7 semesters of uni done, 1 to go.... truly terrifying and i dont like to think about it at all but it is definitely at the point where i have to now lmao (pissing shitting crying throwing up etc the whole lot). there is a ling program at this school i really really want to go to, but i have come to the realisation that i do not want to work in linguistics... i find it endlessly fascinating to study, but it is not something that i want to worth with. the problem is that i cant think of anything that i do want to do. the only thing that grabs my interest would be library work, but i would need a masters in linrary and information science which i am having difficulties finding as an option at the school i want to go to or any other schools i am interested in in that country. my parents say to just apply for the ling program at the school and try to get into archival work since that city has a lot of options for that. i think that sounds like an interesting option but i dont know how likely that is to work out. i probably need to apply during this winter break, or at least v soon tbh...
i guess in better news, i got an email from my school's editor of the russian department journal saying that she read some of my stuff and liked my ideas and writing style and was wondering if i would like to write an opinion piece for the journal i said yes of course and then she sent me some possible ideas that i dont have to use but can get some inspiration from, but they were all topics related to russian politics or culture, which i'm not sure i know how to adequately discuss. other than a class on stalinist culture (art, literature, film, and architecture under stalin and how they reflected the political/cultural climate of the time), i've only taken russian literature courses. i am definitely not qualified to write about the russian invasion of ukraine or russia's treatment of lgbtq people but we'll see what i come up with... will probably default to something related to the intersection of language and life.
that presentation i talked about in the previous entry got an A+ yayyy feels good. it's a kind of weird class since there's only 5 people in it and sometimes its only me and the guy who was partner for this project who show up since it's an 8:30. but yeah since there was only one other group that had to present, we could go a lot over time and talk with the prof about it for a long time afterwards, which was nice. maybe i'll post some it it on here some day, but in sum, my part dealt with unequal fluency, code-switching, overlexicalization, and semantic-inversion in a clockwork orange, and then compared it to the utopian universal language of Alexander Bogdanov's Red Star, and to Orwell's Newspeak in 1984 to position A Clockwork Orange as an anti-utopia.
my friends and i are doing another thanksgiving today since i somehow thought that thanksgiving was the 3rd thursday of november and not the 4th despite being american. i kinda gaslit the other american in the friendgroup into thinking that it was this thursday too so we all just kinda went along with it lol. anyways i love thankgiving food, so it will be fun. i'm making the stuffing, chicken, and some vegetables. i hope it all turns out well!
also! the first snow of the season was on wednesday! it was maybe like 2-3 inches? i love it when it's snowing, but once it stops and the cars ruin it and it all feels grey and bleugh... instant winter-related damage to the brain lol. there have been lots of cute snowmen though, including one on campus that had a cigarette shoved in its little snowball head.
my tentative return to neocities lol. i'm still not out of the midterm swamp yet, but i am simply pretending that it is practically over. as insanely stressful the last month has been, i've read some really amazing stuff for my classes/as sources for midterm essays/presentations that i hope to one day eventually integrate into this cite and give my thoughts on!
other october updates:
1) i saw gorillaz in concert! fucking best night ever omg it was so much fun and everyone was singing all the words to every song and just moving perfectly with the music. the vibes couldnt have been better. i was kind of worried about going alone to such a big venue but i cant imagine ever going with someone now lmao it was great doing it solo. smaller bands/venues i would probably want to go with someone just for like standing-awkwardness vibes, but i'm very happy with how this turned out. also right before it started i checked my photo album on my phone and realised that i had seen gorillaz 5 years earlier on the exact same day! i'm going to choose to believe that that means something lol
2) i went to a neat linguistics talk on how/if people perceive phonetic imitation. when people interact (or apparently sometimes if they just hear a recording of another person saying vocab), their own speech shifts slightly (as does the other person's) and this is understood as being necessary in order for the interaction to go well. the topic of this talk was then on if an outsider can perceive that change. it looks like some people cant really (their answers were no better than just taking a 50/50 guess), but most people, most of the time, could.
