apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. (2008-05-04 - 11:32 a.m.)
A gentle scolding from Claire has reminded me that I have not updated since Cliffhanger Week. Oops.
So here's what happened: I had to reply to Guelph about whether I was going to do my PhD there by April 16. On April 13 I called my supervisor to say I REALLY needed to know if Bangor could fund me if I stayed here. She galvanized the troops and on April 14 they had a meeting. I was told to go sit in the lab and wait by the phone, and that she would call me as soon as she heard.
So at about noon, the phone rings, and my supervisor tells me, "They've decided... that they can't make a decision right now."
So what could I do? I sent my confirmation to Guelph and spent a couple of weeks cursing Bangor. Basically, my supervisor had offered to fund me out of her overhead if the uni chipped in a couple of thousand pounds a year (a paltry sum for them) and they waffled on it until it was too late. Guelph, on the other hand, seems quite keen and even let me get out of writing the dreaded GRE exam (which it says on the website is required).
The fencers were lovely. They all came trickling up to say they'd miss me, and Jagger came over and made me dinner to cheer me up. (It was so cute - he made me student food: spaghetti bolognese).
So that was that, until Friday, when my supervisor came along and told me the department had NOW decided that perhaps, if I wanted to apply and could make a case for myself, they could fund me. This puts me in the awkward position of screwing over Guelph a bit, plus it wouldn't be guaranteed anyway. I have the weekend to decide. Sigh.
So that's the news. In short: Still no idea where I'll be next year! Wheeeeee!
Actually, the fencers have been sweet in general. I pulled a leg muscle badly (running down B*tch Hill while late for a lecture in slippery shoes) and couldn't fence for a couple of weeks. One of them came along the next week with a leg brace for me to use so I could fence again without injuring myself. Say it with me: AWWWWWWw.
I went out with them on Friday to the annual Athletics Union dinner. It was black tie and they'd all made an effort and looked great. We were sat beside the Men's Rugby team, who hooted and shouted and threw beer throughout the entire event. This is in contrast to the fencers. I managed to be across the table from TWO public-school kids who went to an all-girls and an all-boys boarding school respectively. They were both given etiquette lessons as part of their coursework. Olivia was taught to walk with a bottle on her head (apparently books don't work as well) and to manage dinner parties. Sam was taught how to manage household finances and to make money on the stock market. Both were taught to ballroom dance. I could not believe it. It was like two kids out of those boarding-school books from the '50s come to life. Ollie's family actually has a butler and a cook...
Anyway, so these two were across from me and from Welsh Jon from Swansea - so a hick from the colonies and a working-class Welshman. They spent the meal giving etiquette lessons. "Welsh, sip your soup from the SIDE of the spoon and don't slurp." "Anne, it is not appropriate to laugh raucously at the dinner table." It would have been extremely annoying except that they were both clearly taking the piss out of their expensive educations....
So it's Old Boys Weekend. This is a weird Brit tradition whereby alumni who used to play sports for the uni return to play against the current team. I found out Friday night at about midnight that we were fencing Saturday morning at 9am. Unpleasant! However, I did fence, and the women's team beat the Old Boys. I did terribly against the Men's 1sts team, but much better against the Old Boys. My friend Michael is also up visiting, so I will be dragging him along to the end-of-year fencing dinner tonight. Poor thing.
He is also currently pilot-testing my thesis experiment for me, so I owe him BIG-TIME. That's right, I'm finally able to pilot! My thesis changed about four times in the last three months and every time I made new stimuli, there was a problem. I have been working incredibly hard on it and was starting to think I'd never get data. I suppose I'm not out of the woods yet... we'll see what this pilot shows. But I am much happier now that I'm at this point.
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