Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 52

Greetings, Internet! I hope everyone’s staying as safe and sane as possible. Week 52, holy mother of pie!  This week, I started watching spring training games (hooray for Gary, Keith, and Ron of SNY! #LFGM), learned how to program drums into my musical projects, and turned in my first dissertation chapter! Daily summaries below!

Day Three Hundred and Fifty-Eight (3/5/21)

  • Watched a talk that the professor I’m TA-ing for is giving. Very cool stuff about Anglo-Saxons.
  • Work Skype with a fellow grad student! Just working on this dissertation draft. I think I’m almost halfway through? To be clear, the draft doesn’t have to be as long as the final product, so I’m shooting for 5,000 words for the initial draft, but it will very likely exceed that length in a later iteration.
  • FaceTime and dinner with one of the #triotime friends!
  • FaceTime and wine with my sister! We haven’t done this in months (the time zone difference makes it difficult).
  • One of my besties from elementary school has a band. Go listen to them and hear her whisper sing and play tambourine.
  • Currently feeling: I hit a point where one of my pages has more footnotes than text. I consider that a win. Also I’m kind of drunk right now, which is probably not the best state to be in while writing my dissertation chapter.
  • Currently looping: Evanescence’s “Better Without You.” New single!

Day Three Hundred and Fifty-Nine (3/6/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Why yes, I am listening to a Chopin Spotify playlist as I research/write my dissertation. Realized that this one particular article may have misread the situation at one particular Carolingian monastery, so a couple of paragraphs (okay, maybe five) are going to argue with him.
  • This chapter has taken quite a detour from the original outline. #dissertationlife
  • Needed to finish the bottle of wine I started yesterday while FaceTiming my sister. Drank it as I watched the season two finale of “Star Wars: Rebels.” Cried. That Darth Vader storyline is done so much better in animated series than in the prequels (which I know I keep saying, but only because I keep meaning it). Also my favorite character is now presumed dead (thank goodness for “The Mandalorian”), so that was a brief gut punch.
  • Had some time at night that maybe I should’ve spent on the dissertation, but I really wanted to play a bit of guitar, so I recorded part of a cover. My fingertips hurt and it was worth it. #saturdaynightparty
  • Currently feeling: It’s Saturday night, and if I want to play guitar, then I shall play guitar. Tomorrow will be dedicated to writing much of the dissertation chapter. Most of the week will be dedicated to the dissertation chapter, so now was really the time to play. I told my advisor I’d get the draft to him by the end of the week, and I intend to keep to that (second) deadline.
  • Currently looping: The Pretty Reckless’ “Witches Burn.” I really need to listen to the rest of their album.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty (3/7/21)

  • Spring training! Gosh, it’s so good to hear Gary, Keith, and Ron. Seriously, the joy of hearing the play-by-play of a routine ground ball. Made myself a hot beverage so I could take a break in the middle of my chapter writing.
  • TFW when you don’t remember if you spent five or six hours working on this dissertation today, but you ended up having to basically read a whole book (and another article or two) and write as you researched, because it was an important book (and other articles) you didn’t know you needed until last night (and prompted adding to your 36-page bibliography wondering how they weren’t already there to begin with). #whydidievenbotherdoingprepwork
  • Am halfway through season three of “Star Wars: Rebels.”
  • Currently feeling: There is a decent chance that I end up sending my advisor an unfinished chapter draft at the end of the week. I’m at around 4,000 words now, which is about 1,000 shy of the acceptable minimum for a draft chapter (I think). Dissertation chapters in their final form can be anywhere from 30-something to 80-something pages depending on the topic (although whoever does an 80-page draft is both a masochist and a sadist, and I think they dig the fact that they don’t have to decide which). I’m just trying to get to 20 pages so I have something to work with.
  • Currently looping: Daniil Trifonov’s “Chopin: Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Major, Op. 66.” There’s a six-hour Chopin playlist on Spotify and I’ve gone through most of it.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-One (3/8/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • That feeling when you realize that the article you had been relying on for a valuable foundation is wrong on many levels. Just plain wrong. Or, if not wrong, then sensationalized to give you the wrong impression. And then you have to revise what you’ve already written. Egad. Well, all that revising and restructuring has gotten me to 5,000 words! So now I have to tinker with a few things, patch some things up, maybe only fully delete a paragraph or two, and switch some things around. Oh, and rewrite the introduction.
  • Guys, writing a dissertation is hard. #deepthoughts
  • More than halfway through season three of “Star Wars: Rebels.”
  • The soundtrack from season eight of “Game of Thrones” is really getting me through this chapter.
  • Did some recording. Does that mean I ended up playing flute around 11:30pm? Yes. Did my neighbors complain? Not yet.
  • Currently feeling: Still trying to juggle everything. Still going to bed after 1am. Thank goodness I don’t have to teach precept this week.
  • Currently looping: Evanescence’s “Imaginary” from their Synthesis album.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Two (3/9/21)

