textualdeviance: (DONE)
So, a couple of weeks ago, one of my profs contacted me out of the blue and asked if I'd speak to her online journalism class about my experiences as a button monkey content producer for a Major Internet Presence.

So, I got to go up and do that today. It was really quite strange, since I hadn't been back in B'ham since I graduated a year and a half ago. I didn't get to see all my old profs, which was a bummer, but I did see a couple of folks I recognized, which was cool.

The campus has changed a bit--there's a whole new building next to the Com building now. Very weird.

It felt good, though. I didn't feel overly nostalgic or like I was pining for lost youth (that happens when I visit Portland. Sigh...) I felt satisfied, in a way. Like I did what I came there to do four years ago, and it all worked out well and was a chapter of my life that I feel was successful. No regrets. No "what ifs" save for the few little bits of pining away for some of my hottie classmates with whom I would never have had a remote chance to hook up. ;)

The talk itself was rather funny, I suppose. I gussied up a little bit*, which sometimes helps me feel a bit more confident about giving presentations. (Yes, it's weird. Even with all my stage and performing and radio experience, I still have issues with giving presentations or speaking in front of a class or meeting. I have no idea why.)

I basically spent my whole hour in front of the class scaring the living crap out of them about their potential job prospects. And some other stuff, too )

I'm not a great judge of how groups of people are reacting to me unless they're actively engaged with what I'm doing, so I don't know how well I came off. The blank stares I was getting could've been rapt fascination or boredom or sheer, unadulterated terror about what I was saying. I dunno. My prof seemed to want me to come back at some point, so I guess I did OK.

Busy weekend coming up. A birthday party Friday and an engagement party Saturday. No word yet on any new jobs, but I'm sure something will come up eventually, and I'm fine with cooling my heels until then. I still have a novel to work on, LOTRO characters to level and Rock Band songs to master, so I'm good. ;)

* )
textualdeviance: (campus)
This, folks, is the school from which I just graduated.

textualdeviance: (Default)
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] hawkdancer

Considering that I went to an alternative school, this ought to be strange.

My answers )
textualdeviance: (DONE)
Apartment: Finally completely cleaned and locked up.

Graduation: Commencement walk completed. Now just waiting for one last grade.

Sister and her kids: Met, had very pleasant contact with.

Shawna: Exhausted and going to bed. Full details about the rest of these things tomorrow after the parents have been sent home.
textualdeviance: (DONE)
Just mostly for my own notes: I got back two of my grades; just waiting on the seminar one now.

If it goes as I expect, I'll probably end up with about a 3.38-3.4 overall, and a 3.68-3.7 in the department.

Not bad, I think. That stupid jazz class I took last term kind of screwed me on the overall GPA, which may affect me if I ever decide to do grad school. But that's a long way off if I do it at all, so I'm not going to stress.

My resume on Monster has gotten a couple of hits. There are also a couple of jobs there I like the look of, but I'm going to hold out for something better. I need to remember that just because I'm more or less qualified for a job doesn't mean I should really take it.

Back when I was doing the "job" thing before, I would just take whatever I could do that paid well. Now that I'm in "career" mode, I need to think it through a little more carefully. Just because I'm (sorta) qualified to take that Web Content Producer job at a travel company doesn't mean that's where I'd be happy in the long term. I really want a journalism job--not just doing writing or web work for some non-media company.

I feel fortunate that I can wait, but I do think that after a couple of months of this, I'll probably start feeling guilty for being a sponge--especially if I can't do the kid thing, either. If I don't have that dream job by then, I probably will take something I can do. Or I may just spend a few weeks taking a technical writing class and go do contract work in that. The pay's good and I can certainly do it, and it would be a good way to make a few bucks while I'm waiting for the Brenda Starr gigs to come along.
textualdeviance: (DONE)
I'm very tired and sore, but happy to be home. I'm mostly moved out of the bachelor pad, now. There are just a few more small things and some cleaning left to do, which will be dealt with when we're up there again next Saturday for commencement.

Of course, there's still a half-full U-Haul sitting in my driveway. It'll be emptied tonight, but things will mostly be going directly into the garage, where my car usually sits, as there are several household cleaning/re-arranging things that need to happen before those things go to their proper homes. Two years of being away from home means two years of household projects have been buiding up. I suspect I'm in for a busy (and probably expensive) summer of mucking around the house.

