally done. It feels amazing.

There will be some kind of celebration, but I've been really tired the past few days for some reason so I'm not in the mood to organize anything. Probably just something low-key.
And then next week I'll start looking for a job, exciting.
schneefink: (Fleury)
I keep having "wow, time!" moments. Today LB told me to visit for lunch because he didn't want to cook only for himself, but it takes me 45 minutes to get there so my reaction was "I can't, I don't have time - oh wait, I do!" Similarly yesterday evening: I can't watch the Pens-Ducks game, I need to sleep enough so I can work tomorrow - wait. It's such a great feeling.
I handed in my thesis officially yesterday, after hearing back from my advisor: she told me the first part (that I mostly wrote two years ago) is excellent, but the second part is not very good, so I'm only getting a 2 (out of five, with 1 being the best.) I'd prepared myself for a 4, so this was great news :) Now only a few bureaucracy things left to do, then in a month I should officially get my degree. My parents and friends told me there has to be a party, either I'll organize one or they will. I don't even want to think about that yet.
The day after tomorrow I'll visit my grandparents for a week and a half, I haven't seen half of my relatives since last April. There will also be good food and, for the first time in two years (!), I'll go alpine skiing. Somehow the past two years I didn't get around to it. I'm looking forward to it!
Downside of going skiing, I'll miss some of the few remaining hockey practices, and there's a chance tomorrow could be the last one. I'll have to make it count.

I got pretty lucky again with the Pens game I decided to watch! The Pens were all over the Ducks. I was strangely nervous when they were up by two, the Penguins showed only recently that it doesn't guarantee a win by any means and the Ducks had some good attacks. It definitely wasn't as lopsided as the 6-2 end result made it look. I only relaxed a bit after Sid's amazing second goal. Four point night for the captain, who's playing fantastic hockey right now, such a joy to watch. He and Letang are just racking up the points. The Baby Pens also did very well! Only one goal, but lots of offensive zone pressure.


After some trouble with ebook formats and stuff, I read "Kings Rising" by C.S.Pacat today. It was good, but I think I'll have to read it again to really enjoy it. Spoilers )

I'm looking forward to fic! Because I'm leaving on Thursday I actually don't have that much free time to read until then, there's still packing and a few other things to do, but I have a six hour train ride coming up.

Whoa

Feb. 1st, 2016 05:58 pm
schneefink: Young Avengers team (CC era), words "we are in this together" (ya team)
Today at 7am I sent the complete first draft of my thesis to my advisor. I don't know if she'll tell me to go back and correct some things or if she'll just mark it as-is, but she said she'll be able to mark it by the end of February. It's not certain I won't fail, but I know my own standards are higher than hers and imo it's not a good paper but it's serviceable.
If I pass, I'm done with my degree.
Whoa.

The weekend was difficult, but in the end I wrote two out of seven chapters, plus summary+intro, plus proofreading and formatting. Quite good. I already had to tell myself several times that asking myself & being frustrated why I couldn't work like this earlier doesn't help. Thank you so, so much for your encouragement and well-wishes <3 Much appreciated.

It hasn't quite sunk in yet that the main part of this huge thing that I've been working on and that's been weighing on me for years is done. I feel a bit weird. Mostly tired.
Now I have time to do things that I put off until February, a few "to do" things but also reading and writing and skating and meeting friends. That'll take some getting used to.

Thesis

Jan. 30th, 2016 12:10 pm
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Last edit, Monday 7am: DONE DONE DONE. SENT. I feel strange, I don't think I've quite realized it yet. Off to sleep.


Sooo, two days to finish my thesis! I had days this month when it went well and unfortunately more than I wanted that were less good. I stayed optimistic for the longest time, but then the last two days were unexpectedly terrible and now I'm... well, panicking is not quite right, but scared is not too far off. I could still do it, but it's becoming harder to convince myself that I'll manage when I haven't so far.
So, more lists, because crossing things off lists feels good, and making it public makes me feel ashamed when I can't do it and hopefully that helps.

What I still have to do today and tomorrow )

This is going to be a nightmare fun!

what happened over the weekend )
schneefink: (Fleury)
Apparently I'm currently posting (almost) daily. Huh. Maybe because I'm having good days. I think I like it.