anyways i was working on my presentation today and while crying and pissing and shitting over zlibrary being murdered, and i came across an article (after not being able to find like 10 sources that were probably on zlib but i couldnt find anywhere else aaurghh) about language in literature that i didnt think was allowed. for context, i did IB in high school and i wrote my final extended essay on stylistics and linguistics in James Joyce's Araby (imagine that the tital was coherent tho) bc i had a fascination at that time with applying M.A.K. Halliday's study of semiotics to extracting meaning from literature. my advisor for the essay thought that it was the shit and so i proudly sent it off, only for some grader in fucking switzerland or something nearly fail me because it apparently wasnt a valid way to analyse literature. flash forward 3-4 years and i find this guy doing the exact same thing, with the very book that i am going to be talking about, using Michael fucking Halliday as the backbone of his paper. i went on to read one of halliday's papers that i hadnt yet read ("Anti-Languages") and it is just so nice to be as excited about this now as i was when i was in high school.
busy weekend! my dad's business trip brought him to somehwat close to here, so i spent the whole weekend showing him around the city and having a really nice time! we ended up walking over 10 miles yesterday lol. obviously it was not a very productive weekend, but it was really fun. today, we visited what is supposedly one of the 'coolest' neighbourhoods in the world, but it was boring as shit. glad to know i hadnt been missing out on much on not checking it out until now.
i feel like my brain is slowly starting to melt by just taking anthropology and russian literature courses. theyre really interesting and i want to take them all, but without any linguistics courses to push all the right buttons in my head, everything feels a little bit pointless. next semester i'm taking 2 (one with a prof that i cant stand though...), so hopefully that will restore the balance.
also i want to watch interview with the vampire so badddd but i do not have amc ugh i think i'll wait for the season to finish and then maybe get a free trial... i tried to watch it through a less reputable source but it nearly broke my computer lol
my prof gave us all extensions on the two assignments that were due today thank GOD. now, the paper on Gladkov's "cement" is due tomorrow, while the project proposal is due next friday. this is very good news because i have not started either :p technically, according to the schedule we were only meant to finish Cement on tuesday, which would only have given anyone like 2-3 days to write a 5-7 page paper. it just didnt help that i didnt finish reading the book until yesterday (i started it over since i think i didnt understand what was going on for a few chapters). i'm super grateful to have more time, but i just have to say that this was a painfullyyyy boring book. it's heralded as the "proto-production novel" and as basically the template for soviet realist literature despite being written 10 years before the term soviet realism was coined. in sum, a guy (gleb) comes back from the civil war, finds that his wife is a strong, independent soviet woman and had put their kid in a communal children's centre, but most importantly that the town's factory has fallen into disrepair!! the entireee book is about getting the factory up and running again through sheer willpower and by giving inspiring speeches to the workers, and angry ones to the bureaucrats. he comes to peace with his wife not needing him and his daughter dying of neglect because the factory is making cement again (despite there apparently being nowhere that would/could take the cement, as some character previously mentioned as a reason to not start it up again). i've taken many russian/soviet literature classes before and read a whole lot of stuff that is not my taste (futurists...) but this one really takes the cake for most agonising 311 pages i've ever read.
first october entry! it's been a pretty busy week, and this week is even busier ;-; i finished reading "Red Star" by Bogdanov today for class and it was a really nice and easy read! it's nice to be able to have enough thoughts about a reading to actually talk about it in class lol. i also finished reading "A Clockwork Orange" since somebody in the class proposed his group project idea on dystopias and utopias, with this being the dystopia book (obviously. + the class is dedicated to russian utopias). since language was a part of the idea he proposed, i jumped on and will hopefully be his partner for it. anyways, i hadnt read the book before, so i did that over the last month to try and prepare. now, i have to read Gladkov's "Cement" basically in less than 24 hours lol that book is not as nice a read imo...
