Masters Degree

If you want to share some events in your life or thoughts about life in general with other MSCL fans or if you just want post a rant to let some steam off - this is the place.
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Nothingman
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Post by Nothingman » Sep 3rd 2004, 12:15 pm

Congratulations starbug! :thumpup:
"To come to your senses, you must first go out of your mind." - Alan Watts

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grim4746
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Post by grim4746 » Sep 3rd 2004, 1:56 pm

Congratualtions Starbug! I'm sure you are on your way to changing the world.

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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Sep 3rd 2004, 7:59 pm

Congrats Starbug!!

:mrgreen:
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Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

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Jody Barsch*
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Sep 5th 2004, 12:15 pm

:sunshine: Congratulations Starbug! I'm so excited for you! :multi:
Kickstart The Riches movie!

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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Sep 28th 2004, 4:58 am

starbug wrote:Induction is the week beginning 27th Sept, and teaching starts from 4th Oct, so I've got a bit to do before then. Like finally buy that laptop I want, get a broadband wireless connection to my house, go part time at work, and start learning again!
So how was induction, starbug?
Natasha aka candygirl :: MSCL.com

Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

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starbug
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Post by starbug » Sep 28th 2004, 5:17 am

candygirl wrote: So how was induction, starbug?
well, it was odd, to be honest. Odd to be thinking like a student again, and odd to see all these people who are really what I'd call 'students'. I don't think of myself as a student as I'm working full time, whereas most of these people are 21, 22 and straight from undergrad. It's strange to be bracketed in with them, but we obviously have similar interests so I'm sure it will be fine.

Yesterday all I had to do was show up at the school and pick up reading lists and pay for a couple of study packs. I met a couple of other students but since I was doing it on my lunch hour I didn't have time to stop and chat. I came away and looked at the reading lists back at my desk, and they're scary but not unmanageable. At the moment I'm floundering around because I'm part time and all the available information relates to full timers. It's like nobody thought that part timers are going to have to choose their core courses, and I'm still trying to find the person to tell which courses I want to take. I'm hoping it will all become clear sooner or later. :?

I'm going through the usual 'what if I'm too stupid to do this?' uncertainty at the moment, and worried about the number of compulsory presentations that appear to be assessed. Presenting in front of a group is my own worst nightmare. I go :oops: and become self-conscious in the extreme.

That said, I have advantages. I work here, so I know the ropes, know my way around, and have unlimited library borrowing rights. I can use the computers without needing a student account and I have access 8 hours a day. On the whole I'm really positive about it and the reading I've done so far has been seriously interesting. Much of it is about moral philosophy which is what I'm really enjoying, and I think when I find my feet and get into a routine I'll feel less like I've leapt into the great unknown without a safety net.

Today I have to go and register as a student with the actual university, tomorrow is a 3 hour presentation about the course, and I'm skipping library and information systems induction (been there, done that, spent more hours than I care to remember in the library asleep on the All England Law Reports) so that is it for the rest of the week. I'll most likely have way more to report on Friday.

Thanks for asking - it is a fabulously exciting time for me :D

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lance
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Post by lance » Oct 1st 2004, 11:02 pm

starbug wrote:Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! I got in!! I'm sooooo happy :n00b: :sunshine:

Induction is the week beginning 27th Sept, and teaching starts from 4th Oct, so I've got a bit to do before then. Like finally buy that laptop I want, get a broadband wireless connection to my house, go part time at work, and start learning again!

It's going to mean big changes but I'm sure it will be fine. And since I work for a uni, they pay half the fees. My boss is chucking £1000 in my direction and allowing me to go part time. Which, considering the course has nothing to do with my job, is pretty generous.

:D :D :D :D
:go:

A belated congrats. Way to go!

-LanceMan

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starbug
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Post by starbug » Oct 26th 2004, 11:06 am

I thought I'd post a little update here, since I've been doing the course for a few weeks now...

So far, it's been seriously hard work. The amount of reading is phenomenal. I'm doing two courses, Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights, and Comparative Human Rights Law. The latter is easier, but I think it's because I've read more legal reasoning in my time than I care to remember... It is interesting to read stuff from other jurisdictions though - last week was australia, this week is the USA, and you can totally see the different styles of reasoning. Plus there are some people in the class who have never so much as coughed in the direction of a law report. the theory course is more difficult because although I've done Jurisprudence before, this is a whole different kettle of fish. It is fascinating though, and much seems to rest on concepts of rights within moral philosophy. Plus we're learning about the workings of the UN in this other course that was touted as 'optional' but what they don't tell you until it's too late is that actually if you want your dissertation to be considered at all, you have to 'pass' this course. Fab. Fortunately, 'pass' means 'show up each week for 7 weeks and then do a presentation on your dissertation subject'.

I've met some interesting people - most of the course members are not english, but most are from Western Europe... One american thought she'd do a masters as a way to spend a year in europe - basically it was the only way she could get her parents to let her go for a year... boy has she had a rude awakening: 'what is all this reading? How are you expected to do this? it's ridiculous.' I asked her what it's like in the US and she said you basically get given 5 books at the start of the year, and then you read through them gradually and discuss in lectures with the others in the class; you're never expected to actually spend time in libraries looking for stuff. I sense this was a steaming pile of BS because I imagine most universities in the US do the same as here; give you a list of stuff to read, and then expect you to go and locate the books/articles yourself. Otherwise, how would you ever learn research skills?

