Posts Tagged 'ambassador'

Oh, what a gooood question!

It is freezing, it is no longer snowing, it is nearly 2 AM, and it is not bedtime yet. Nope, I have another hour or two – at best. Either that, or I play a bit of hookey in the morning and dedicate my time to my dissertation instead of my seminar. I wouldn’t really mind doing that, except that those three hours every Thursday morning are the only in-class time I have every week this term…so effectively, I’d be ditching the whole week. Feels a bit like I’m disappointing the system – or, at least, my amazing seminar teacher. Which makes me feel incredibly guilty. Aaaanyway. In an effort to not be a complete liar, I’m going to bore the lot of you (hello tiny readership!) with a brief introduction to my dissertation, as promised in my last life-changing post.

As a creative writing student, I have the massive perk of being able to look at the research-paper dissertation option for my major and go, “fuuuuuuuck that!”. I then promptly get to turn around and write a story. Or a collection of poems. Or a screenplay. Or an abstract doodley-bob about the little people that live on the toes of a frog. Essentially, as long as you shoot out 6000 words and a bonus 2000 of critical self-commentary, it counts. Such is the power of creativity. I myself, though highly attracted to the idea of writing a lengthy abstract doodley-bob, decided to write a short story of the history fiction variety. Subject matter: Aphra Behn, kickass Restoration playwright who, aside from being besties with Nell Gwyn (part-time actress, part-time Charlie II’s ho) and a contemporary of some of the most epic libertines ever (orgy tree anyone?), was also a spy. And funny. And the first female to make a living out of writing. Essentially, if you’re not at this point in the description going HELL YES, this woman sounds awesome, you’re crayzeh.

What I have decided to try and do is write a short story that spans two eras, creates a fictional background for one of Behn’s poems, captures a bit of Behn’s pre-polished spirit, and says a bit about how important/unimportant (or, as my advisor would say, “reductive”) autobiographical readings of literature are. All in 6000 words! I am, in phases, excited, paralyzed in fear, intrigued, motivated, and confused about the entire venture. I currently have one month and fifteen days to finish it, which sounds like a long time. However, anyone who has ever had to flirt with a deadline before knows that no matter what I do, January 15th will basically be here tomorrow. That thought, my friends, is a scary one.

On a slightly less scary note, I will not be coming home for Christmas this year. I shall be going to Lithuania! My goal is to, by the time Sharaz and I leave, be able to say a handful of things pretty accurately in Lithuanian. Otherwise, I’ll basically just spend all ten days talking to him. It’s not that that’s a bad thing, but you know, I figure that the more Lithuanian I try to speak, the more chance I have of failing, and what better for Kathy’s story-telling than foreign failings?

One thing that definitely is not fail, though, is the company of Maggie McBride, especially when combined (for one night, and one night only!) with the presence of Laura Wells. Needless to say, though I was basically the most fail travel partner ever for dearest Maggie, the last ten days have been a whirlwind of crazyawesome.

Today I had the fun experience of attending my third photoshoot at UEA. My first one was a year ago this month, when I first posed for my photo as the American student ambassador for the UEA website (click the ambassador tab!). The second would be a slightly artsy-er promotional photoshoot which included costumes changes and posing! (It was quite fun. And I got paid!) Today’s photoshoot was basically the same as last year’s, only now I’ll have a shiny new photo for the website, hopefully sometime soon complete with a new typo-less testimonial! (For the record, I did not have typos in the testimonial I submitted. Those are the errors of the paper-to-web typist. Fail!) You should all check out the current one and laugh, then look at it again in a week or so and hopefully BAM! It will beĀ all fresh and so clean, clean.

This has been a bit of a sporadic post, I admit. Unfortunately, I can do no better at what is now 2.20 in the morning, when really I should be adding another 1500 words to my dissertation.

Crapfully crapfully,

Transatlantic Kathy.

PS. Since there definitely were not enough comma’s in this post, have another handful: , , , , , , , , , ,


Pirate keys and pounds – yes, I still live in England.

