Well, I’m close to finishing my last uni courses before I can start my M.A. thesis, and I can’t decide on a proper research question.
If you’ve read this blog before, you probably know that I am studying for my Master of Arts in Cross-Cultural Communication by distance learning. Unfortunately, that means that I do not know my course-mates and have nobody at uni to actually talk about thesis ideas.
My goals for this week continue on from last week. I need to get assignments done for uni, I’m halfway through my book and I really like the Field Notes size for inserts, so I want to make more of them.
Complete CCC505 Assignment #1
Complete CCC505 Assignment #2
Complete CCC501 Assignment #2
Prepare College Binders for MA502
Design more Field Notes inserts
Read Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe
Edit The Bravery of the Soldier for contest submission
How are you? I’ve had a mad week, but I’m so glad to have coffee with you today.
If we were having coffee today, we’d meet at mine and walk into town together. Our annual, inner-city flea market “Zöppkesmarkt” is on this weekend and there’s loads to see and do. Bring a brolly, though, because the weather keeps changing.
Adam was the youngest of my course mates at university. A year ago, he passed away, a young man in his prime. I still don’t know what actually caused his death.
What I do know is that, when news of his passing broke to the group, there was an outpouring of love. It moved me to see how this kid had touched the lives of so many. He was well-liked, as anyone with an Adam-anecdote to share will tell you.
Initial plans were hatched to create a memorial magazine for people who wanted to share what Adam meant to them. I was volunteered as editor, mainly because I do have the software needed. However, responses were abysmal, and some of Adam’s friends tried to prevent others of the group sharing their stories because “Adam wouldn’t have cared about them.” But everybody deals with grief differently, and I would never tell someone they weren’t allowed to grief or share their memories, just because it would piss someone off.
I came under attack as well, from the same people. Cultural differences were glaringly obvious. I come from a place where “life goes on.” You mourn, but you move on. You celebrate the life of the deceased, you share stories far and wide, at the wake and beyond. The memorial magazine was meant to be a written version of those anecdotes that are revealed at wakes. Everyone’s favourite memories. I was accused of profiteering from a “vanity project” (it would have been for free, and I was the only one with layout software) and basically “not grieving right/enough, and not giving it time” and Adam’s “real friends” (read: him) didn’t like the idea. Everybody grieves differently. So I kindly told that person to shove it, and explained that just because my culture deals with death differently, doesn’t mean I’m not mourning a friend.
It’s not a competition.
Two days ago was the fifth anniversary of my graduation. Adam dropped out halfway through our final year. Moving away, we lost touch a bit. But whether we spoke or not in the time leading up to his passing, I considered him a friend to the end. I have no idea whether the same was true for him, but I like to think it was.
I had planned to get so much done this week and then life and family got in the way, yet again. However, I have now drawn up a monthly schedule, which I will hand to my mother as well, so that there’s no excuse for disturbing me until the end of the month when I say “I need to study.”
If I can stick to next week’s plan despite losing the entire weekend. Well, for a piano concert and my birthday – one party with friends and one with family – so it’s a perfect reason not to do anything, but still, it’s technically time I need.
From tomorrow onwards I’ll be participating in Round 3 of A Round Of Words In 80 Days. Although once again I won’t use the time to actually write stories. But I like the focus and community ROW80 provides.
From today on, my weeks will be even busier than before. It’s summer and my holidays are approaching, and I’ve set myself the goal to complete all assignments of the two university courses I’m currently doing before I leave for London on August 1.
My university is specialized in distance learning and has continuous enrollment – that means we don’t adhere to the academic calendar. We start when we’re ready and have a certain time period to complete things in. In order to get through as much as possible in a short space, we do not have proper semester breaks. So yes, “School’s Out For Summer” for everyone but me.
You’ll notice that this week’s list is divided by days. That’s to ensure that I dedicate that time to the important assignments (marked red). All the rest are supplement courses. There are a few of those I also need to get done, because they’re essential to my studies. Those marked with asterisks can be postponed if need be as they do not have set deadlines.
I have also planned a College-themed series of blog posts for July. For many, it’s the summer before college/university/grad school or a year abroad, so there’ll be plenty of posts about dos, don’ts, study abroad and on campus.
My Midori Traveler’s Notebook is here, and now I really want to start using it, but first I need to design my templates to make my own inserts.
So yes, I’ll have my work cut out for me. Basically, I need to finish one assignment every two days to get everything done by the end of July. The CCC505 course deadline is September, but I want to go on holiday without all that stress hanging over my head so I can enjoy my time away and start fresh when I return – or, you know, September, because August is going to be one busy month with travels and friends coming to visit!