fun fact, this apartment is the first one i've lived in since moving out of uni accommodations that has had a proper window lol so i have been thoroughly enjoying the sun as it warms up my room in the afternoon despite the declining temperature. last year, my "window" looked into the apartment's hallway/entrance, and the year before, it was kinda subterranean and would pretty quickly get covered in snow and just generally be too low/small to get any sun. i'm also realising that perhaps a lot of my feelings over those 2 years may have boiled down to a lack of vitamin D, as i find muself wanting to step into oncoming traffic much less frequently nowadays lmao
can you believe that my procrastinating has consequences? a lesson i'll never learn. anyways, i went to a fun little housewarming potluck last night that was on the other side of town. i got out from the subway/metro stop and it was pouringgg rain. i had a raincoat but no umbrella, so my pants got soaking wet and i had to just sort of drip-dry for a little bit once i finally arrived. once again, i made a pasta salad, but this time with orzo pasta, red bell pepper, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and pesto. soooo good. i'll be eating the leftovers all week.
so anyways, the procrastination thing. for my anthropolgy course, i have a semester-long project that requires me to visit a place/institution of worship and write about it/religion/etc. my first paper is due tomorrow night and i still havent been to one ;-;. thinking i'll have to ditch a couple classes tomorrow and quickly check out a church and then speed-type up a paper before midnight. i feel bad because i am legitimately interested in religion and places of worship, but i also feel very awkward in them? i think i have been in a church 3 times in my life (2 were for touristy-reasons, and 1 was a megachurch bc my mum heard that they do a massive christmas service with fake snow and bad singing and dragged us all along to see even though she normally hates religion). so i guess that's my plan for tomorrow? there are a lot of churches near me, but i'm not sure what to do... do i just walk in? there was one i was thinking of visiting, but when i looked it up, everything was in portuguese, so maybe i'll find somewhere else...
pretty chill day! woke up late, did a little assignment, dropped off my disposable camera at the photo-development store and picked up a new one, got a cider from the corner store and watched the young pope while i embroidered! it's finally not so hot, which is nice, but the onset of autumn is a little scary and sad tbh. it's my favourite season, but it's also the shortest. i'm also sad that it's the last autumn i'll have in this city, which i actually cant think about for more than like 10 seconds or i become too devestated to do anything lol. i hear from a lot of people that also moved here for uni that they regret it. that they wish that they were closer to family, that they didnt move somewhere that gets so fucking cold and dark for 7 months out of the year, that it's too small (only the toronto and nyc girlies say this though tbh lol). i'm really grateful that uni has lived up to the "greatest years of your life" story that my parents sold me on, and i cant imagine living in a better city than here or having a better time than i have these last 3 years. i've definitely had some massive low points, especially during 2020 (i think june-november was a fever dream that i'm pleasantly surprised i didnt kms over), but i've also made my closest friends and made my best memories. so seeing the trees and ivy change colour out my window fills me with a bit of dread at the moment, but at least i have 7-9 more months here, with hopefully plenty more days like today.
kind of a mess of a day lol. i went to a department picnic/potluck today for my uni's undergrad russian department and so i made a pasta salad that i had at a friend's housewarming party that i loved. the recipe said it was take like 20-30 minutes but being the stressed person i am, i blocked out 1.5 hours for it, which worked out well. i was going with a friend who let me know when i was almost there that she hadnt left her place yet, so i did a big 30minute loop around the neighborhood but there were so many people out and i didnt understand wtf was going on bc it was like everyone in the city was having a picnic/garage sale/dragging their campervans to the park??? i felt like i was losing my mind bc there was a helicopter overhead that would not shut the fuck up just circling where i was, someone walking behind me had a litle boombox going, bikes were being more reckless than normal, and it was like 28C so overall, i was about ready to jump into oncoming traffic.
anyways, after that loop, i decide to suck it up and just find where the russian group was but it ended up not being where i thought it was and it was on the other side of the road/park (split by a road), which was FENCED OFF today due to some international sport thing going on right then at that moment in that exact place. so i had to walk allll the way to the end of the street to cross behind the camera crews so i could go allll the way back up, past all the fans and families with different country flags only to still not be able to find where i was meant to go and do another massive loop. at this point, i'm an hour late and decide to just sit under a tree in the shade so as to not lose my mind. my messages to my friend werent sending bc of no internet, so i didnt know if i also wasnt receiving messages and she had arrived yet. anyways. i'm just sitting in the grass listening to music for half an hour and take a break looking for where i was meant to go, because i was about to actually lose my mind if i mingled with strangers in that moment i think. eventually my friend texts that she was there, so i go again to find the russian group, which i finally do, but my friend wasnt there yet ;-; tragically, i had forgotten to bring a bowl/plate to the picnic (i had a fork though...) so it's now like 3:30pm and i havent eaten anything and now i CANT despite being surrounded by food. but also i probably wouldnt have even if i had a bowl bc anyone who was eating was getting swarmed by wasps.