When Lindsay and I were in high school, not only were we dorkily awesome, but we epitomized our dorky awesomeness in a book creatively titled The Book. Somewhere around junior year The Book and its relevancy petered out and retired to Lindsay’s house, but from its birth sophomore until that untimely end it was incredibly entertaining. Now, unlike some capital B books in high school dramas, our Book had nothing to do with our peers, and everything to do with ignoring our existence in high school in El Do and looking forward to how amazing the rest of our lives would be. The night before I left to come back to England, Lindsay unearthed The Book from some corner of her ridiculously organized room and brought it to my house for some much-needed reminiscing. It certainly served its purpose, because looking back through it, we found a page titled “A Day in the Life”.

The gist of this particular exercise was to imagine what, in an ideal future, a day in our lives years from then would be like. I like to think that I was a fairly normal teenager, and that as such I had the fairly normal desire to skip high school and go straight to college. That said, my “Day in the Life” had me stationed knee-deep in university, having the time of my life, not in America, but – where do you know it – in England.

Now I’m not going to pretend I’m psychic or prophetic, but I’m also not going to pretend that I didn’t find the whole thing incredible. It sounds cheesy, and corny, and any other ill-chosen food word used to describe general triteness, but my dream pretty much came true to a transatlantic T (minus the degree in Archaeology I apparently had planned [???]). This thought occurred to me not only as Linds and I paged through The Book, but also today as I walked through the little gate to my rowhouse and unlocked the front door with my pirate keys. My life is pretty awesome, and I am incredibly lucky to have it so.

And yes, I totally just said pirate keys.

How awesome is that? I’d post pictures of my house as well, but Reggie and my gimpy camera are somewhat fail at the moment and make doing so really past any level of motivation I currently possess. I will, however, give you the following one-sentence summary: four bedroom, one bathroom, three boys, and a galley kitchen. Those seem to be the most life-affecting highlights I’ve discovered so far. Oh yes, and no drier…which seems to be a general English thing, rather than a students-are-complete-cheap-asses-and-can’t-afford-one thing.

On that note, I ventured out into our small backyard the other day to, for the first time, put out my laundry to dry on a laundry line. Sharaz had already done so a few days ago, and partly because he doesn’t need the clothes but mostly because he’s a lazy ass, he’d left a few bits of his laundry out. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem…but when a few extra days outside means SPIDERS BUILD WEBS AROUND YOUR CLOTHING, it means I, as a fellow lazy person, suddenly have no desire whatsoever to dry my clothes outside. So I substituted a laundry line for my kitchen counter.

Besides indoor chores like laundry and feminizing the otherwise plain and boring kitchen, I have work at the pasty cafe to keep me busy until school starts on the twenty-first. Oh! And I have one other, newly acquired activity! You are now reading the blog of UEA’s Student Ambassador for America. I don’t know how long the job goes for, but I do know that I love UEA, I love England, and that I could probably sell the idea to anyone and their mother that’s interested. The job entails, as far as I know at the moment, an hour’s worth the work at uni each week, and emailing/contacting prospective American students that are interested in the general transatlantic business, specifically in the East Anglian direction. I’m really excited, because not only does it sound like resume material – it sounds like something I’ll be sincerely interested in. And will get paid for!

Now that I live in a house, I feel ridiculously adult. I paid my first rent yesterday with my own money, and due to the gloriousness that is the student loan system (no, we don’t talk about future crippling debt on this blog), I will be entirely financially independent this year. It’s a very strange feeling, but I feel like it’s a huge achievement, and, debt-that-I’m-invariably-ignoring aside, I’m really excited and proud of myself. Yes, this has turned into a bit of a narcissistic post, but hey – since you’ve made it this far, I promise to stop talking about how awesome I am.

Instead, and as an exciting bit to leave you with, I’ll talk about how FANTASTIC!!! it is that this year, both in the fall and spring, I’ll be seeing fellow Californians doing the abroad thing! Jaime and her roommate from SDSU will be in Granada for the spring semester, and Wes is au pairing in Munich. Bharath is even in London, so hopefully I’ll get to see him to. That said, anybody heading in this general direction – let me know! You have a free place to stay, and I’d love to have you. You’ll just have to ignore the pigsty that is my room and the size of the couch you’ll be using as a bed. Other than that, good times, I promise you.

So at the mo, such is life. Back to the queen’s currency – which I am unashamedly a fan of – and to swashbuckling keys. That’s what happens when you call Narrich home.


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photo cred to myself and Maggie J. Moxie