I had a good day today. I:
- got up at ten after staying up until 4am to watch the NHL draft, didn't feel exhausted (coffee helped.) I'm trying to change my sleep schedule so I go to bed earlier and get up earlier in the morning, so far it seems promising.
- put on clothes I recently got from my mom & felt very pretty
- bought a paper bag of delicious cherries for study breaks
- studied in the uni library with a friend for a few hours (I was there from noon until almost eight, but only some of that time was spent studying) and made some progress
- saw a rainbow on the way home :)


Hockey: the NHL draft is over. )


Research for uni is hard. )
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
The only disadvantage of friending memes and meeting new people is that for a short time afterwards I feel very self-conscious about posting anything. Well, slightly more than normal. I keep telling myself I don't have to be, but that's only somewhat successful.

Today and yesterday were not good days and very unproductive, I spent basically the whole time reading fic. Technically also original fiction, so the correct term would be stories, but it felt more like reading fic than reading books. At least the weather is currently excellent so yesterday I spent half the day sitting in the garden with my ebook reader, it was great. (Today I felt too guilty about procrastinating to sit outside, so instead I sat in my room in front of my laptop and still didn't get anything done.)

Speaking of things I want to get done (i.e. finishing my bachelor thesis), working with data can be SO ANNOYING. Right now I'm mostly working with data from the Russian statistics agency and from the OECD, and both of them are extremely frustrating, for different reasons. Things like "this result is mathematically impossible" (OECD), "wait do you seriously not say where the data for certain countries comes from" (OECD), "I know you deliberately calculate your quotas in this weird way to make the numbers look prettier and it's really annoying" (Rosstat), "why do you have this data for all years from 1999-2013 except 2004, what happened in 2004" (Rosstat) - why is this so much more complicated than it needs to be? Data and where it comes from can be so interesting, but atm I don't have the time or opportunity to look into this so it's just frustrating. That and the fact that I know good data on basically everything I need exists (the RLMS), but I can't access it. (Also analyzing it would probably be too much work.)

This weekend we're planning another Bab5 session, finally \o/
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I'm mostly healthy again, yay. I'm still hoarse and feeling tired, but that could also be because for some reason I keep waking up early, it's annoying. I love naps.

I have enough energy to work on my thesis again, which is good, because I'm way behind. Before I got sick I told my advisor I would be finished at the end of May, that's not going to happen. But I still want to finish as soon as possible. I'm actually not sure what her deadline is, and I'm a bit scared to ask :(

The timing is terrible though, because next week on Tuesday is choir concert and that means this weekend (half of Friday and the entire Saturday+Sunday, plus Monday evening) is choir practice. No time to study. I can't afford that! I need that time. Usually I'd tell myself "who knows if I'd actually study during that time anyway", but I have to, because I'm out of time. And I'm actually almost optimistic that I will be able to: I managed yesterday, and I already got some work done today. My therapist told me to try to use anger productively, I think it helps a bit.

So I might cancel the choir concerts, which would suck. I probably will, I just haven't decided yet. Fortunately it's not my favorite program we've ever sung, but there are still some very cool pieces (Sikuya kuja, Sixteen tons...) Hopefully I'll at least get a ticket for the concert! Bah, watching and not being able to sing -.-
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
For the December meme, a question by [personal profile] ambyr: What are you studying, and why?

I study socioeconomics at the Vienna University for Business and Economics (bachelor.) In short, I wanted to understand how the world works.

Read more... )

Huh, this got longer than I thought. Posting this a day earlier than originally intended because a) who cares, and b) tomorrow we watch Babylon 5 again! and it'll take me long enough to write about that.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
I'm tiiired and I'm procrastinating on going to sleep because my brain is being weird, so have a post full of random things.

Why are people posting Yuletide letters already? It's not a bad idea to start writing them especially if you know that you won't have much time next week, but it's making me feel stressed. I wanted to rewatch Galaxy Quest, finish reading "Barrayar", and go through the tag set to see if I've missed anything... oh well, still some time left.
(A friend got me a copy of Galaxy Quest but in such a high resolution that my laptop doesn't want to play it properly. I really need to declutter it soon.)
I looked through nominations and I was very happy to find some things that had been accepted, & I know what I hope I'll be matched on! Fandoms where I don't want any particular stories myself but would be happy to write one.

