readingredhead: (Fear for Courage)
1. I have never much liked summers -- I like order and structure and school too much-- but this summer has been the best summer, and while it will not get me to reconsider my general hierarchy of the seasons, it will at least remind me that summer is not just that thing you do to fix your brain after semesters.

This summer has been a LONG one. I got out of classes in the end of April and had finished my last seminar paper more than a week before my birthday: I have had nearly four months of summer, and that is rather a lot. Thankfully, the time was punctuated by visitors, travel, summer school, good books, dinner parties, and falling in love. (Yes, love.) Visitors and travel are harder to integrate into the semester schedule, and I am so happy that I got to see so many people and places I love and care about this summer, because that's part of what keeps me going when things take a turn for the worst. But good books and dinner parties and being in love are not just summer things, they are LIFE things, and my life works in semesters and these things are only bound to make this upcoming semester even more worth it.

2. Today is the first day of my second year of graduate school. This semester's coursework will be particularly demanding -- I'm taking two seminars adjacent to my interests with professors who are fairly intense and with whom I want to work closely in the future, not to mention reading Ulysses for my third class and TAing for a fourth -- but I am looking forward to being back in a scheduled environment again. (See above regarding my general dislike of summers.) I am also looking forward to taking notes in the beautiful Moleskine notebooks I have acquired for this purpose, because I deserve nice things and the material conditions of my scholarship DO influence the quality of mental work I find myself capable of doing (or just motivated to do).

3. This is an awesome enough thing to get its own number on the list: sometime in October/November, I will be moving in with [personal profile] oliviacirce! In addition to being a generally wonderful person who cares about houses being homes, she happens to live in what may be the best apartment in all of Columbia's grad student housing. My new bedroom will have windows that get actual sunlight! The kitchen has counter space! There is a breakfast nook! And since she's in Columbia housing, I can do a simple room-to-room transfer and let Columbia sort out all the logistical details of transferring to another lease, etc. I'll still have to do a move in October, which I had wanted to avoid initially...but I will literally be moving AROUND THE CORNER from my current abode. You don't even have to cross a street to walk from my current apartment to my future apartment. I can easily put up with Gabi for 2 months if I know I get a home at the end of them.

4. So [personal profile] oliviacirce's habits are rubbing off on me a bit already, because the final item on today's post is a mixtape. I started pulling these songs together about a year ago, when I had just moved to New York and mostly knew no one and the work was hard (though it never stopped being worthwhile). I needed something to remind me that it was okay to be down sometimes if I knew how to pull myself back up, and so a lot of the tracks come from a place of doubt and uncertainty and hope that things will get better, rather than from a place of solid acceptance of this fact. The playlist kept growing and changing to suit my needs throughout the past academic year -- the first incarnation was titled "Don't Be Down," a later one was titled "Me vs. the Seminar Papers (Don't Give Up)." But in the end, "Anti-Entropy" is the title that stuck. This mix is for all the days I felt like the world just wasn't working right, but soldiered on and fought my way through, and came out on the other side knowing the things that I hadn't quite believed before, but wanted to believe: I am strong, I am loved, and as long as I don't give up, things will always get better.

Anti-Entropy - track list & download link )
readingredhead: (Default)
 So, I don't think I've really complained too much online about my current housing situation, but this would be the time to do so. Long story short, my roommate is very nice, but not very clean, not very open to my suggestions about how to better use our apartment space, often needs to be reminded multiple times to keep common areas accessible (we're talking piles of things on floors and tables and counters, where "things" sometimes includes "leftover food that needs to be put away"); overall she's the kind of person I wouldn't talk to more than once if I didn't happen to live with her. I love my room (except for the fact that it gets NO natural light), but the kitchen and the common room don't feel like they're "mine" because they're typically overrun with her mess. She is incredibly solicitous when it comes to cleaning up for OTHER PEOPLE (i.e. if one of her friends is coming to visit, she spends a whole day scrubbing down the apartment), but doesn't seem to understand that her roommate might want that level of cleanliness at all times. She's sort of clueless when it comes to social cues, and we're at the point where, short of being very stern/angry with her, I don't think there's anything to do to ensure that the apartment will consistently meet my (not overly demanding) standard of cleanliness.

In about January, I decided that I was better than this, didn't need to put up with it, and would take a gamble on a new unknown roommate for next year, because certainly things couldn't get worse. I'm in university housing now, which is really convenient both in terms of location and price range, and I had hoped to be able to transfer to another apartment in the university system at the end of May when my present lease runs out. It seems utterly logical that they would give you this option, right?

Well, guess who just found out today that they don't?

For whatever reason, university housing won't actually let you transfer at the end of your lease period. They will let you transfer in the middle of it, and write you a new lease -- but their "transfer periods" are October and February, which aside from being a long way away, are also times when I am generally so busy with schoolwork that moving house would be nearly impossible.

Now, non-university housing isn't bad -- it's just a lot harder to find, especially since I don't know anyone else in the area who needs a roommate or who is looking for new housing. The one person I know who might want me for a roommate is NOT the sort of person I could see myself living well with. So I'm looking up rooms for rent on Craigslist and crossing fingers that something comes up, because I was getting so excited at the prospect of not having to live here again next year.

Sigh. And now back to regularly scheduled "too much work, too little time" weekend plans.


readingredhead: (Default)

March 2013

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