  • Tinkered around with adding a drum part to my next cover. It doesn’t sound half bad! Holy cow, and to think, I could’ve added percussion to some of my earlier covers!
  • Went to the ENT doctor because I hadn’t gone in a while and one of my ears was feeling a wee bit irritated. Turns out I’m fine. But hey, better to check, right?
  • Then went and got a couple of groceries, because it was 62 degrees outside and sunny, so why not?
  • Realized I probably should’ve stopped at a bakery. I definitely wheeled past two of them on my way to get groceries. Perhaps I shall stop by somewhere later this week. Double-masked, of course.
  • At that point where I know I have to fix two things in the chapter, but then realize I may have to add a whole other section. This has to get to my advisor by the end of the week. Egad.
  • Audio-mixing! Between vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, flute, keyboard, and percussion, this is going to be a lot of boxes. Although I don’t think I need to film the percussion because that’s just me tapping the keyboard (I still haven’t figured out how to use the drum pads specifically…).
  • Total times outside: Forty-Eight! There was a quick trip to the bank I made last week, so that was forty-seven. Today was forty-eight.
  • Currently feeling: DO ALL THE THINGS. ALL OF THE THINGS CAN BE DONE.
  • Currently looping: Ramin Djawadi’s “The Battle of Winterfell” from the Game of Thrones: Season 8 OST. Great writing/researching music.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Three (3/10/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Recorded the video for tomorrow’s cover! I’m shocked that I was able to get that done while writing the dissertation, but also, I didn’t have to teach precept this week (it’s midterm week, whoo!), so that freed up some time.
  • Finished season three of “Star Wars: Rebels.” It’s so much better than the prequels. Just, wow. And you get to learn so much about Mandalore!
  • Speaking of “Star Wars,” I’ve been listening to “Binge Mode: Star Wars” and I actually have some sympathy for Hayden Christensen now. SOME.
  • Finally finished writing through the first draft of my first dissertation chapter and holy cow! I just have to review it a couple of times to make sure it’s coherent, and then it’s off to my advisor! I left out a whole part that I’m sure my advisor will encourage me to include, but it’s like, a pretty big part, so I just want to make sure it’s okay to include it without having too disjointed of a chapter. But yeah, 25 pages later (about 6500 words), I now have something I can theoretically work with.
  • Currently feeling: I’m going to get myself a treat. And then I’m going to review this and send it off to my advisor. First dissertation chapter draft. Dang. But first, I need to back this file up in two different locations because I refuse to lose this document.
  • Currently looping: Evanescence’s “Your Star” from their Synthesis album.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Four (3/11/21)

  • Posted my cover of “Jenny of Oldstones” from “Game of Thrones.” Personally, I loved the first half of season eight. The second half felt too rushed. I don’t disagree with most of how it ended, but I wish we had gotten the final three episodes stretched out over an entire season.
  • Went outside for a matcha latte, because it was so nice out. Everyone else probably had the same idea, because by the time I got there, the only types of milk they had left were coconut, almond, macadamia (didn’t even know macadamia milk existed), and skim. So I tried almond milk. Was pretty good!
  • Musical lesson! More work with drum programming.
  • Therapy!
  • Sent my chapter draft off to my advisor! And now I wait for his comments/figure out an outline for another chapter. Also, I should probably tidy up my apartment a bit. I’ve kind of turned it into a mess.
  • FaceTimed my family! It’s my parents’ fortieth anniversary! My niece was really happy to see everyone (but of course ditch all of us once my brother-in-law told her that dinner was ready, haha).
  • Total times outside: Forty-Nine!
  • Currently feeling: So many things done today. Should’ve gone to bed way earlier. Whoops.
  • Currently looping: Florence + The Machine’s cover of “Jenny of Oldstones.”

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe, wear a mask, and check to see when you can get vaccinated!

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