I did not stay up to watch the Pens game against Dallas, which was good because Duper :( But he's back on his feet! I watched the new In the Room and grinned broadly the whole time. This team. Olli and Kappy! Sid and Duper! Suttsy and Kuni discussing D-pairings and calling Despres "Desi"! (Did they assume Scuds would play top4? Ahaha Olli is sooo much better.) Suttsy and Duper mic'd!
Islanders tomorrow, I won't watch it live either but afterwards. It'd be fantastic to break the Isles' streak.
(Btw the Oilers are so bad, if they get McDavid it would be terrible and hilarious.)

Today was the first day of a two-day "voice and movement" workshop at uni. Six hours today, seven tomorrow. Sooo tired. But it was ok, some of it very interesting. Debating taught me not to be afraid of speaking to people and to stand comfortably, singing taught me breathing, but presentations and making contact with the audience is something I have less practice in.
I was told several times that I look very strict, huh. I thought I was not smiling but still friendly.

The whole week I was looking forward to watching Bab5 yesterday, but then another friend came to visit too so we watched Star Wars 3 instead (I tried not to look too unhappy about it.) Wow does that movie have a lot of pretty cloud backgrounds and dramatic face shots and people being stupid (also the Jedi philosophy is still very weird.)
I also got LK's excellent salad recipe (completely different from how we usually make salad at home) that I'm looking forward to trying out.

I'm not very happy with the progress I made on my thesis this week, but at least I got my phone repaired and met my new Russian conversation partner. He seems nice, I'm looking forward to it.

There are some things I should get done for debating and some other things that I'm not feeling up to right now, but whatever.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Today our Russian teacher informed us that this semester our class presentations should be about famous Russians, but not so famous that everyone knows them already, and ideally they should still be alive. My first thought was Alexandra Kollontai because I recently read about her, but then I remembered that I don't want to do more research than I have to for a voluntary class. Which contemporary famous-but-not-too-famous Russians do I already know stuff about? Then I spent the rest of the class alternately talking myself into and out of doing a presentation on Evgeni Malkin.
Pro: I already know a lot about him (how did that happen), I know where to find articles and info, and if I have to fill time I can always show a highlight reel. Beautiful goals.
Con: I should explain to the class why everyone should know this person, but he's an athlete, and that doesn't really seem important enough? Even though the teacher said athletes are fine, idk. Or maybe I'm still weirdly embarrassed that I got into Hockey (RPF) in the first place. (Now that I'm catching up on GK fic I find out that Hockey RPF stole a lot of good writers, grrr.) How do I explain to my friends why I suddenly know random details about NHL hockey players? "The fandom is full of pining and idfic?" I can count the people I know offline who'd understand that on one hand.
Whatever, it looks cool (why are most NHL games so late at night), and "less work" is a pretty big advantage.
(A nice bonus of suddenly being interested in hockey: I watched the Austria vs. Germany Olympia qualification match. Austria lost the game, but won the qualification. I know it's silly, but Austrians beating Germans at sports is always nice to watch. I think it's some sort of national trauma.)
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
It occurred to me today that I should have asked this much sooner: How do you do research for papers? If you have multiple sources (books, journals, printed and online) for multiple chapters, how do you make sure you find the references you need?

In the beginning I used colorful stickers for books, but that doesn't make it easy to find that one specific quote among the thirty or forty stickers.

Then I started making notes on paper, topic + site, which brought the problem that all the sheets were lying around on my desk and it took very long to find the one I needed.

This time I'm making notes on my computer, source + topic + page, and then I made a new document and sorted all the references by topic under the respective chapter headlines. It looks quite useful, but I haven't started writing yet.