in all, it was actually a good time lol once i started chatting with people and my friend + her roommate arrived. it was a nice spot in the shade and i wasnt actually hungry thankfully so the only problem was that god forsaken helicopter.
finallyyyy went out and got drinks with a friend last night/tonight! i feel so bad at socialising and acting like a human until i'm like 2 drinks in, so it was very nice to finally go out again. the moon is almost full tonight, and it looked a little bit orange when i was heading out. there is so much construction near my friend, but i had my little disposable camera with me so i could take some pics of my friend messing with a pile of dirt. very exciting. please trust that it was fun in the moment even if now as i type this out i realise that i am still not exactly sober and that dirt isnt exactly a novelty. still! it was a very good night and i hope to do it again soonish! it's very strange to not see this friend every day, since we used to be roommates. it's one of those situations where like,,, if i go a couple days without seeing each other (same goes for her with me), i just really miss her and want to hang out as soon as possible. again, writing this down makes it sound very boring, but i dont think i've missed anybody before? i'm nearly 2k miles away from my parents, and i'm many time that away from any other realitive, but i've never really missed them before, as much as i love them. this is feeling cringe and there's a 50/50 chance i delete this tomorrow lol. point is i love my friends and the moon is looking very nice tonight.
sooo i dropped those classes lol. i'm in that intro anthropology course, and in another russian literature class (with the same prof that that teaches my other russian lit class earlier in the day!). the literature course was by permission of the department and so i wrote out this long-ass email about my experience in the department (5 previous russian lit classes, 2 levels of russian language, and a russian history course) and the response was like: "sounds cool! i hope you get in lol go talk to the professor." ;-; so i sent my spiel again to the prof (one that wasnt quite so extensive since i've had her plenty of times before) and she gave me the thumbs up. surprisingly, my dad didnt tear me a new one for dropping russian, which was a major relief! not to paint my dad in a bad light or anything bc he's great but there are few feelings worse (imo) than disappointing your parents. the other course i dropped was a high level linguistics one. it was difficult to choose bc the prof seemed reallyyy nice and i liked the examination method that we would be graded on, but i just am not really interested in the topic and i dont think i have the right background for that content at such an advanced level. now i get to look forward to taking another high level ling course next semester with this prof who teaches all the interesting socio/historical ling stuff that i've taken but who is just absolutely fucking insufferable as a human. technically i've finished all the requirements for my major and minor, but i need one more elective credit, and then i just need more credits in general to meet the minumum number needed to graduate. that means, that i'm basically just taking whatever looks interesting and fits in my schedule. yippeee
omg i almost forgot but yesterday i reached a 700 day streak on duolingo B) i'm really trying not to completely lose all that high school german ;w;
classes started this week! some i really enjoyed and two i think i am going to switch out... one will be no problem to change and i'm going to be with a professor i know well and really like. the other one is russian though... i was right that i was completely out of my depth, especially since i have only taken russian during the online, covid-y years while everyone else has had the more rigorous in-person teaching for a year. being out of practice + taking it under subpar circumstances has me rusty as hell. i did the homework and studied the chapter assigned for 8.5 hours over wednesday-friday and i was still utterly lost today. if this keeps up, it's going to really screw over my other classes too. i cant spend 8 hours preparing for 1 class without neglecting everything else! i do like russian, but i never wanted to use it for any work or anything. i got into it because i love russian literature, i love languages, and the singular item on my bucket list is to visit saint-petersburg (specifically the hermitage). i've signed up for an intro anthropology course for if i do drop it (ive taken an anth class before, and i'm in one now), which looks really interesting, but i feel defeated and a bit stupid for taking an intro level course when i'm in my final year. dropping russian would also mean that russian would no longer be my other major (i would still have a russian culture minor), so it feels like a big step down. having 2 majors would have been cool :( and what exactly is the point if im not cool. tragedy.
