Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Oddly irritated

Not my day today. I started out really tired in the morning after a night not so well slept. I think my stress levels are getting to the point where my sleep is beginning to suffer -that and the fact that I feel like my temperature is a bit high is confirming my diagnosis. Stress, stress, stress.

I can't wait I get the history course going. At the moment I'm basically coming up with all these dreadful scenarios of wise-cracking kids running me over after reading the required researches six, seven times whereas I'll be lucky if I have time to go through them twice. Aagh. I'm almost a friggin' MA already and I'm scared of some kids who want to get into the University?? I so seriously need the course to begin so I can prove to myself again that I might actually be qualified to teach them...

Today I prepared for Monday's class, which will be on the Western view over the African scenery. You know, how the tropic is a mix of fantasy and colonialistic ideas, how the white man had to conquer the wild nature by shooting at everything and posing next to the dead animals. All a part of the colonialistic tradition and Western view. I think the research is really pretty interesting and easy to grasp (apart from a few odd bits where I think the ideas have been worded out really badly), but as such I'm not quite sure what the students will want to ask about it. What should I be prepared for? Well, at the moment I'm prepared for lots and lots of essays for them to write as rehearsals. Those should keep them busy and processing everything they need to know.

It's going to be a bit tougher with the research on diseases. It covers such a long stretch of history (and pre-history!) that it's going to be a challenge to teach it all in only 9 hours. Sounds like plenty of time, doesn't it? It's really not. I think I'm going to be scurrying like a little furry critter to get everything done in time. The students will need time to write essays, we'll need time to discuss everything, for them to get feedback... Teaching sure is one of those jobs where you really have to work for your salary.

But this is all "bubbling under" stuff. The more acute irritation is the result of... the Finnish dialects. I had the exam today and it just felt like I had forgotten everything I had ever heard about the subject. My brain just doesn't think like a linguist. It thinks like a historian, which means big pictures and such. I just cannot remember which representations of the ts are used in all the Western dialects. I can remember two (possibly three), just because I happen to be a native speaker of the Southwestern dialect. So I know I say "mettä" and "mettään" or "metässä" instead of "metsä" / "metsään" / "metsässä", but somehow I think that doesn't quite cover it. I think I may have to go and take the exam again next week. If, for some wildly strange reason I pass the exam this time around, it sure won't be because I knew what I was doing...

So I'm irritated for forgetting the exam and therefore not having enough time to study for it, I'm irritated because the exam was actually about the lectures, which were held about half a year ago, I'm irritated because I had to borrow someone else's notes (I was working in Nousiainen for the most part of the course in the fall) and couldn't understand half of them... Excuses are the lamest thing in the world, but somehow they comfort me and make me feel less like a total idiot when it comes to the details of my own language. Aagh. Stupid me.

Then again, I might not be a complete disaster after all. Look at the result of this mythological goddess test. You know, I do carry the ankh around my neck almost all the time nowadays and besides, I think the sistrums sound nice and mystical. :)
Indeed, you are 75% erudite, 70% sensual, 50% martial, and 33% saturnine.
This Egyptian
supreme Goddess is certainly the most influential deity on subsequent
cultures. She was the ideal figure of womanhood, usually compared with
the Greek Goddess Demeter or her Roman version, Ceres.

Isis was one element of a Holy Trinity, the remaining two figures being her brother and husband Osiris and their heroic son Horus. She was the Goddess of Magic for her brilliance, as well as the Goddess of Love because of her tenacious devotion.

She is often shown with wings, curving to caress coffins and sarcophagi
of many a king. In certain papyri she is shown with her falcon wing
headdress, covering her ears. One of her sacred symbols is the sistrum,
a musical instrument that was believed to ward off evil spirits. Isis'
sistrum was carved bearing the image of a cat and was representative of
the Moon.

Isis was the High Priestess and an omnipotent magician as well as the only being ever to discover the secret name of Ra.
She invariably carries the ankh, the symbol for eternal life. Her name
is, by the rules of numerology, adding up to the number “2” and she
just so happens to be depicted on the tarot card “Key 2 – The High

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 51% on erudite
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You scored higher than 17% on sensual
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You scored higher than 48% on martial
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You scored higher than 13% on saturnine
Link: The Mythological Goddess Test written by Nitsuki on Ok Cupid


Tigerlily said...

Your class sounds so interesting to me! Stressful, yes...but, taking the plunge will be a good way to figure out if teaching is truly what you want to pursue, or not. I'm envious! I'm so far away from that point. Still stuck in classes, no thesis yet. I'm having trouble narrowing my interests down.

Anyway...good luck with the stress levels!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think you'll need this and I don't even know if you would find it interesting, but the thing you wrote about Africa just made me think of an interesting study about Africa that is being made at Åbo Akademi University. There was an article about it in the latest issue of Meddelanden från Åbo Akademi.

And then I just can't keep from commenting the thing you wrote about historians' brains thinking in big pictures. As a geologist (well, former anyway) I've always found it amusing when historians and other "people researchers" talk about the big picture and mean things that stretch over thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years. When we geologists of course know that the real big picture is something that stretches over millions of years. (And astronomers probably sneer at us geologists with our limited visions.) ;)
Yes, I know I'm just being a teasing smartass. :)

As a sucker for tests I also took the goddess test and found my self to be Isis, too (but I don't like cats and 2 is not my number and...). I'm 70% erudite (higher than 23% of my gender and age), 70% sensual (30%), 37% martial (0%!), and 41% saturnine (38%).


Johanna said...

Tigerlily, my thesis isn't quite there yet, either... ;) Sure, I've got almost two chapters written, but that's not as good as it sounds. Unfortunately. I'm having schedule and logistic problems. Logistics as in all my materials in London and Malta and everywhere but here. Darn.

Ben, being the teasing smartass you are, you forget, that I'm quite capable of being such myself. You see, I was talking about the big picture with people in it... Meaning human pre-history and history. That's the point.

Other scientists may have as big pictures as they like, I like to concentrate on smaller big pics. Like about 500 year stretches from the Crusades to the later Tudors in England. Plenty for me. And lots bigger than the different representations of ts in the Western dialects! ;)