Friday, June 6, 2014

State of the Nation (II)

from here.

Why, hello! It is Moz who writes.

After my last blog post I thought I'd be back within a few days to regale you with tales of my university exploits.....and I meant to, I promise! Instead life got in the way, and now I'm writing one of those dreaded 'sorry I haven't been blogging but I have a really good reason' posts. The ones everyone hates to read. 

I'm a firm believer in blogging only when you actually have something to say, and it seems that I suddenly do - a whole heap of things, in fact. But I thought I'd take advantage of a day of relative clarity to update you all on a rather dramatic semester. Because, my friends, that is almost exactly how long it has been since I wrote anything on this here blog - a full 13 week semester and that's not even including the Easter break. Two weeks out from my final exam for Italian, and a few days after passing my probationary period as a postgrad researcher, now seems a good time to stop and reflect on things. 

Juggling the study of Italian with a heavy research load is complicated enough, but thrown into the mix has been my maternal grandmother's health. A few weeks ago it really looked she would die at any moment, but she seems to be clinging on, although it's just a matter of time before her heart gives out. My grandmother helped raise me, and in many ways was more supportive of me growing up than my own parents were.This individual kind of attention is even more impressive when you consider that I am only one of 34 grandchildren on my mother's side, yet she manages to always make me feel special and wanted. Helping take care of her for a few nights in hospital felt like small repayment for years' worth of support and encouragement.

My research has been haphazard at best. My topic is now finessed enough that I was able to pass my three month review panel on Monday, but the real test will come when both the mentor and my auxiliary supervisor give me more detailed feedback. (Given they are both much more familiar with my area of study their feedback is also much more likely to be critical.) My mentor has been on leave this semester, and apart from a few messages back in February to let him know I was accepted into the program we haven't spoken since November. I've missed him dreadfully, there have been times hen his advice would have really helped, and his personal relationship with me always helps when my health isn't good. Put bluntly, I think I've done just enough work to get by, but I will really need the break between semesters to get my work up to scratch. I can't afford to fall behind any more than I already have. 


from here.

Italian has been hard. Learning a language is always tricky, and I really struggle with the listening and comprehension tasks. I am very worried about the final exam, which will likely be very difficult but I think I can do well enough to soothe my restless expectations. 

So that's where I'm at. I want to write about my grandmother some more later in the week, and I have a number of posts kicking around in my head that have to come out sometime. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I promise to be a better blogger or, as I like to think of it, correspondent from now on. Like a lot of you I prefer to write conceptual, thematic posts rather than this little list hastily typed out and thrown on the page, so I'm feeling guilty and like a failed blogger right now.

To any of you still reading, thank you. What have you been up to? And how do you manage to blog so often?!