Friday, September 25, 2015

New School, New Country, New Degree

Hello everyone, we're back after a crazy, crazy, time. Since the last post, I have graduated with my MA in English Lit, gotten married, moved back to Southern Ontario (yes, in Canada!!!) and begun a PhD Program in English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

I am no longer allowed to plan three major life events and/or changes for the same six day period.

So Today's Notes from the Ivory Tower are coming out of the big notebook labeled "Life."

The move itself was surprisingly easy--sitting on a plane for eight hours is basically a long day in classes. What has been hard to adjust to is the time change, the huge climate change and learning a whole new city. It took me three years of driving in a city I lived in for fifteen years to really get to know it, learning my new city has been interesting. I absolutely got seriously lost a few times in the first few days--don't ask me about finding Laurier for the first time until after I graduate, or I might burst into tears at just the memory.

That's actually another thing about so much change in so short a timeframe: for like the first four or five days, I was crying basically uncontrollably at least twice an hour. (My poor husband gets so many "Best Husband" awards for marrying me, letting me shanghai him to another country and then crying all over the place for days. He's been a rock. A very, very calm rock.) The crying thing stopped pretty much once the jetlag did, but talk about an emotional response to a ton of upheaval. What ended up working really well for me was taking those days slowly. If we were out walking trying to find a grocery store, or just trying to find our way home from a grocery store and I started crying, we found a place to sit or just stop for five minutes, I cried it out and then we kept moving. My new school ID photo was taken literally moments before I needed to find a spot to take a break again--here's hoping nobody looks too hard at that picture.

The days of tears actually served a useful purpose: I got the emotional stuff out and dealt with before I had to be standing in front of 20 freshmen teaching.

Part of my funding package for my PhD involves teaching a tutorial session for a basic English course, which despite y having held a TA-ship for the entire second year of my Master's Degree, is a totally new experience for me. I'll say this much: so far my best moment was when a 10 minute lecture on the history of whores and theatres not only happened, but was relevant to the material.

That's all for this session of Notes from the Ivory Tower, but I am planning to be around more, now that I'm relatively settled and have more time.

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