katernater: (actor • (sheen))
Good news! Life-changing news! Well, potentially-postal-code-altering news, anyway. My boss poked his head into my office at the end of the day to ask if I was still interested in pursuing further graduate work in TESOL. I said yes, I absolutely was, and he told me to check out this program in Vermont, and that there could be an opportunity for me to do a summer internship that would be partially, if not fully, paid for by INTERLINK! So I might be spending the summer on the East Coast! 'Anyone living out there want to take me to a clam bake? I've always wanted to go to a clam bake. Essentially, since I already have my TESOL certification, I'd be eligible for an accelerated program of study. If things work out, I'll have another Master's degree in as little as two summers!

I'm going to do some digging into the program before I decide for sure and, of course, I have to consider my financial situation before I make any big decisions. But I'm really excited about this. I think it would be quite the adventure, and if the opportunity is there, why shouldn't I take advantage of it?

I also had way too much fun today plotting RP fodder with [livejournal.com profile] nerdish. It feels so good to be creative again!
katernater: (doctor who • (reboot))
When I saw the new "spring" banner across the top of the LJ homepage, I thought for a second that my retinas had reversed. Yikes.

Today was the last day of class. I only actually had to meet with my RW students because the entire program went to a presentation during the CS block. It was more emotional than I thought it would be. I baked cookies for the class to eat while we watched the movie, and before we got started I told them that I appreciated everything they'd done this term and how hard they'd worked. I told them that every student and every class was special, but that they were going to stick with me for a long time; they were, after all, the first group of students I'd ever really taught, and I learned just as much from them (if not more) than they did from me. I'm fortunate that I'll see most of them progress through the program over the next year, so "goodbye" was not really goodbye, but it was the last time I was going to be in a class with those students and that dynamic. It felt really good. Bittersweet, but really good.

I've finished all of my end-of-term paperwork and grading, so all that's left for me to do is attend graduation tomorrow and maybe sit down with my boss to discuss how the term went. After that, I'll be heading back to Valpo, then to Fort Wayne, for some much-needed vacation time.

Also, I got my diploma in the mail today. It's...smaller than I thought it would be. (Just did some research online: apparently all diplomas, excepting those given to graduates of law and medical schools, are 8.5"x11".) I will just have to buy a spectacularly large frame to make the $50k I paid for it seem worth it.
katernater: (sherlock • (cocky))
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Posting this here because, while it's unlikely I'll spring for the non-watermarked versions, this is the only visual evidence I have that I actually got across the stage on Sunday. I'm wearing Sigma Tau Delta honor cords and my hood (which will be draped over my shoulders five seconds after this shot is taken) is draped over my left arm. I don't remember the guy whose hand I'm shaking. Apparently he's a part of the English Department, but I've never seen him before. I'm not going to lie and tell you that the hats and fancy robes aren't part of the reason I want to go on to get my doctorate.

I have my Japanese final at 10:30 tomorrow morning. After that, I'm officially done with graduate school. I'm going round to my graduate project supervisor's office to say goodbye and I'll be back after the first of the year to pick up my diploma, but that's pretty much it. I feel more "grown up" now than I ever have before.

I should see a doctor about that.

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katernater: (actor • (pleased))
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Commencement was this afternoon. My parents drove two hours through near-blizzard conditions to get here and see me walk. I don't remember much of the ceremony, only that I felt incredibly grateful to be there. (Somebody grabbed the mic in the middle of the conferring of degrees to propose to his girlfriend!) Mom and dad are on their way back to town now (mom has to be back for work before nine o'clock) and I'm pretty much buttoned up in the apartment for the rest of the night.

I feel...accomplished. Proud. Still nervous about the future, but happy for the experiences I've been able to have while getting my master's degree.