Maybe there's an even better method that I'm missing? How do you do it?
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
I had big plans for what I'm going to do today, with a detailed to-do-list and everything, but it's cold and the sky is grey and cloudy and suddenly I don't want to do anything except read in bed. Which would be bad. So now I'm using every excuse I have and then I have to go do stuff. I even have to go outside :(

This semester is very chaotic, which I stupidly didn't anticipate. In addition to classes I want to write my bachelor thesis, and in addition to university I want to do my driving license, go to the debate club, volunteer for the OTW, sing in the choir, take belly-dancing courses, meet friends, and have enough time to read and write and watch TV and surf on the internet. And sleep, sleep would be great.

This year almost half of the university classes I'm taking are voluntary, namely Russian and French. I want to use the opportunity to learn languages for free while I can! My university also has a tandem learning program and now I regularly meet with a girl from Russia to practice conversation. I dropped the third voluntary class, econometrics. I was looking forward to it because it's interesting and the professor is really good, but I realized that the last econometrics course I took was over one year ago and I forgot nearly everything, so it would have been an enormous workload. Pity, it would have been very interesting.

I'm still not as far as I should be with my thesis, I should start doing a lot of work on that soon. It's unfortunate that I won't be at home the next few weekends: next weekend I'm in London for a debate tournament, the week after that is a choir weekend, the weekend after that I want to spend with a friend in Salzburg. I "just" need good time management...

I found out that yesterday was Coming Out Day. I planned to write the story of how I sort-of-accidentally came out to my mum, but it takes longer than I thought because I don't like thinking about it. Not that it was bad, just very stressful.

Let's see if I manage to do everything I'd planned and not break my plan not to watch more than one anime episode a day. Maybe if I do manage everything I can afford a second one?

ETA: Things look a bit better when wearing a warm sweater and with more fresh air in the room. Still don't want to do my homework, but when do I ever.
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
I had my first "official" driving lesson today. I'm so glad I practiced on the training area first because we started on a real street! But it went well, and the teacher said I was quite good for a beginner. I had two double units (not ideal, but scheduling was difficult) and did things like drive 80km/h, reverse parallel parking, and many left turns. So many things to do at the same time...

This term I signed up for Econometrics II (voluntarily, it's not required) and now realized that my last statistics course was over a year ago and I have to go back and relearn two semesters of statistics. Ugh. It was difficult enough the first time. Oh, and ideally until Wednesday. And then there's that Bachelor thesis I should be working on...

I watched the recent Doctor Who episodes and quite enjoyed them. The build-up is often better than the resolution, which is sometimes disappointing, but the buildup is usually ~30 minutes and the ending only ten. ;)
Wow, the fandom is huge. The list of reaction posts! I usually only read a few to check if I've missed something that others noticed (often), but other than that I'm not really interested in the fandom. It has some shiny vids, and I read a little fanfic, but for some reason I don't want more. I don't even rewatch many episodes.

SGA is different. To prepare for [livejournal.com profile] sga_santa I'm rewatching SGA episodes, without writing detailed reviews so it's more relaxing, and it's a lot of fun. I think the reason why I'm still interested in SGA is that I still have so many stories to tell. I can think of no other canon that makes me want to tell as many stories as SGA does, and it's wonderful. Just reading the sga_santa wishlists gives me so many ideas! I'm currently plotting the sequel to Court of Athos, and I think it'll be my story of how Elizabeth becomes a leader that I've looked for for a long time. (Rewatching The Rising it's obvious that Atlantis was basically doomed from the start in a universe with less narrativium.) I hope I'm good enough to write it well.

LB asked me to sign up for a course for him because he isn't home, I wasn't as careful as I could have been (20:41 instead of 20:40) and now he's on the waiting list and probably won't get a spot -.- It just means a more inconvenient schedule for him, but still, well done self. Now go do something productive, like study statistics.

ETA: An hour later: No, self, in this case OTW work doesn't count as being productive. This seemed extremely familiar: The Science of Procrastination...
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I'm back from my last summer vacation, and it was great. Choir weeks are the best. We sang beautiful songs (beautiful but difficult), the people were great, and it was so much fun. Especially the dancing, even though everything hurt after the first day. A few highlights included singing Monty Python's Galaxy Song at Karaoke night (there's a great Rodney vid by obfreak for it here) and being introduced with the Star Wars Rebel theme song, "for all the geeks and nerds out there", persuading five friends (all new to the week) to sing a song at the entertainment evening with a text I wrote, convincing ten people to play Werewolf with me, and many other things. When I compare my experience this year with my first choir week five years ago it's interesting for me to see how much I've changed and how much more confident and willing to talk to people I am now :) And I can sing better, too.

