riotous_head: (Default)
This man's athleticism is staggering. And yes, that's why I'm watching it.
riotous_head: (Default)
K. Anthony Appiah makes a good point here: "all individuals in the world are obliged, whether they like it or not, to accept the political arrangements of their birthplace, however repugnant those arrangements are to their principles or ambitions--unless they can persuade somebody else to let them in." But tied to this idea of immigration is the understanding that acceptance by a new nation-state necessarily implies a consent to all of the political arrangements by which that nation-state functions. That assumption of alignment isn't necessarily the case at all; the immigrant is not necessarily a new partisan for the cause of the adopted state.

What is the relationship, then, between immigration and ideology? How can we articulate that relationship without overgeneralizing? What must we take into account before we can say anything useful about nationality, immigrant politics, and affiliation? (How can I stop overusing the world 'necessarily'?)
riotous_head: (Default)
Seeing the news coverage of Mumbai makes me remember being young and stupid and convinced that no one would get hurt in a revolution rightly conceived and conducted. I can't remember why I believed it.
riotous_head: (Do You See This O God?)
Sorry to hear about this. I might have very little love for the prince of Norway, but that doesn't mean I actively wish for Norwegian buildings to cave in.

I'll light a candle for them in church this weekend. It's strange that that was my immediate response.
riotous_head: (Thought and Affliction)
Had another session today; we talked about strategies for expressing frustration or anger. Apparently, exercise is actually one of the best outlets--there's a feeling of accomplishing a goal, the endorphin rush, and the exhaustion at the end of it. Dr. Marcus thinks that the problem isn't how I express my frustration; it's that I'm not thinking of this as another way that I'm communicating. That problem-solving versus relationship-building thing again--I'm solving the irritation, and yet to do it, I'm going to be by myself. Rey, I know you read this; I'm sorry if it seems as though I leave you every time I'm upset.

He gave me a few suggestions for how to be more inclusive even when I'm dealing with a foul mood. I could take up music lessons again, voice or an instrument, and that would give me something that I could do at home to give me the same feeling of working toward a goal. Otherwise, I could invite Rey along with me when I go for a run or to the gym.

What do you think, then? Would you care to take up running with me?
riotous_head: (Thought and Affliction)
Therapy was as frustrating as I had anticipated, but for wholly different reasons. Dr Marcus mainly just wanted to listen to me talk, I suppose in the hope that I would figure things out on my own if I only spoke long enough. When I finished explaining the general trend of problems and the specific incident of Monday night, he didn't seem to want to make any suggestions outright. We agreed that I feel as though my problems stem from a desire to communicate what bothers me, whether it's something that frustrates me and that I have to express or something that I feel needs to be solved. Eventually, he mentioned that people communicate for different reasons, and this influences how they react to what they hear. He thinks that I should evaluate whether my communication is geared toward problem-solving or relationship-building, and what functions I want it to serve. Thus, this entry.

I think that Rey communicates to build relationships; it seems to justify the way that he listens to me sometimes just to hear me talk, to give me the feeling that someone is listening. It frustrates me, sometimes; it seems as though I'm not being taken seriously when I'm trying to discuss something that I find important.

I suppose this means that I communicate to solve problems, even when they're relational problems.

Dr Marcus asked me to evaluate what this means, but I'm not sure by what criteria I should be evaluating it. Is it good to want to solve problems? I've always believed it to be; I feel it's both unproductive and in some ways dishonest to recognize a problem and fail to address it. On the other hand, I can hardly find fault with a person who wants to strengthen relationships. Rey doesn't mind if our concerns aren't solved, so long as our relationship is stable--and honestly, he's far more successful in keeping the peace than I am at solving our problems. It seems absurd for us to continue as though we're at cross purposes when our goals appear more compatible than contradictory. If our relationship is good, we'll be better equipped to solve our problems. If we can deal with our problems, that should improve our relationship.
riotous_head: (Do You See This O God?)
Well--that's done with. Dumont just gave me a call to say that they've approved my thesis, and unless I refuse to turn in my final project for Renaissance Poetry, I have officially completed my degree. The success would please me more if Dumont hadn't concluded his call with a menacing afterword: 'See you next semester.'
riotous_head: (Thought and Affliction)
Hey, Ophelia. You don't seem to be getting my calls, and we didn't go out for your birthday--so I'll try again here. Can we get together some time and talk? I miss you. You're important to me, and I worry about you. Just leave a comment to let me know if you're all right, and when we can see each other.
riotous_head: (Default)
I have utterly crushed my first draft of my master's thesis under my boot. Every single fucking chapter, introduction and conclusion, glossery and index, complete. It's even got a table of contents.

Over winter break, naturally, I'll be rewriting almost the entire thing through revisions. But at the same time--

--it's DONE. Congratulate me.
riotous_head: (Bad Day)
This thesis is killing me.

I've been awake until three in the morning working on the damned thing for far too many nights. I've slept through my alarm more mornings than I've cared to; my coach says that I really can't afford to miss more practices, or I won't be allowed to compete in our next tournament. And if that's the case, I may as well drop the team, so I just can't afford to miss any more practices.

