Sunday, 3 February 2013

Thank God january is over! :P

Dear reader,

Gosh, am I glad that January is over. I have told you I was busy before, but this month really took the cake. However, before I will get into all that, I am first going to write a bit about Christmas and New Years! :D

I had a lovely Christmas. The first day I just spent with my parents, which was as nice as always!... Except that an ant colony had made its home in our tree and suddenly started to roaming about when we started to open the presents in the morning. So whenever I went over to the tree to take up a present I wacked some ants hahaha. I must say I didn’t feel like it was very much in the spirit of Christmas (with peace on earth and all that), but what can you do?

I got some really awesome presents, such as the DVD Arthur Christmas (which is one of the most fun Christmas movies I have ever seen!), a paperblanks notebook (these are rather expensive. I use those whenever I go to conferences, so I will always be able to find the notes I took easily) and a book entitled Writing Death and Absence in the Victorian Novel by Jolene Zagarovich (I really needed this book for my research). The best gift, however, was my mom’s reaction to her present: I had gotten her tickets to a New Years concert by Wibi Soerjadi (a famous Dutch pianist and composer).

On the second day we celebrated Christmas at my fiancé’s home with his mother, aunt, sister, his sister’s boyfriend, and her sister’s mother in law. (This was of course after we sprayed our house with insecticide). We were supposed to do some gourmetting, however, as the gourmetset broke the moment when we plugged it in, it became an alternative version with just lots of meat ready baked on the table and everyone just taking whatever they wanted hahah. :) I got some really awesome presents again; my mother-in-law and fiancé together gave me a lovely set of earrings (it’s a chain of hearts with a gold, silver and bronze heart) and a matching golden bracelet! :O They spoil me waayyy too much. :) I got my mother-in-law a ticket to the piano concert as well, so she could come with us. But the most important thing is that we had LOTS of fun.

New Years eve we also spent together with my fiancé and his family, though this time it was just my fiancé, me, my mom and dad, his mom and aunt. As we had expected more people, we of course had waayyyy too much food hahaha.

The day of the concert was on January the 3rd. It really was a big hit. Unexpectedly he did a Disney medley from The Lion King and his version of the theme song of Beauty and the Beast... He even did a piano version of Star Wars!!! :D And had a medley of Queen songs as an encore. I mean how awesome is that! If you have never heard of Wibi Soerjadi, you should definitely google or youtube him! ^^ It will be well worth your time!

Well then, on to January. This month was just jampacked with deadlines. I had to present a conference on a symposium entitled Love and Politics which was held on January 10-11. I had to do quite a bit of research for this paper, as I did not know all that much about the Victorian widowhood (which formed quite a substantial part of this paper) so it was pretty stressful. Two weeks later I had to give another paper at the LUCAS conference in Leiden entitled Death, the Cultural Meaning of the End of Life. This was the first big international conference I was to give a paper at, so needless to say, I was pretty nervous. Thankfully the  paper for this conference was very closely related to my Master thesis so I was quite confident about what I wanted to say. Giving the papers (at both conferences) went rather well, though the socializing aspect of conferences still scares me a little. Shy as I am, I am just not good with big groups of people... Also it’s really hard for me to push myself to strike up a conversation with someone I have never met before... It’s like this hurdle I have to push myself to cross every time. But I really do try my best, so hopefully it will get easier with time! For those of you interested, this is the link to the LUCAS conference website: You will be able to find both a short bibliography and the abstract of my paper there under "speakers"! :D

Next to those two conferences, I received word that I was partly responsible for putting together the program for the graduate conference that was to be held at the UvA on January 31 and February 1... I had to go through about 33 student outlines after which I had to divide them into panels according to their themes. MY GOODNESS that was a LOT of work. :) But I got in done in the end and everyone was rather pleased with the result (they especially liked the titles for the panels).

Next to all this, I also had to completely rewrite my proposal for a funded PhD position for the Institute of Culture and History.... Or well rewrite... Write it from scratch would be a better way of saying it. The deadline for this was on February 1. Finally, for next week I have another deadline. My teachers asked me to provide a chapter outline + bibliography for my entire dissertation... I am nearly done with that so at least I am on schedule.

And apart from all this, I got the crazy idea to start a book club centering around little known Victorian novels... Like I didn’t have enough to do already... I have created a facebook page, a website and a preliminary booklist. We currently have 12 members, of which 9-10 will be active members! :) I am currently looking for a location (as I am writing this I am actually only waiting for the final conformation so we are almost good to go!) :D. For those of you interested this is our website:
o.o And somehow I still managed to work 16 hours a week without collapsing... I was getting pretty close though haha. And now I can actually say: THANK GOD JANUARY IS OVER! :D I am currently enjoying my well deserved weekend in which I do NOTHING research related! After this week though, I will be getting back to researching. Though thankfully this month will be a lot less stressful. ^^ So I hope to be able to get out some more blogposts.

Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for reading! :D



Alexandra said...

. _ . holly cow girl, slow down lol. It's awesome that you got to do a lot of things though ^ - ^

Blackcat said...

^__^" I never want to have such a month EVER again haha. So I will be taking your advise and will be slowing down... So I can finally read your blog as well! :D

Alexandra said...

Looking forward to that :)