Last week, I moved into my official office for my first year of a Master’s degree in English literature at Rhodes University. It is a narrow room on the top floor. The walls are not that clean, the carpet is dusty and the furniture is a bit banged up, but I was – and remain – ridiculously excited to have my first office.
I tend to get excited about such things. I’m pretty sure I also got inordinately excited about my first bookcase, pretty notebook and (most definitely) my first laptop. Last year I got a pigeonhole in the department. I checked it every day. Having now moved up a rung from Honours student to Master’s candidate, I officially have my own little space behind a locked door, If I had secrets, I could hide them there.
Disappointingly, I don’t have many secrets. I am merely an excitable and at times rather humiliatingly starry-eyed individual, whose imagination outstrips her capacity for intrigue.
However, I do hope that the happenings of this year will be interesting and even informative for others in the same boat – that is, others starting on the (incredibly) intimidating task of obtaining a Master’s degree. Particularly, I feel that a Master’s in English literature is something of a special situation. Whereas a sociologist or anthropologist or even a historian might conduct interviews and case studies and employ all manner of exciting methods (i.e. they have contact with the outside world), literature students basically read and write (dream job, if there ever was one for me). I have already been warned about the loneliness and frustration that comes with such a solipsistic endeavour, and I guess I’m hoping this blog will facilitate some engagement with that outside world I rather easily and casually ignore.
Thus, with this great, momentous occasion of inhabiting an office, I decided to start a blog. Partly for the reasons above, partly because I felt the need to try and write again on a regular basis and partly because I felt like some documentation was in order. I have a terrible track record with diaries and journals, so I’m hoping the public nature of this blog will enforce some accountability.
Also, having survived a year of tutoring first year English students, and being lined up to resume this position, I feel I need a space to vent and share the frustrations I will inevitably encounter. There might even be some funny malapropisms in it, if last year is anything to judge by (railing against the “big fat business typhoon” is still my favourite one).
Thus, in a nutshell, this blog will contain updates on my Master’s progress, the experience of actually being a Master’s student, rants about tutoring (perhaps some tips and things I found useful, but probably mostly rants), general happenings and observations and then the compulsory wildcard element of anything I find interesting.
If there are other Master’s or any type of students out there (or anyone really) who happen to stumble upon this blog, please leave me a comment or let my know how you’re handling things. As soon as my boyfriend allows me the freedom to browse the internet again (i.e. when he stops playing World of Tanks and some of our meagre bandwidth is freed up) I shall endeavour to find other blogs that are something like mine. Thus far the search has been unsuccessful, but I am really trying to reach out here. Really, I am.