Studying for finals begins tomorrow. Eep!
katernater: (doctor who • (reboot))
So tired. Todd and I were up until about six this morning drinking wine and watching S2 episodes of House. We both caved and gave each other one part of the other's Christmas present. Todd got me Michael Moorcock's The Coming of the Terraphiles and I got him a Bender keychain. (I will save the rest of his presents for Christmas, I will.) At one point I remember the conversation getting very existential -- the meaning of life, thoughts about heaven and what happens to us after we die -- but one of us made a poop joke and we were back on track. Nights like that are awesome. :)

Weekend To-Do List:

SATURDAY:
- Clean apartment before parents arrive on Sunday
- Call parents to confirm arrival/departure plans
- Do a load of laundry
- Buy soda and scotch tape
- Wrap Christmas presents
- Finish That One Part of [livejournal.com profile] another_myself's Birthristmas box
- Make a final exam study plan for Japanese
- E-mail mailing address to BBF / Follow up with Andrew, re: the VIC

SUNDAY:
- Graduation!
- Begin studying for Japanese final

Grateful.

Dec. 9th, 2010 02:48 pm
katernater: (doctor who • (snowfall))
Oh man, I really didn't expect it to be this emotional.

I mean, okay, yeah, today was my last official day of classes and I'm graduating on Sunday and everything, but I don't think the reality of being done really set in until just a couple of minutes ago, when I sent an e-mail to my TESOL adviser thanking her for everything she's done for me during my time at Valpo. I've told this story a thousand times, but I got into the TESOL certificate program because I was trying to avoid taking another class. It was complete chance that I came to love it as much as I do. And my adviser has been there for me every step of the way, whether it's critiquing my lesson plans, getting me the job at the VIC, or just being there to listen and relate when a lesson crashes or I have anxieties about being an okay teacher. Sending that e-mail (which got to be way more "cue the emotional guitar riff" than I originally intended) was kind of like acknowledging that, "Yep, it's over, you've got your degree -- now go out and do something good with it."

There's this feeling in my chest and it's either sadness or happiness or both, and I am just so grateful to have been given this chance, to have met these people, and to be aware of just how lucky I am to have been a part of it all.
katernater: (misc • (groan))
So, we start every Japanese class by saying the month, date, and day of the week out loud. I still haven't gotten the hang of Japanese numbers yet (yes, I know I have a final next week, shut up), so I have this handy little chart of Japanese numbers from the book store, which I refer to a couple of minutes before each class begins. Today I was all set to answer that it was the 4th of December when I looked at my phone and was surprised to discover that it was actually the 7th. I guess I've been living under the assumption that the last three days were a consecutive string of December 4ths.

I really need to get out of here.

In other news, last night's episode of Castle was wonderful and I had fun texting [livejournal.com profile] austen throughout. An OOM will surely follow. :D

Now I'm off to my final ESL class for the semester, where I will eat free cupcakes and try to forget that my Japanese final is cumulative. D:
katernater: (doctor who • (reading))
I just finished writing my second-to-last paper of the semester and it went better than the one I tried writing at the beginning of the week. I was more into the topic this time (Abbie Hoffman, the Yippies, and the 1968 Democratic National Convention) but, overall, I think I'm done with the counterculture. I used to think that I would have had fun participating in the Hippie movement -- all that free love and those questionable fashion statements -- but after studying them for a semester, I wonder how any of them made it out of the '60s in one piece. That goes for most of the other counterculture movements of the time, too: you're either chopping wood so you don't freeze to death during winters at the commune, or you're chaining yourself to a tank and screaming obscenities at a government that won't let you carry your stash around in your pocket. Don't get me wrong, the Sixties were a critical period in American history and the counterculture was an incredible machine for change and social justice, but it seems to me that a lot of the so-called revolutionaries of the period were more interested in instant gratification and media attention than in long-term commitments to change. That's not any different than today, I suppose, with all the radio and television pundits doing their saber rattling. The rest of us are just trying to survive the day-to-day battles.

I still maintain that, if I were to disengage completely from mainstream society that I would want to do it on a lobster boat up in Maine. Or tending alpacas in South America.

BECAUSE SOMEDAY, SOMETHING LIKE THIS MIGHT HAPPEN:

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:DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
katernater: (s&a • (notes))
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I cannot get over Slings & Arrows and how amazingly relevant to my life it is right now.