I need the domestic downtime, though. I'd go completely nuts if I didn't have any mental stimulation, so this won't last long, and I'll likely be doing plenty of brain-oriented projects, too, but two years of school means the old noggin needs a bit of a rest for at least a few weeks. Continuing to catch up on my reading, plus daily rounds of mah-jongg and spider solitaire should be enough for it. :)

Other than domestic stuff, reading, playing and socializing (Eeee! People!) I'll probably be working somewhat on the fertility stuff, to see where that goes. Otherwise, I'm just waiting for a good job to come along.

If October rolls around and I'm neither pregnant nor in a perfect job, I'll probably go sign up with some temp agency or something, since we'll definitely need the money by then to start paying off some of the massive credit bills this whole educational adventure has racked up. Fortunately, my degree means that the kinds of temp jobs I can now expect will be far different than the biological office equipment ones I'd done before. No more answering phones, that's for damned sure.
textualdeviance: (DONE)
Took a cab back to the bachelor pad for one last night, considering I am barely capable of walking, much less driving.

I was talked into doing various shots, among other things, tonight. And we went to like... three or four places or something.

Strange. My last night here and it was the most social life I've had the whole time. Sigh...

But I enjoyed myself. Much silliness and strangeness. Silly and strange people. Good capper on this whole adventure.
textualdeviance: (DONE)
I'm done!

Sweet mother of heavenly fuck...


I did my presentation this afternoon, we put the paper to bed 45 minutes ago and I am currently picking up the apartment a bit before meeting the gang downtown.

textualdeviance: (CF)
Finish final edit of senior paper
Update research log
Send both to prof
Finish PowerPoint for presentation
Do presentation

Do presentation
Finish final draft of sidebar
Update map
Final edit of mainbar
Send all, plus spreadsheets to partner 

Letter to successor
Final photo assignments
Copy read: Opinions, Features, A&E, Sports,
Final PDFing 
Heavy drinking

24 hours from now, I will either be on my way home, for good, or spending one more night here to sleep off an alcohol binge. Either way, I am about 18 hours from freedom. 

textualdeviance: (CF)
I'm just a gnat's whisker from finishing my senior paper, and I would love it if some of y'all scholarly minded types wouldn't mind giving it a look through. It's 25 pages--though most of that is formatting and bibliography--but it reads quickly.

Any takers?
textualdeviance: (Default)
#3, 4 & 5:

  • You must read [livejournal.com profile] strawberryelfsp's hilarious take on Strikethrough 2007.

  • I'm staying at the bachelor pad this weekend. I was going to go home, but I'd rather save myself the drive, since home is distracting, and I want to get all my projects done this weekend so I can be a zombie during dead week and do nothing more except the last two issues of the SPFH. I'll probably be in game from time to time, however.

  • And speaking of getting things done, I am now 17 pages/3,200 words into my 20-page/5,000-word senior paper. Go me!

May. 19th, 2007 12:59 am


textualdeviance: (CF)
The draft (and the research log, and the weekly participation summary) es fini! 12 pages of the damned thing, too. Well, OK, so it was really only about 8, if you shave off the biblio and the weird opening pages that APA style requires. It was about 2100 words total--a little less than half of the final size. However, all that's left for me to do on it is just amass and analyze (according to criteria I've set) several more stories. This should take a fair amount of time, but next to no effort.

With all that's left for this class being that, a final essay on my class participation and a presentation, this means I'm officially on the downhill side of this class. Unless he finds something horribly wrong with my draft, it's smooth sailing from here out, and I should have no trouble passing. Yes, I was actually worried about that.

My advanced reporting project, now that's a different story. I'm glad I can kind of sleep through the next two weeks of seminar, because I need to throw a metric fuckton of effort into getting that project in better shape. I'm worried about doing the map (which reminds me: [livejournal.com profile] n8dagr801, are you a GIS guru and can help me with that?) but I'm more worried about getting the last interviews I need. You know me and sourcing. Bleh. I think I'll manage, especially with the wonderful efforts of the lovely [livejournal.com profile] miztiy involved, but I'm still stressing anyway.