Anyway, I am still enjoying it, but I didn't really appreciate how much of an impact it would have on my life in general. I have no social life to speak of, although I am allowing myself one night out a week or I'll crack. I have also had to confront the idea of getting a cleaner, which is something I fundamentally disagree with; but with me working about a 70 hour week, and Mr. S working about a 60 hour week, our house is a sty, and I can't stand it. :oops:

Oh, and my wireless broadband modem arrived today so I shall from now on consider myself part of the 21st Century.

My longer-term plan is to wait until teaching stops in the summer, then spend a day a week doing voluntary work for an NGO in London before teaching starts for the 2nd year in October... that should help with getting some more experience of hands-on human rights stuff. :idea:

I'd be interested in hearing how Grim is getting on too!

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emmie
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Post by emmie » Oct 26th 2004, 10:56 pm

yeah, that girl doesn't know what she is talking about. anyone I know in a masters program has a ton of reading and is generally neverending busy. it's just sort of expected. I'm working toward my master of fine arts in filmmaking. and though we don't read as much, we also do research projects in addition to all the film shoots we work on. I average about 3 hours of sleep a night. it's pretty hardcore, but no one really complains about it. because if you have such a passion for something, you gladly give up sleep to produce the best product you can. otherwise, you shouldn't be there.

I think it's great that you are enjoying your new program. and kudos for being able to make time to relax and get out of the house at least once a week! I should seriously do that! I'm also in agreement about having a maid clean things up. I usually super clean my house right before classes start because I know things are just going to get worse until finals are over.

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Post by SanDeE* » Oct 26th 2004, 11:35 pm

I agree with emmie --- I don't know what kind of slacker grad school that girl was at before going to Europe. The grad students I know work very hard and have little free time. Even my mother, who just went back this semester to start her masters, is super busy, and she's only taking like three courses! She reads constantly - she even had to read her homework in the car (16 hours, round trip) this weekend when she and my dad came to visit me. A lot of music grad students live in the library, too. Most of the work I have as an undergrad are projects, so a lot of my homework is working on the projects and analyzing stuff so I can DO the project, and there is some reading with certain classes, like history and such.

I'm glad the program is going well for you, starbug! Good to hear you still have enough sanity to still have fun with your husband. I graduate in December 2005 from my undergrad, so I still have to figure out if I want to start grad school right away or take some time off and save up some money!
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starbug
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Post by starbug » May 12th 2005, 12:10 pm

A little update on things :)

I'm feeling the exam fear. I've got Comparative Human Rights Law I & II to sit, on 27th May and 1st June. That's not very far away. :shock: I'd forgotten how terrible it feels to have exam stress. I spent weeks hiding from the reality of it, but the caffeine needs to come out in force or I'm never going to pass. Mostly I feel for Mr. S, who has never seen me in 'exam stress' before, so has no idea how to react. Basically I become a wibbling wreck, and break down about once a week. He hates seeing people upset, so I'm trying to be extra-stoic but sometimes I just need to put my head in my hands and let out a strangled scream.

After 1st June it is party time! It will be lovely to have more free time, even if it's only for 4 months before the final year. I have also been on the phone today trying to secure myself an internship with Index On Censorship (http://www.indexonline.org) and they were very positive indeed. It was more of a 'when can you start?' conversation, which surprised me because I was really only phoning to find out who I should email my CV to! The conversation went on, and I explained what I'd been doing, and that I will have one day a week of free time I would like to spend doing something useful. She asked me if I would be willing to write short articles and do some editing etc, so it sounds like a really good thing to be involved in, and not just envelope stuffing and filing. :D Of course they are not paying me but who cares? The tone of rejections I have had from other places, you would think they were doing me a favour by considering allowing me to work for them on a voluntary basis, which irks me. But I'm very happy indeed that Index were so positive and friendly about it too! Of course it's not a done deal until I get the email confirming but if it comes off it will be great experience.

:D :D but also :yikes:

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lance
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Post by lance » May 12th 2005, 5:48 pm

Starbug,

Best of Luck on those exams. Hope that you and Mr. S pull through okay.

-Lance

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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 13th 2005, 1:34 am

Congrats on almost being done with your first year and landing a great internship! You're right - some companies act like they're doing you a huge favor by allowing you to become their temporary slaves. Sounds like you found a good place!

Good luck on those exams!
Natasha aka candygirl :: MSCL.com

Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

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SanDeE*
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Post by SanDeE* » May 13th 2005, 3:55 pm

Best of luck, starbug! Be kind to Mr. S!
Um, in my room, one seam is a little off and I stare at it constantly. It's, like, destroying me.

~~Kristin~~

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starbug
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Post by starbug » Sep 10th 2006, 4:06 pm

Boy, I had to dig around a bit to find this!

Anyway, hard though it is to believe, I'm finally done! 8) 8)

I handed in my dissertation on Thursday, and now I just have to wait until my final results are released in November. Because of the way the course is structured and the fact that I was a part time student, I know that (barring major dissertation disaster) I've passed. The only way I can fail is if my dissertation fails, which I think is unlikely since my supervisor was always very positive during our three meetings. Still, keep your fingers crossed for me!

It is a lovely feeling to be done, although I have to say actually handing over the dissertation was hard: I literally had to force myself to do it. And then to turn around and walk out of the door was difficult. I think it's because when you've sweated over something for four months, you form a weird emotional bond with it. I didn't want to let it go!

So I'm revelling in some free time, which in itself feels strange, and yesterday I put many, many pieces of paper in the recycling bin.

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