So, wrapping up the final semester, the last stand, the end product. After a week of break I convinced myself that it would be a good idea to get ahead of the curve where final papers were concerned and that a simple 3-4 pager would be a nice way to ease back into the swing of things. I don't know if it was the break, that I'm rusty writing papers, or the fact that I really don't have anything to say about how Hippies changed the face of postwar America, but no matter how hard I tried, I had absolutely no intellectual drive to write this paper today. I went through several drafts (one of which tried to connect Hippies to the fall of the Soviet Union through the music of the Beatles) before ending up with three full pages and a squeaker of a fourth. All absolute rubbish. The paper's due on Thursday, which gives me a couple of days to revise and edit, but I hate revising and editing. I don't like to dick around with a paper after the fact; I like to get it all done at once with minimal or no changes. (This is why I will probably never finish writing a novel. I'd have to work for two years straight.) Okay, so it's not total rubbish. Most of it is good, and I more or less stuck to the prompt. But, as a writer, turning in something that I don't feel completely great about is very disquieting.

FACT: I wear a special hat when I take Calloway outside. It's big, fluffy, and has those faux-fur-lined earflaps ("It's Holden Caulfield's 'killin' hat'," Todd says) and it keeps me warm when I have to stand there waiting for Calloway to do his business. So, it's like, 6:45 this morning and I've only just stumbled out of bed and into a pair of shoes. I've got Calloway on the leash and the hat lopsided on my head and I'm really feeling the whole 'it's 6:45 in the morning' thing and this guy comes out of the apartment building behind me on his way to work. 'Sees me standing there in my pajamas, a squatting dog at my feet and a killin' hat on my head and says, pleasant as you please, "Like the hat." I did not know then what I know now: that that compliment was going to be the obscure highlight of my entire day. (And I will forever associate it with my dog having a bowel movement.)

Okay. Homework's done. Gonna' read a little more of The Hot Zone before bed.
katernater: (actor • (cérébral))
Dogsitting for my parents this week. Road Trip Dog is tired after a long day of road trippin':

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I'm about to head off to my last lesson planning session for the semester. Two weeks of classes, then a week of finals and it's all over. 'Just need to put my head down and charge on through to the end.
katernater: (Default)
So, Tumblr has practically exploded the last couple of days with leaks from the Doctor Who Series 5 "Meanwhile, Inside the TARDIS..." bits and I have had to practically bite both of my thumbs off to keep from watching them, as my DVDs arrive on Tuesday and I am a big proponent of delaying any kind of personal pleasure for as long as possible. Or, at least until Tuesday. At the same time, I'm just like, "AUUGH, MATT SMITH, YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY KNOW WHAT YOUR CHARMINGLY IRREGULAR FACE DOES TO ME."

Galloping toward the end of the year, and there's still so much to do. Next Thursday we can order our graduation/commencement gear, which for Masters degree students includes a cap, gown, tassel, and hood. Commencement for December graduates will take place here, and I've been told that it will be all done up for Christmas which, honestly, is almost as exciting as getting the degree itself. It's been a rough semester. Well, not rough, but busy, and I've finally reached the point where I'm all, "Yeah, yeah, I've had just about enough of this school thing, let's get this over with." I still have no idea what I'm going to do after graduation. And I'm starting to be okay with that. I'll have a little money left over after graduation to pay rent and bills, so if I don't fall right into a job on January 1st, it's no real worry. I'll just get out there, network, glad-hand, and do my best. Besides, anything that I get is likely to be temporary anyway: Todd has another year of school left and after that, I'd really like to go overseas to teach. If not overseas, then definitely somewhere "new" in the continental United States. I am twenty-seven, have great ambition and relatively few things tying me down to one spot. Why not go out and see a bit of the world while I still have the energy?