i ended up talking with my new roommate for like 5 hours today and it was really nice! very good vibes and similar taste in music, so that's good. we also rearranged the living room so it's actually looking a lot nicer!
a friend asked me to go to the cat cafe, which i have meaning to visit for years! i think the table we chose wasnt very conducive to cat-viewing/petting, as they were all sat by the windows and we were in the back ;-; we had a really nice walk afterwards though and got lemonade from some kids' lemonade stand. inflation has affected everything y'all. i'm pretty sure my brother and i charged like 50c for a cup when we were kids, but these guys were selling it for 2$ a cup (we a got a 3$ for 2 deal tho).
i'm still losing my mind though because classes start this week and i havent practiced russian in literally a year and a half and now i have to go into advanced russian fmllllll. i'm utterly fucked. it's not so much the inevitable shit grade that upsets me, but the humiliation i will feel of not being able to answer questions when called on or being a useless classmate during group activities.. sad and cringe of me to let it get this bad! i just remembered that the last time took russian, classes were online so i could type all of the work out, but now i have to use cursive, which i never learnt aaaaaaa
i went out and bought a container to put my lunch iin to bring to campus, so that was a thrilling purchase. my goal was to get a screw-on top so it wouldnt leak, so, mission success. ideally i would have gotten a glass one instead of plastic, but the glass was like,, 15-20 dollars more. the city was super busy with everyone moving in for the new school year and so i got a bit turned around and ended up walking 4.5 miles instead of the 2 i was expecting. good to get my steps in i guess.
yesterday i hung out with some friends i hadnt seen in a while (2 months for one of them, a year for the other) since theyre both finally back in town! i ended up staying over at friend 1's apartment alll day, so it was great to catch up.
current mood is that i would pay an arm and a leg to be wasted with friends, but the stars are not aligning rip 3
i went on a walk with a friend to go get bagels! it was really nice to hangout (i think we see each other most days, but still), and the bagels were delicious. i had a rosemary one for lunch.
i need to be less high-strung atm because it is lowkey ruining my life lol. both times the doorbell rang, my hands were shaking so bad for 10 minutes afterwards that i couldnt embroider and i immediately got a stress rash on my hand ;-; speaking of hands, i was trying to figure out (again) wtf is wrong with mine and i ended up checking way too many boxes on the arthritus symptoms list than i would like to (the particular joint deformity that keeps my fingers from straightening, aches in the fingers, joints sore to the touch, fingertips tingling and feeling really hot). for a few years now, i've assumed that i would get arthritus in my fingers by my forties, but this is...concerning...
i'm not going to assume that it is arthritus bc 1) i am in my early 20s, 2) google is shit 3) i am a ling and lit student, not a doctor. still, it makes me think that i should maybe take this a bit more seriously and try to see a doctor in the coming weeks/months to maybe get a better answer and to figure out if there is anything to do to keep stuff from progressing if it is a progressive condition.
in better news, i had a really nice chat with the new roommate and her mum. i'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the apartment situation.
i found out 2 days ago that my new roommate was moving in today so i've been cleaning the apartment up a lot, which has been supremely stressfull. i'm a fairly neat person, but i have been known to let a little grime survive in corners that i purposefully ignore. i knew that they were moving in some time this week so i've been vacuuming and mopping a lot more than usual and have given the bathroom a deep clean as well as taken a magic eraser to the walls, but today i basically cleaned everything again. i repotted my plant, swept and mopped, rearraged the fridge, scrubbed the walls again, lightly cleaned the inside of the oven, gave the bathroom a a scrub, wiped down the cabinets, fridge, and dishwasher, and baked a blueberry loaf! it was like 30C so i was melting the whole time too. i heard their mum comment on how clean the place was compared to their last apartment, but they still vacuumed and mopped everything over again. objectively i know that everything was clean and that i would probably do the same when moving somewhere just to know for sure when it was last cleaned (now) and done to standards i can trust (mine). still feeling a bit of shame though lol