For the moment, however, I'm going to take a well-earned break. I am going to do absolutely nothing of academic value tomorrow. Instead, I'll probably spend the day starting to pack up my apartment, since I now have only three weeks left of actually living here (I'll be sleeping in SnoCo during finals week.) M is going to meet me for dinner, which will also be nice.

Early next week, I'll probably do the advanced reporting project stuff, plus herd my kittens to get decent coverage of the GAP nonsense going on. Then I get FOUR WHOLE DAYS at home. More like 4 1/2, if I get out of production early next Thursday and don't have anything other than class to occupy the following Tuesday. I'll probably spend almost that entire time sleeping--resting up before I do my final push to finish my two projects, which are due at the end of dead week. And I may also try to get my LOTRO characters to a level at which they're actually useful for group play. I could use the whole blasting orcs thing to calm me down after all this chaos.

I also, however, do plan to celebrate my birthday a bit early in some way that weekend. Not sure how or when or what, but something other than the usual.

And now, bed--and a few chapters in the latest Redwall book I'm devouring--awaits. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.....
May. 18th, 2007 02:17 am


textualdeviance: (80's hair)
It's quite disturbing to suddenly realize that the majority of the people with whom one has recently been associating were born within a year of losing one's virginity.

Technically, had I been an irresponsible teen and gotten pregnant, these people could be my children.

Excuse me, I need my Geritol and a walker...
textualdeviance: (Default)
I can actually taste impending freedom! Exactly one month from today, I'll be doing The Walk and leaving this insane school thing behind.

Assuming, of course, that I can even get this bloody fucking bitch of a draft for my senior project done. If we hadn't gotten a 24-hour extension, I'd be screwed.

At least the draft for my other project is basically done, but for a bit of fancy editing stitching parts together. Only thing left after that is doing a map and then polishing the thing for the final version.

It's been really weird having to shift my research mindset back and forth constantly between journalistic and scientific. It may not seem that different--and thank goodness I'm working on similar topics for both--but the sourcing processes are really different, as is the writing. But I think I'm managing. Both processes, if different, feel comfortable for me.

Just one more month. I can do this. Gahhhhhhhh!
May. 4th, 2007 01:04 am

Ahh, home

textualdeviance: (Default)
Have a doc appointment tomorrow, so made it home for that. Sadly, M is not here, as he's still in Portland dealing with the family stuff. Still no real idea of how much memory loss she has. It seems to be coming in fits and starts, at least. Some of that may be sedation, since she's been under that frequently for various tests, including an angiogram.

I still feel behind, and tonight's production was punctuated by me screwing a few things up, which annoyed me. However, I must point out the piece by our columnist this issue. He's written a bunch of other stuff, but this is definitely one of his best. Makes me laugh right from the first graf. He has the makings of a Gen Y Dave Barry.

In the next three days, I must:

*Work up a presentation for my SPFH workshop. This may be challenging, considering that I have no idea what I'm doing for it.
*Study for my midterms (one Monday, one Tuesday)*Write my weekly participation notes for seminar (not hard, just time-consuming.)
*Finish an Excel exercise for my Adv. Rep. class (could sleep through that, considering I had to show the prof how to save time when selecting ~6700 rows of data...)
*Try to get caught up on my Adv. Rep. project, since I've done jack with it all week and the first draft of it is due two weeks from yesterday.
*Write up an outline for my thesis--due a week from today. May be challenging, given that I have done very little beyond gathering the sources from which I'm writing. The rough draft for it is due the day after the draft for my Adv. Rep. project. Oh, joy.
*Prep for and attend the Sunday budget meeting for the SPFH.

...in addition to the doc appointment, setting another one, doing laundry and dishes, trying to not go completely insane...


Five weeks left of the term, plus one final. While I'm glad the term's going by fast so I can come home (I put in my move-out notice this week! Gah!) I'm not glad it's going by fast so I can't keep up. Gah.
textualdeviance: (Default)
I had a hell of a time trying to get to sleep last night, and could not haul my carcass out of bed for love nor money until about 20 minutes ago. My reading notes for my seminar class were due at noon. I knew I wasn't going to get those in on time, but I also agonized about making 3-5 class, since I'm moving slowly, in pain (not sure why; probably my usual chronic inflammation and such) and have to drop off my rent check before 5.