I just finished watching Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story and he had this great line about having to believe that you can do something before you can actually do it -- "you have to believe that you can be a comedian before you can be a comedian, you have to believe you can be an astronaut before you can be an astronaut" -- and I was sitting there, thinking, "at this point, I really want to believe that I can pay my bills after I graduate." And then I thought, "well, that's a terrifically idiotic thing to believe in." And I started thinking that maybe I've got it all backwards: I can't keep thinking about life in terms of what it takes to survive life. Sure, making sure that you have food and shelter and clothes is very important, but if you're only worried about how you're going to get a job to make your next car payment, well, what kind of a life is that? I want to write. I want to teach. I want to travel and learn more about other cultures, and meet people, and help people. I've got to start believing in my ability to do those things, rather than all the stupid, myopic details that clutter up the rest of life.

But, just to be reasonable: paying the rent and being able to buy groceries are also important objectives. I slept with a beanie on my head last night because I'm a stickler about not turning on the heat until the middle of November. Frugality and self-esteem. These are a couple of the things I'm currently working on.
katernater: (house • (administrator))
In the words of [livejournal.com profile] affablestranger, things proceed apace. I have not been as active on LJ as in the past (mostly because of schedules, and because Tumblr offers immediate Web-based gratification), but I have been keeping up with my friends page and my thoughts are with those of you who are going through difficult and/or trying times in your own lives.

The last few weeks have been, well, an emotional fencing match, I suppose. I've been very busy with my last semester of graduate school, trying to put things into place following graduation (which, at the end of this month, will be less than two months away) and trying to spend as much time as possible doing things to be kind to myself. Even so, certain things slip through the cracks -- updating LJ for one -- and I've come down with the first symptoms of my bi-annual cold, which makes everything a little more difficult.

I've been more than a little introspective since I went home the last time. I guess it's a combination of an upcoming birthday (which I keep forgetting about), and the fact that so many other things are coming to an end. The semester, my graduate work, the chance to use "continuing my education" as a legitimate excuse to avoid joining the real world again. I know I've said it before, but getting a Master's degree was sort of, you know, the big thing, the one plan, I had for my early adult life. Beyond that, I never really planned for any real...career. I enjoy teaching ESL more than I ever thought I would, and it would ideal if I could teach after graduation. Outside of that? I'm really not sure. I was having a conversation with an old college friend this weekend, and we both wondered the same thing -- at what point in your adult life are you supposed to be the person you'll be for the rest of your life? You know, when you've sort of settled into who you are, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. There are so many times when I feel like I'm just pretending at this whole "adult responsibility" thing; like, at any moment, someone's going to come along and call me out on the fact that I have no real clue as to where to go from here.

It's like, when I'm teaching, I'm thinking, is this it? Is this what I'm supposed to be? It feels good. But is there something else? Or when I'm writing, or discussing books, or talking about traveling to other countries, there's always a part of me that's attempting to consolidate all of those interests into something -- a job, a mission -- that can sustain me for the next forty years. Everything was charted out for me until after graduate school. Now, with the big, wide world out there, I have no more excuses. I've got to join. Make a contribution. Sometimes I'm afraid that being a student will be the only thing I'll ever by any good at.

Ridiculous, right? There's a whole world out there, waiting for me. I know enough to get by (or, at least make it appear that I do) and there are so many things that I am looking forward to doing while I am young. I just wish some of this indecision would go away, so I can get on with it.
katernater: (misc • (hobbits))
Today I had one of those rare moments when I was able to articulate everything that I needed to say, the moment I needed to say it. This is unique for me. While I like words and have a general idea about the order in which they should go, I am sometimes flustered by one-on-one conversations that require me to think quickly about how my answers will affect the immediate future. And my sanity. But today, in my meeting with the director of the VIC, I was able to answer quickly and decisively. Anyway, long story short: from now until the end of the year, I will be acting in an advisory capacity for the International Center. With my schedule, I cannot commit to a full-time position; or even part-time. However, I can certainly be available to the folks at the International Center and put them in contact with other VU students who will be able to conduct ESL classes. After graduation, the field is wide open. If the International Center is able to offer a full-time director position, then I'll gladly accept. But right now my involvement must be limited. So, yeah, the meeting went well. I'm happy with my role.

Thanks for all of the positive thoughts and support, you guys. I really appreciate it.