Just let this damned thing be over. Just let it be over.
riotous_head: (I Dare Damnation)
All of my love to my sister on her birthday--since she has not volunteered any suggestions for what she would like as a present, I've had no choice but to buy her yet another anthology of French verse.

-- I am joking, Ophelia. I know that you've received the last two with less than enthusiasm. Therefore, if you'd like, we can go to the mall and choose something that you actually like. How does that sound?
riotous_head: (Bad Day)
Well, fuck. I'm a quarter of a century old. The exact anniversary slipped past me two days ago, and I didn't particularly notice--I didn't even realize it today until I wrote the date at the top of a quiz.

I suppose it's time I began deciding what I really want from life, isn't it?
riotous_head: (Thought and Affliction)
I don't know what to think.

I finally got a response to my application for the doctorate program in French linguistics and literature--and, pending completion of my degree, they've accepted me. This time next year, I will be attending university in France; I have to submit applications now for teaching positions around the area, set up TA-ships and the like with my professors, and start hunting for an apartment.

It didn't seem real to me before this morning, but I suppose it is--I'm going to be leaving the country, for good. I can finally start making a life in a place that feels like home, and living out my dreams.

I'm going to be losing the love of my life, and I can't shake the feeling that that's far too high a price. We said we'd talk about it later, but that's never been how I address problems. I just don't know what to do. I can't be home in Denmark--but increasingly, it feels as though I can't be home without him.
riotous_head: (I Dare Damnation)
Well, I suppose I've neglected to make a post for a sufficiently long time. In all fairness, life has become significantly more interesting since I went to France--mostly because I now have a live-in boyfriend. Reynaldo has been wonderful to me in every imaginable respect; he takes good care of me when I become slightly obsessive about a project, he cooks and he's teaching me to cook, and he forgives me when I am less than ideal with him. In short, I love him.

The competitive season is beginning to heat up for fencing as well. We traveled to a tournament this past weekend, and I took third in epee in my division. I didn't manage to rank in sabre, but by the time we attend our next tournament, I'll have cleaned up my technique a bit. I hope to drill at least an hour a day, if Rey doesn't mind restricting himself to the bedroom while I practice. If I can manage to make the time, I also hope to practice with Portia at least once a week--she took first in sabre in her division, and she has absolutely gorgeous form. She's been a real credit to the team, and the underclassmen have become marginally less hopeless under her guidance.

The agency has been sending me more translation projects lately, which is both good and bad--good, in that I am now pulling in more money, and bad, in that I find myself unable to turn down a project when it's sent my way, even though I acknowledge that most other translation agents have about a 25% rejection rate. I suspect that this recent shift in my workload came from a round of layoffs to improve cost-effectiveness, though--even if I wanted to reject these extra projects (which I frequently do), I'm somewhat afraid that increasing my rejection rate might make me a candidate for the next layoffs. So I slave.

I loathe corporations.

Finally, I've been considering growing a beard--thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
riotous_head: (I Dare Damnation)
Unbelievable news.

The archivists finally e-mailed me back--they said that they hadn't been able to do so prior to this because they were taking a tour of a few monastaries that work in collaboration with their archives, and some of them are strict about forbidding technology inside--they couldn't copy down all of the essential information for me because it would take too long, but what they have sent tells me that these monastaries are currently preserving documents that hold everything I need to finish my fourth chapter.

If the archivists were allowed to bring cameras into the monastaries to record data, then they could send me the photos online and this would really be perfect, but instead I have just enough spare cash right now that I can afford a round-trip ticket to France to copy the data myself (no way in hell I write in for a grant. No way in HELL). My old flatmate from last year has agreed to put me up and even loan me his car during the daytime while I'm working there for the next three weeks, if (in Julius's words, not mine) I "pretend you stole the car if you're arrested without a license, don't turn on the lights before two in the afternoon, don't pass up every single party I offer" (Julius goes to France to spend all of his money on wine, women, and nightclubs; he calls it "conquering Gaul") "and make yourself scarce if I bring home any hot North African women."

My advisor thinks that this trip is going to be a great opportunity for my thesis, even if Madame is less than pleased and my instructors have let me know that I have to get all of my other work in early to them. So I guess I'm going to go do homework now, and hope that I can finish all of the essays and translations before I get on my plane in two days.

If my father sends his intern after me again, I will do something drastic. I haven't decided what, yet, but I can afford to be creative.
riotous_head: (Sword Tricks)
I got a very important e-mail today! No, the archivists still haven't e-mailed me back, but I hadn't expected them to. Even better news, though! Ophelia, remember that complete works of T.S. Eliot I translated into French for my final undergraduate project? The publisher I sent it to e-mailed me back, and they want to publish it! They've sent me a really generous advance and they're going to give me a great deal on royalties, and they want to talk about prefaces and typesetting! I'm going to be published!

After I got that e-mail, I was so inspired that I finished almost all of my third chapter almost a week early--and I can't really start on my fourth until the archivists mail me back.

Last but not least, I went to that barbershop by the drugstore and my hair is no longer getting into my mouth when I'm eating--and it's not a buzz cut.

All of this (except the haircut) means that, for the first time in recent memory, I have money and free time at once. If anyone wants to go out and do something fun, that would be great.


riotous_head: (Default)

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