It has been a while since I have last written in here. It has actually been half a year, but who is counting, right? I still published a few posts in the meantime – well a while ago last year -, but those were mostly scheduled texts. I am not sure if this is me getting back into the blogosphere, but for now I am leaving this tiny update of the past half a year.
I would say that the main reason for being away was that I did not have much time to actually fully write something and publish it here. I did have a little free time, but honestly, in a matter of days, I really lost interest in writing for this blog. The thing is, the past two semesters – yeah; perks of not having extended Christmas holidays until February is that we get to finish our lectures at the end of March – were absolutely exhausting, in so many levels but mostly psychologically, so the little free time I had was basically used to catch up with my family and friends back home – yap, still in ‘terras de sua majestade’ (i.e. London) – and to watch tv shows. I have continued to check (the usual) blogs, but the will to write never really came back. Maybe now it is the time, maybe not.
I have always had a problem in judging my academic years until I had every single final result for all my modules, so I am not really sure how well or not this first year of my Masters is going. So far everything has been in the Distinction range, so hopefully it will at least stay there, though the goal is to reach Merit. But apart from that, I think it has been a good first year. The students have not pissed me off – though I cannot say the same about the people I live with, bloody lousy freshers -, the professors have not pissed me off, neither have the modules that I was doing – one final 4000-word-essay and I will be done for this year -, so this is basically the perfect academic experience ever. And finally I did not have my (future) thesis supervisor just throw a bloody random dissertation theme at me. Quite the contrary actually. Not only the professor gave me different options to choose from, he even let me know that other two professors had collections of their own that I could use for my thesis. And oh my, those two collections. Without saying much, they are from two extremely well-known and important sites in the United Kingdom and Tanzania – so, no pressure at all if I end up doing a thesis on one of them. As I still have another academic year ahead of me, nothing is decided yet, but the perspectives for my thesis dissertation are way better than they were for the past two I have written.
One of the best parts of this Masters is that it is mostly practical. Obviously there will always be theory behind it, otherwise it would be a very shitty science what we are doing, but I have never had this much amount of practical modules before – well, except for my year in Geology at FCUL. It was very exciting but at the same time quite stressful because that meant we had a lot of extra work to do. Funny part is that most of us had such a filled first semester, that it seemed we were doing nothing in the second one. The more I see how different universities work, and how different their Archaeology curricula are, the more I sort of do not dislike the idea of an administrative position.
Being doing this Master as a part-time student, us being way far away from the richest periods of this century, and the fact that I am old enough to not depend entirely on my parents, meant it was time to find a part-time job. There are not that many part-time jobs that allow you to only work on specific days, so that whenever you have lectures you will not have to work. This basically means we are confined to work on retail. I am bloody grateful for the job that I have now, despite all the stress it has caused me. More than me being flexible, it is actually the managers that are quite flexible, which is more than great. I am not going to sugar coat it because most times it has been a nightmare to juggle my student and worker responsibilities. Even though I have only been working the minimum hours, most times it still meant I only had one free day during the week, and weekends off were frequently non-existent. This meant that the little free time I had was used to study, write my essays, and so forth. After a while it was easy to not have any will to write in here as I was mostly exhausted by the time I was free after dinner. And having this job meant that from October until now I only had two days of real holidays. Because I am working on retail and stores barely close – like really, we only close two days a year, Sunday Easter and Christmas Day -, and Christmas is our busiest time of the year, it meant no Christmas holidays at all, no New Years holidays at all, no going back home at all. This was bloody difficult to swallow because as students, no matter what, we are always too used to our weekends free, to our extensive holidays, and this was the moment that I basically realised that I am never getting that back again, even if I start working in academia. I guess it was about time to get into real adulthood. I am sorry but until you start working or until you have a family, you really do not have that many responsibilities. The life of a student is a blessing and a great privilege. Do not take it for granted. Adult responsibilities suck!
So basically these have been my last six months in London. It has not been pretty most of the time, but there is not much I can complain about. Or, I mean, I can complain but I cannot forget the privilege stool in which I am standing on top of. As I said, I do not know what this post really means, if I am coming back for real, if it will only be temporary. I guess we will see soon.