Mastered!

So you remember that dissertation that was kicking my butt a few months back? Well it turns out it was I who did the butt kicking! Yes, I was delighted to learn a couple of weeks ago that  I earned an “A” on the most important thing I have written to date. The piece was a work of non-fiction which provided a glimpse into the tumultuous time in my life when my newborn son fought valiently for his life and the gamut of emotions during that period. And now, he is 7 years old, an absolute joy, with a cluster of special needs ranging from hemiplegia (a form of cerebral palsy), speech delay, learning delay, and the odd seizure — but he is still here, still my shining star. He defied all the odds and provided the inspiration for me to master this Masters!

As you can imagine, a whole lot of tears and sleepless nights went into this degree and receiving such a great grade certainly made the journey worth it. Two days ago, the university officially awarded me my Master of Arts in Creative and Cultural Industries. I am beyond proud!

Next up, graduation on 18th September — what fun to wear that cap and gown one more time!

And no, I won’t stop here. There is indeed a Ph.D. on the horizon….  🙂

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I am not dead…

I have been on holiday. Ok, not really.

As much as I wish I could tell you that I have been on a sandy beach somewhere, soaking up UV rays and sipping on something fruity and very alcoholic, alas, tis not so.

In its final weeks, my MA dissertation soundly kicked my butt. I exerted every last ounce of mental, emotional, and physical energy into writing 20,000 words of the most important story I have ever told. Two bouts of bronchitis, one UTI, and a semi mental breakdown later, and I think (fingers crossed) I am finally on the mend. I have been celebrating by sleeping. Move over Rip van Winkle…

Now it’s time to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and get cracking on bright new things ahead. Coming up in the next few weeks is Zoie’s 2nd birthday and party and I have been busy planning away excitedly. I am also on the hunt for some work experience (better put this MA to some use right?) and I have grand plans for this blog as well!

Fun times ahead! So I’m back, and I really hope I can stay this time. 🙂

Me, mad? Never!

This morning a close friend said to me “you always seem angry” (or unhappy, or something of the sort, I can’t remember verbatim) and I remember feeling completely gobsmacked. A plethora of choice retorts instantly sprang to mind, none of them I can repeat here in this post… (maybe he had a point? Haha) My second reaction was one of defense. Who is at their best at 9am? I sure as hell am not, especially when the only place I want to be is back in my warm bed and not trudging up the hill toward my house, post school run.

My third reaction? Tears.

I felt wounded and, as the upset subsided, I sort of saw his point. I am a little stressed out these days. Ok, A LOT stressed out. Between trying to be supermom (school runs, parent/teacher meetings, morning assemblies, playgroups) and superstudent (yeah, that dissertation isn’t gonna write itself), I seem to have lost myself along the way. And somehow my sadness and stress has painted me as some kind of mad black woman. That isn’t to say I’m not trying. I really am trying to relax and have fun when I can.

These days I’m actually wearing a bit of makeup, buying cute things for my hair, and picking up the odd Glamour magazine. Last week I bought the most fabulous pair of electric blue suede high heels. That would cheer anyone up, hehe.

I think as moms we really can never underestimate the importance of “ME” time. Without it, it’s really easy to slip away into maternal oblivion.  Next on my agenda is a girlie weekend, methinks.

Anything to avoid being “that angry girl”. And if my friend says that again, I might punch him.

Gently. 🙂

Critical theory, political economy, and Marxism, oh my!

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post but it made me laugh when all I want to do is pull my hair out...

 

“What does a ‘political economy’ approach to study of the Creative and Cultural Industries involve?  What are its advantages and disadvantages?”   (word limit: 5,000)

What, I ask you, did I do to deserve such punishment? Political what now? I’m not even sure if I am reading English, though it is far better than one of the alternatives:  “What is cultural hegemony?  Is it ubiquitous and insurmountable?” Huh?

I’ll tell you what is insurmountable — this essay! I am up to my eyeballs in textbooks grappling with the delicate issues of critical theory and analysis in relation to the cultural industries, economies, and all sorts a fancy crap that is going way over my little writer’s head. I write stories. I try to avoid politics and complicated theoretical stuff at all costs. Sigh.

When I was in high school I loved the sciences. I adored balancing chemical equations and had a perverse affinity for the Periodic Table. I could tell you all about the process of osmosis and enjoyed rolling “deoxyribonucleic acid” off my tongue. Science I can handle. English Literature I can handle. Heck, I’m not even too bad at math…

But this? Ideological hocus pocus? It surpasses me. Just… can’t… get it.

And it isn’t for lack of trying — I keep reading and reading and the more I read, the dumber I feel! Lol. It is truly a cruel joke.

So I’ve emailed the tutor for a desperate sit down session so that I can somehow grasp these utterly foreign concepts. I have a deadline on the 23rd and all I have so far is a stark blank Word document and a splitting headache.

Anyone out there in cyberworld have a clue about any of this?? Honestly, I can’t be the only one mystified by this… can I?

I Write at 2am

My internal clock is out of whack. Since the holidays, the sun has begun to rise and the birds have commenced their incessant chirping before my tired head has even hit the pillow. Even then I only sleep due to sheer exhaustion. In the daytime I rise reluctantly and zombie-like from fitful 4-hour slumbers… I must find a better way.

These past few days my feelings have been flitting between inner turmoil, quiet contentment, resignation, mild despair, acceptance, resentment, confusion, motivation, lack of motivation, excitement, disappointment, and generally feeling like crap. There must be a pill to fix that.

But the main thread of my tumultuous thinking is that I am feeling the squeeze of time. Counting down the days when I have to return to the “real” world and my life as a working mother. There is so much yet that I want to accomplish. So much to do, so little time…

I’ll admit it — I love being a stay at home mom. I relish the chance to spend as much quality time as I can with my kids. But reality has been slowly sinking in that soon I will have to return to the rat race once I finish this MA. There REALLY has to be a better way.

My goal for 2012 is to somehow crack the elusive work-life balance for my family. I have a slew of plans bouncing around in my head — little plots of how to take over the world  combine being a mom and having a career I absolutely love (because life is too short to do something you hate just for the money).

I suppose the next step will be to implement my strategies on how to achieve my goals. So much easier said than done.

In the meantime, I guess I better grab some sleep before the damn birds start up again.