Student teaching starts tomorrow! I'm so excited!
katernater: (castle • (intrigue))
First. Somebody vidded clips from the first series of Sherlock to the tune of "I'll Make A Man Out of You" from Mulan. Fandom, when not crazy, can be a magical, magical place. ♥

Second. I think that this is quite possibly one of the busiest semesters I've ever had. I begin student teaching on Thursday. I will be collaborative teaching with another student from my program, and we've been assigned a class of seven Chinese undergraduates. Part of last week and this have/will be spent coming up with icebreaker activities and a needs analysis; it makes sense that we find out what they want to learn/are currently struggling with before we plot out any extensive lesson plans. I'm excited and quite a bit nervous. The atmosphere is meant to be relaxed -- these kids are coming in voluntarily; they want to improve their skills -- and my partner and I are not expected to keep formal grades. Still. I'm so fortunate in that my practicum adviser makes herself available to field questions/give suggestions pretty much whenever we need her. I really appreciate having that support system, especially my first time out. I have a follow-up meeting at the VIC on Wednesday. I will prepare a rough strategy for where I think the Center is capable of going, but I have decided not to exhaust myself with preparations. I honestly think that this is going to be a situation where I have to sit down with this guy and tell him that, based on the parameters he's given, his expectations for a new ESL program are just not practical. I'll be happy to suggest ways in which I think the program could be expanded and initialized. Whether or not those plans end up including me remains to be seen.

Third. I'm so happy with how my first scarf is turning out. You can't tell from the picture, but the read-out on that tape measure is a little more than two-and-a-half feet. It's not the prettiest thing, sure, but it's mine and I made it and I'm for sure going to wear it.

Fourth. MY SHOWS ARE BACK TONIGHT. Todd and I are going out for reuben sandwiches when he gets back from class. He also suggested we try to write a murder-mystery novel while we're at it. I told him that, while I'd love to write a novel, handcuffing him to the car would probably be more feasible. (Gah. Just look at how gorgeous they are. I can't even deal.)
katernater: (actress • (gillian))
I was pretty tired for most of yesterday afternoon and wanted to take a nap, but at some point I'd crossed over that cusp in the middle of the day when taking a nap is appropriate and when it pretty much makes you look like a manic depressive. So I ran some menial errands and came home with a pair of knitting needles and a skein of pretty green yarn. I was a knitter in college (unsuccessful), and I remember it being kind of therapeutic. When I'm under stress, my OCD tends to spike, and I end up losing sleep because I can't stop thinking about the direction of the pile on the living room carpet, or whether or not every bag of chips in the pantry has a clawclip to keep it from going stale. Knitting is something that's repetitive enough to assuage that part of my brain. Plus, I can listen to my Preston-Child audiobooks while I knit. I am entirely self-contained. It's nice.

There is still a great sense of ambiguity concerning my place at the International Center. I sent an e-mail earlier this week, asking for clarification of the position (as well as whether or not I would be compensated for my work in the pre-planning stages), and got a very vague "that's what we're going to discuss at the Sept. 22 meeting" answer in return. At this point, it seems like they are looking for someone willing to be paid part-time wages for a full time commitment. That is not going to work for me. I will remain open to the meeting, and will be happy to make suggestions about the direction of future ESL programs but, right now, I simply cannot balance a full-time commitment to school and to a job for which there seems to be very little structure. There's a job fair at the university tomorrow. In preparation, I printed off about twenty copies of my résumé. I'm going to go, gladhand, and give my résumé to as many prospective employers as possible. I would really like to target academic positions in and around the Valparaiso area, but my degree is flexible enough as to allow me to work in a number of different areas without too much difficulty. I'm actually pretty optimistic about the job fair. Even if the job at the International Center does not work out, at least I know that I am out there, trying.

iTunes is spinning some really great seasonally-appropriate stuff for me today.
katernater: (actor • (goode))
The midway point for [livejournal.com profile] sherlockfest is galloping closer and closer, and I am sitting on a mostly-empty playlist for my contribution; do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with a fanmix for The Hound of the Baskervilles? Pretty darn heck hard. At this point I'm pretty much tossing in anything that has even a whiff of the moor. I'm sure that it will all gel at some point, but I probably shouldn't have signed up for a fanmix challenge when my driving motivation to do so was because I had already designed the cover art in my head. (It's really cool, you guys.)