Now I'm back and should start being serious: preparing for university, my driving license, my bachelor's thesis, and things like that. There's still tomorrow? It took me several days, but I eventually managed to stop checking my emails during my vacation; that's great, but it means that now I have soo much to catch up on. I've only seen a fraction of all Vividcon vids, and I don't think I read even one of the books I wanted.

I did find a great university course program for "promising minds" that I want to apply for. They only take 30 people, but I do have good grades and extra-university activities so I think I have a chance. The only downside is that it would be at the same time as choir practice and my choir has a fantastic program this year :( I still want to try and get into this study course, it sounds so good, they got some of the best people from politics, economics, media etc. in Austria to hold lectures and discussions. Application deadline is in a week, wish me luck. :)
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
Today I had an email conversation with my statistics professor debating the feasibility of an exam about Monty Python, complete with several links to youtube. Now I like him again, despite the fact that he didn't show up for class yesterday. I'm having a hard time taking my statistics class seriously, even though I know it's very important. One of the first sentences I read in the textbook was "the data should not be raped" and that was it. (It is very important to always practice consensual data analysis. Monitor the key indicators carefully: they will tell you when your data is not fully on board with the method you are using and you should stop and check immediately. Some data are generally incompatible with certain methods, but sometimes you can negotiate...)

Then I went to an information event about the Master's course I'm strongly considering. Near the end I asked about application deadlines and mentioned that the program only starts in the winter semester. "Where did you hear that?" "It's right here on the website you're projecting on the wall!" "Oops. It won't be there tomorrow." So I made a lot of back-up plans for what I'm doing this time next year for nothing. :)
After the presentation was the informal part with snacks and strawberries and good wine. Probably most people don't get drunk after three half-full glasses of white wine? But when I went to debate club afterwards I could hardly follow the speeches (granted, they all had very bad structure tonight, but still) and my head feels all fuzzy.

Which wouldn't be that much of a problem if I hadn't decided that I could still prepare the presentation that is due tomorrow tonight. Meaning now. Ugh. I fought with the Worldbank and the Unesco databases for over 30 minutes until I remembered I already have the relevant data somewhere else.
Normally when I'm drunk I talk too much and hug people, but nobody is around, so I guess that means I ramble here? Idk.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
I am procrastinating by making a list of Avengers reaction posts, because I love reading squee, and (more importantly, tbh) I really don't want to study for this exam. -.- I'm going to hate myself tomorrow.

Yesterday in Economic Policy we had an actual discussion in class, yay! And later one of the other guys sent me an apology because he felt he was too harsh and unfriendly. Which is nice of him, only I thought it was a rational discussion. When I was a teenager I often got into fights with my parents because they misinterpreted my tone, it took me ages to figure that out, and I'm still a bit afraid of it sometimes. This is not helping.
Most discussions I have these days are in debate club, and in BPS format the goal is to beat your opponents' arguments. Unlike in the German OPD format, you don't have to be polite, and nobody takes it personally. (Theoretically. It doesn't always work. There's a reason why there's a mandatory handshake after each debate.) Sometimes I have to remind myself that other people don't have the same training.

Debate mode was also useful when we were divided into small groups to prepare pro/contra statements. My partners were surprised that I asked the professor for definitions of the words used, said that our side was so obviously wrong that they couldn't think of anything, and in the end appeared very surprised that I had come up with all our arguments basically by myself. I didn't do it on purpose, people! More people should learn how to debate. (Which is why I'm currently coaching a class of 13-year-olds! More about that later.)

Speaking of, the topic of my presentation was (the history of) neoliberalism, and it was actually quite interesting. While researching I discovered dozens of blog posts from 2009 until now in which some of the world's leading economists accuse each other of having absolutely no idea what they're talking about. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad, and scary if you consider how much power and influence they have.
(I'd love to provide a link, but I haven't found a good write-up or starting point yet, and my own search path was very erratic. You could search for "Macro Wars" and start there, I guess.)

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