school

Five things Friday: school n stuff

A list of five things that have been going on with me this week.

The last four weeks or so have been a bit slow for me, hence part of the reason for starting a blog last month. This blog has been something to keep me busy during my lazy days and hopefully bring back some of my creativity that I had when was younger, before life happened.

While I wasn’t super busy in January, this last week had a few important events. And some not so important events, but I needed to think of more things to add to the list to make it a list of five. Here are five things that have been going on with me this week.

1.Oral defence of Master’s Thesis

With my Master’s Thesis completed and submitted at the beginning of January, I felt a huge weight had been lifted. But, a feeling of finally being finished this huge project had caused me to become lazy, and although I had a few more seminars to attend to finish the semester, I was finding it difficult to focus.

I didn’t want to listen to anymore presentations and pretend to think of meaningful questions and comments so that I can try and trick people into thinking I’m smart.

I regretted taking a class this semester, as that meant that I still had one more final paper to write. It was a struggle to bring myself to write about “the relevance of the Westphalian state system in today’s globalized world.” I didn’t want to think anymore.

 While I may have been finished my thesis, the *fun* wasn’t over yet. At the beginning of February was the oral defence. I didn’t know how to study for this, so I decided I wasn’t going to do anything. I had already done the research and written the thing anyway, so I figured it shouldn’t be that difficult to answer questions. So, I didn’t think much about it, until the day before when I looked online for “possible questions that you will be asked during your oral defence.” Then I spent (read: wasted?) a few hours thinking of things to say.

Come Monday, I was getting nervous. Not worried though. There was never any concern that I would fail. Just nervous because interviews make me nervous, and I’m not good at answering questions. I wanted to wake up early and spend some time going over my thesis, but in the morning, I was feeling lazy again, so I pretty much didn’t do anything. Just laid around, watched YouTube, got ready, then went to school. I bought some lunch from the convenience store, and chatted with my thesis buddies.

At two o’clock, my professor called me in to face the committee. I fumbled my way through their questions, most of which I hadn’t prepared for in my last-ditch attempt to do something productive. Thirty minutes later, I was out the door, and the whole thing was finished. Now I just badly want to know my grade.

2. PhD interview

While I was finishing and submitting my thesis, I was also trying to work on a research proposal for a PhD dissertation, since the application period was also at the beginning of January. Admittedly, I was not thinking about this too much while I was finishing my thesis. I don’t like to multitask with big brain-using things. I like to focus on one thing at a time if possible.

A couple weeks after submitting my application, the letter came in the mail telling me when to come for the interview. It was only a couple days after the oral defence of my Master’s thesis, so I knew that was going to be a fun week. I took it easy for the two days after my oral defence, and on the day of the PhD interview I went to school in the morning and waited until it was my turn. I was called into the room, fumbled my way through more questions, and was finished in twenty minutes.

The experience reminded me of two and a half years ago, when I was applying for the Master’s Program, which was the same type of procedure. However, at that time, I had been finished university for five years already, and I wanted to research a topic that I hadn’t studied in my undergrad. So, during the Master’s interview, I said “I don’t know” a lot, and I was so nervous and so convinced that I wasn’t going to be accepted. I left the interview and almost cried. Even when I got the results a week later stating that I was accepted, I was still convinced that they must have made a mistake.

I was not so nervous this time. Perhaps I have gained some confidence in the last two years.

3. Taekwondo

I didn’t go to Taekwondo at all in January. Mainly because I hurt my back at the gym doing deadlifts. Now, I am no stranger to deadlifts. They have been part of my workout for the last few years, and I wasn’t even lifting my max when I hurt myself. But I guess I did something wrong because it was too sore to do much else. I skipped the gym for over two weeks, and skipped the whole month of Taekwondo because it wouldn’t be worth the ¥¥¥ to only go only a couple times in January.

I went back at the beginning of February. My back was better, but some movements still hurt. Since I hadn’t been to Taekwondo before Christmas last year, I felt sloppy and weak and tired from being out for so long. It shouldn’t take too long to be back to normal though.

The beginning of this month was also the Aichi Tournament. I participated in one tournament before, when I was a blue belt a couple years ago. I was sooooo nervous though, and I messed up my pattern. Since then I have been too afraid to try again. I keep telling myself that I should do it again, but I haven’t recovered my courage enough yet. Maybe I’ll join the next tournament. Maybe. I did join the seminar held by the top masters who came from Tokyo though, as well as the Korean barbecue dinner after the tournament.

4. Cards Against Humanity

I know this is not a new game. But somehow I had never played it before. I could have probably played it with my friends in Canada, but again, somehow I never did. In Japan though, until recently, most of my friends didn’t seem like the kind of people who want to play such a game. I’ve met a lot of really cool people at my school in the last two years and thought it might be fun.

Alas, I didn’t have the cards. My American friend in Korea informed that I can download a PDF of the cards on the website and print them and cut them myself. I did that, and now I have played a total of two times, and some of my new friends want to play again. Yay!

5. Chai Tea

When I was India a few years ago, I drank a lot of chai tea. I had it on the streets, in restaurants, every day in the accommodations I was staying, and even half-way up the Himalayas. Of course, it wasn’t the first time for me to have it, but it was the most that I’ve had before. When I came back from India, I attempted to make it from scratch, but it didn’t taste great.

A couple times I have seen it in the convenience stores. They have a lot of limited time food and drinks, and when it was chai tea, I bought it a lot. Recently, I bought some instant packets from the store, and have been making at home. I put a bit of syrup in it because I like it sweeeeeet.

And, that’s all. Happy weekend!

2 thoughts on “Five things Friday: school n stuff”

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