And the prof sent out mail saying he wasn't going to make it to class. Sweet. Not sweet that he's sick (he's... strange... but I don't wish him illness) but sweet that I have a reprieve. We're supposed to go to class anyway but... honestly, I'd rather spend the rest of the day working on my thesis instead of brainstorming for the midterm. Thesis? 50% of the grade. Midterm? 10%. Not a tough decision.

As it is, I'm a bit busy anyway, because I'm trying to use what I've learned in my last couple of psych classes to help M and his family understand what might be going on with his mom's memory issues. Turns out that learning about encoding and the hippocampus was useful.
textualdeviance: (maui)
We got a little bit of info tonight about M's mom: She's already started to wake up somewhat, and they've started warming her back up. While she's still sedated and hypothermic, she was able to respond to some basic questions and appeared to recognize family members in the room.

We'll know more tomorrow, when she's fully warmed up and the sedation has worn off, the full extent of any brain damage. But so far, it looks like the immediate risk--her not waking up at all--has passed. We'll see how things go from here, and hope that whatever caused her to collapse is fixable, too. We're mostly worried, now, that she'll stress out over being in the hospital and having more tests, and thus make herself worse.

There are several more things complicating matters, meaning there isn't really a bright, rosy dawn on this anytime soon, but at least it looks like the huge crisis has subsided at least a little.

I've been keeping myself busy, doing a heck of a lot of homework and the usual stuff for the SPFH. I think I'm in good shape for my advanced reporting class--all that's really left is to do a few interviews, assemble some data into reader-friendly packages and get through the midterm next week. All those things should be relatively easy for me.

My seminar class poses some more challenges--I'm rather behind on data gathering--but I should be able to catch up with that now that my AR class is sort of on simmer.
Apr. 19th, 2007 11:31 pm


textualdeviance: (Default)
I have decided to form G.U.C.E: The Guerilla Union of Copy Editors.

Our motto: "An apostrophe is a terrible thing to waste."

We will roam the English-speaking world with our red pens, correcting flyers, ads and other printed evidence of ugly grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Fear us, ye foes of proper language!*
Caffeine + tired = silly Shawna )

*This random message was brought to you by a flyer from our department that used the phrase "over $10,000."

textualdeviance: (Default)
Given the whole GIS stuff I'm learning this term, I find this project really cool.

PBS also did a series on American Accents, but it's interesting to see a mapped representation of these with clickable links to specific files.
Apr. 10th, 2007 11:21 am


textualdeviance: (Default)
I am SO freaking tired. We didn't put the SPFH to bed until almost 2. Mondays suck anyway because they're so damned long (usually 12 hours, minimum), and having to be in the newsroom--as much as I love the people there, it's not exactly comfortable--that long sucks twice as much.

To top it all off, when I got home, I spent a little time unwinding so I could sleep, instead of going straight to bed. Good thing, because my building's fire alarm decided to go off. For an hour. No sign of smoke or flames, so I just stuck earplugs in and tried to ignore it until they came to fix it. The alarm here has generally been busted for a while anyway--it's done the false alarm thing twice before that I know of. It's annoying, because eventually, people are going to stop caring when it goes off, and some poor schmuck is going to get roasted during a real fire.

Seminar class today. We have reading notes and "participation notes" due each week. I actually like our textbook, so I wrote four pages of summary and analysis just on chapter 1. I wonder if that will count for or against me.

Yours truly went ubergeek yesterday. In my advanced reporting class, we're studying a "news package" from the Miami Herald. Unfortunately, the link to the Flash/multimedia site for it was busted, so we were just using links to the stories, and didn't have the whole thing to look at. I discovered what was wrong (ftp instead of http in the link) and got us to the right site, then e-mailed the webmaster at the Herald to tell him that and several internal links within the Flash site itself were busted. He's in the process of fixing them now. Heh. My hours spent sitting on my ass in front of a computer haven't been a waste after all. ;)


textualdeviance: (Default)

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