Friday, January 18, 2013

New Year, New Adventures


So Christmas is all over and done with, and the festive season is well and truly behind us.  Term has started and it's full steam ahead.  After the holiday's, of which, I did bugger all work. It's time to start working properly and get this thesis written.


Now, I could have done the sensible thing, but that would simply be too easy!  The sensible thing would be to complete the final semester and write my thesis over the Summer, as is recommended by the Master's programme, but Noooo. I have set myself a rather ambitious target of finishing the first draft of the thesis by the 13th February, which, coincidently is also when Emma arrives from the UK for a holiday. I'm currently have about 40 pages in my document, with the first two chapters finished and notes for the next two.  If I work at a rate of 5 pages a day, I'll be done with three days to spare.  Shame I have an exam next week on an entirely different subject!  I've managed to sort out all my credit requirements, so the only thing I have to do, besides the exam next week, is a week intensive course in March, attend some thesis seminars and write this beast.  Although, my motivation to work has gone, and that's a terrible sign...  


So, you maybe thinking why would I do such a thing, and put so much pressure on myself to get the thesis written in time.  Well, it's all about PhD places.  I really want to study at the University of Helsinki for my PhD, hopefully, they have more funding opportunities there and I've already been in touch with supervisors.  The problem is, that they only have two application rounds. One in April (for August start) and one in October (Starting in January), and whilst I have some employment at the moment, it is not guaranteed to last until January, and I don't want to be an unemployed bum, having a lazy time at home.  Besides, my bank account doesn't allow that option.  


Now, I simply could try to find a job, but I don't fancy a break between my studies, especially when my PhD will be based upon my Master's research, it makes absolutely no sense.  I also have to find other places to apply for my PhD, just incase I don't get accepted at Helsinki.  Turku is one option, and thankfully they have an open application process, so I can apply when I have all the paperwork.  Unfortunately, I've not been able to find a supervisor at the university of Tampere, which would have been ideal! I'm not looking to go outside of Finland, but I think considering the education reforms here, it might be worth considering possibilities further afield... Just as I'm starting to get a handle on this wonderful language and place.  


I cannot believe it's been 18 months since I landed in Finland. Bright eyed, bushy tailed with no clue about the country I've just moved to.  Now, I feel so ridiculously settled, calm and contented.  I've grown to love the food, the people, the weather, and even the silence! Some mornings I even wake up with a big smile on my face and think, "I get it, this is how life should be".  It's such an amazing feeling.  That being said, I've booked a ticket home for a week in April. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and family, but something tells me I'll have some culture shocks going home - and find it difficult not to say kiitos in the shops! Or when you start talking whilst breathing in, and no one bats an eyelid, or instead of saying sorry when you walk into someone in the shop a simple noise of surprise will do 'Oho!'.  


I've had to deactivate my Facebook account.  When I say, I've had to. It's just because I appear to lack any substantive amount of self-control and rather than working, waste far too much time on Facebook.  It's rather sad when you think about it, but Facebook seems to have taken some of the joy out of life. I know I sound like an old person now, but how many times have you been in a situation when you are listening to a friend tell a story and you are bored out of your mind because you've read it on Facebook and seen the pictures.  Part of me never wants to reactivate it again as I get so much more done without it, but it's not only about productivity, it's also become a replacement for phone calls, personal invites to parties and almost, a substitute for real human interaction.  I found myself horrified the other day, when I realised that if I talk to someone on the chat, I rarely say goodbye, I'm not that focused on what they are saying, and only half listening to everything that's going on, but yet it seems to grab my attention for hours on end...  So, should you want to contact me. You can email, Skype, text or drop me a call! I'll be happy to talk or write, or just pop out for a coffee.  We'll see how long this abstinence lasts for, but my love affair with Facebook seems to be well and truly ending...    


PS...

England, this is what real snow looks like... there's more snow in my yard than on the entire island. Don't have a cow, and remember... the entire country need not stop for 10 cm of snowfall...



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