Kind of a slow start to the week. I felt like I was running in a different timezone for most of the day; constantly a few hours behind the rest of the world. I met with my professor and we finally think we've ironed out the payment schedule for my last semester of graduate research. The graduate department only sanctions students for three semesters of guaranteed paid work, so we have circumvented the system and gone through the English Department instead. (Not that any of you really give a whoop where my paycheck comes from; I can't believe I'm padding out a journal entry with red tape. I'm twenty-six, my life should be more interesting than this.) I'm still on the fence about the job at the International Center. I need to e-mail that guy tomorrow and ask for a firmer set of parameters. I mean, ten to twelve hours of work per week will not be enough time to launch a full-scale, community-wide ESL program. It just won't. And, not to sound cheap, but if I am going to devote myself to this, I want to make sure that I am compensated for my time. So far, the Center has not provided any kind of verifying paperwork as to a payment schedule or, really, anything that resembles an outline for the position. I'M SORRY. THIS IS GETTING BORING AGAIN. I tried coming up with a metaphor that made it sound more interesting, but the only thing I could come up with was a stripper metaphor -- "for that amount of money you can get the lap dance, but not the happy ending" -- and those are words which should never be written in the same paragraph as Boss and My.

We'll see how it all goes.
katernater: (sherlock • (motto))
I got the job!

Well, I think I did; the fellow I interviewed with could not have been any older than me (he looked like a bunch of peachfuzz with a face) and while he did not come right out and say "Miss Wilkening, we're going to give you the job," he did pretty much imply I was the only person he was considering for the position. We also set another meeting for later on in the month, at which time I will lay out my vision for the ESL program: you know, how I plan on strengthening community ties, how I will organize classes, with whom I will collaborate. It could be a test, but it's one I plan on passing. Also, bit of disappointing news: it is not, as I had thought, a full-time, salaried position. I will be working as an independent contractor (read: "we don't have enough funding to pay you a salary or provide health benefits"), 10-12 hours a week. But you know what? That's fine. At this point, I could not possibly hold down a full-time job and complete my degree. This part-time position will provide me with ample experience, and will add quite a nice line to my résumé when I do begin the hunt for a full-time job.

I feel sort of silly now, getting all worked up over something that turned out all right in the end. Thank you, again, for all of your support. It really helped get me through this week.

Now that that's all over, I can get on with things.

Oh, konban wa, Japanese. I believe you and I will be spending the evening together.

So pure.

Aug. 25th, 2010 07:55 pm
katernater: (house • (goofy))
As part of my final semester of graduate school, I continue to work with one of my professors to collect, abstract, and decipher research materials about, well, pretty much anything she's interested in. She's currently working on a pair of English plays from the Early Modern period, and how they treat concepts of female virginity and chastity. As a result, most of the books that I receive from interlibrary loan have some variation of the word "hymen" or "virginity" in the titles, which prompts a lot of raised eyebrows from the library staff (if they ever ask, I'm going to tell them I've got a "big weekend" planned). Anyway, so I'm reading all of this stuff, and the kinds of tests that have historically been done to prove/disprove female virginity are a joke. Here are some of my favourites:

In tractate Kethuboth [part of the Talmud], it is recorded that Rabbi Gamaliel performed a virginity test, calling for "two handmaids, one who is a virgin and who had intercourse with a man." The two women were placed upon a cask of wine. The Rabbi, we are told, was able to smell the fumes of the wine through he mouth of the nonvirgin; however, the wine was undetectable on the breath of the virgin.


The 13th century physician Guilielmus de Saliceto claimed that a virgin can be identified because she "urinates with a subtle hiss," while still other scholars and physicians declared that the urine of virgins was "clear and lucid, sometimes white, sometimes sparkling."


In De secretic mulierum, a prescribed test for determining the purity of a woman was to "grind up the flowers of a lily and the yellow particles in between the flowers, and give her this substance to eat. If she is corrupt, she will urinate immediately."


You guys, I can't even.

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katernater: (Default)
People. Ugh. The university just launched a new branding campaign and people are already backseat-designing: "I don't like the new logo; it doesn't fit a 150-year-old university;" "I hate the drop-down menu, it sucks;" "the non-serif font looks cheap;" "So now we're a community college? Cheap." All right, fine. I get it. You don't like the new look. I'm not completely convinced of it, either, but that's the reason I'm going to the brand identity launch presentation tomorrow afternoon. I'm sure that they spent a lot of money to research new brand standards (I would know; I used to work for the company that outlined the university's brand standards) and that they have a legitimate reason for making these changes. But for you to sit there and just offhandedly snark that the whole university is going down the tubes -- because of a logo -- is out of line. If you're so bent out of shape about the whole thing, why don't you go to the Convocation presentation? And don't tell me that you won't go because you're "no longer a student." By saying that, I assume you think that, because you've graduated, you don't have to give a damn anymore. So why complain?

Here was my response to the criticism (which got a little longer than I had intended):

I'm sure they didn't just hire some yokel off the street to do their brand identity. Speaking as someone who used to work for an advertising/design agency (and whose client actually used to BE Valparaiso University), I can confidently say that the higher-ups likely laid down a lot of cash to research new brand standards.

And, while you may not agree with the decisions that were made, I think that the new brand standards DO show some consistency. I was speaking to a faculty member about the new brand standards the other day. She told me that, before the change, the university did not put a limit on how individual departments could use the university logo. That meant that the English Department could do whatever they wanted with the brand standard, while the Physics Department could do something completely different. There were, she told me, approximately 70 different logos floating around campus. That is not staying consistent with brand standards. At maximum, there are now three new logos for use by the university. The Crusader has also been modified, to be "less cartoonish."

I think this is a giant step forward for Valparaiso, and for the image they want to present to the public and to potential students. I plan on attending the Convocation presentation tomorrow. I think it's too soon to say that the entire design sucks, before we've actually had a chance to hear the university's rationale for changing it.


I'm sorry. I know I'm not working in advertising anymore, but FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
katernater: (misc • (teatime))
Yesterday was "Big-Decision-About-End-of-Degree-Scheduling Day" here in our apartment. After reviewing my schedule for my final term in graduate school, I started to get a sinking feeling about whether or not I was going to be able to handle working on an independent study project while balancing my other courses. In addition to the independent study, I'd need to take three other classes, plus reserve a block of time to student teach for the last part of my TESOL certificate -- all to meet the requirements of full-time financial aid. I discussed it with Todd. I told him I was apprehensive to take on that kind of a courseload, especially during my last semester. I felt that I would be spreading myself too thin (something I have a habit of doing) and that I was worried that my heavy involvement with the independent study project -- something I decided to do on a whim, really -- would have a negative effect on how much time I could dedicate to my student teaching (which is, really, the only requirement left for me before I graduate).

In the end, while it would be great to participate in an independent study program (and I had a really terrific idea for one, too), I have decided not to do it. I know that I would be capable of making it all work -- but not at the expense of my sanity. I really feel like I should be able to balance everything, and I am kind of disappointed in myself for making such a big deal about it, then having it pretty much fizzle before it started. But, really, I think this is the better option for me. I'll be taking a full-time courseload (nine hours), which qualifies me for the financial aid that I need to get through the rest of the year. I switched out my Introduction to Hebrew language class for one in Introductory Japanese (which will come in very handy if Todd and I decide to teach in Asia next year), and I've got Beats and Hippies (we'll be reading Kerouac!), plus the ESL teaching. I think that's plenty. Plus, when I think about the upcoming semester, it doesn't make me want to curl up in a corner and habitually pull out small tufts of my own hair.

Which is, I suppose, the best that any graduate student can ask for.

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December 2011

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