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Category Archives: Thesis

Epic fail

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Well, the verdict is in. And it is devastating. The result of my thesis is anything but making my mom proud. I barely received a positive grade and I suspect the professor just waved me through to get rid of me. So, I spent more than a year writing sh**, basically, and this blog is anything but a success story. I knew there were flaws, I knew I still didn’t understand methodology, but I didn’t know it was this bad. After spending last week feeling sorry for myself, feeling stupid all day and sinking into self-doubt, retiring with my blanky and lot’s of chocolate, I now have to face the outside world again. I feel like “LOSER” is written all over me and I don’t know how to get rid of the feeling of failure. The last few nights I have dreams about middle school, the shining days of my academic career ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course, my mom is again very supportive and is just glad that I made it, which makes me even more sad. Even if all my other results are okay-ish, the thesis is essentially all that counts, and I will have practically no chance of finding a job. The possibility of my future career consisting of looking a p**n is becoming all the more realistic. I still don’t know how to put a positive spin on all this, but I guess I have to… I had thought that writing my thesis would be the greatest struggle, I guess I was wrong ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hopefully somebody will hire me, after all, there must be jobs for people who failed too…somewhere…right? Right?!ย  Have to convince myself…

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What I learned in the past three months

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been three months since I wrote my last entry. Originally, I pledged to write at least once a month… please accept my apologies …

So what did I do?

  • I really focused on finishing my thesis to the point that I now can’t even look at it without contempt anymore. I really really hate it by now. I guess and hope that this is normal. The thing is, I still have to do a presentation and an oral examination. Only then I’m done. I dream of some kind of fire ritual to burn my thesis and clean my brain ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know, stupid, but it helps to read it for the 120th time…
  • I’ve chosen the worst possible guy to proofread my thesis. At first he hit on me although he’s twice my age and now he has let me down and needed a month for a whole of 30 pages. Please don’t judge. I thought he was professional. At least the work he did on my 30 pages is good ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, live and learn… Let’s hope the next one is more reliable.
  • I’ve been to every professor and secretary available at our institute to get the enormous amount of signatures to even hand in the thesis. Tracking down the guy who’s always out having his breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner is pretty much impossible …
  • I’ve had about 3-5 (maybe more like 5-10) nervous crying fits when something went wrong with my thesis. I’ve pledged to let my boyfriend have his when he will write his own thesis.
  • My computer “died” at the appropriate time, just when I was doing my literature list. I guess the thesis wore the computer down too … Of course, that prompted another crying fit. Luckily, I obey to the golden rule of backup, backup, backup and I only had to redo an hour. But still, that hour sucked! Badly!

    via cartoonstock.com

  • One of my uncles died and now it came out that he has another “secret daughter”. What is it with all those family secrets?! This was that uncle’s favourite saying, which I really liked:

Ohne Arbeit frรผh bis spรคt kann dir nichts geraten,

Neid sieht nur das Blumenbeet, aber nicht den Spaten.

Roughly translated (and very poorly, please forgive me … this saying means: Without work from dust till dawn, you will achieve nothing. Envy only sees the flower bed, but not the spade. (I’m sure there is some equivalent in English that I don’t know of …)

His children may not enjoy his lifetime’s work now because they have to share with another unknown sibling. So remember, if you have any secret children, make sure to tell the children you live with ahead of your death what awaits them!

  • I still feel bad because of my dad sometimes. But lately, I just tell people straight away that he’s gone to get it out of the way when they ask. And last time, a girl forgot that I had told her that he is dead and asked me what my mom or my dad think of something. That was pretty disturbing. I didn’t feel too troubled about it, but I think I need to readjust my strategy. What proofed to be successful in your experience to get the point across that someone’s dead?!
  • Somebody broke into our home last week. We thought that our apartment looks so crappy nobody would bother to even do that. Besides, Vienna is pretty safe. And we don’t live in a posh neighborhood. Apparently, that is no security. Mr. Burglar (it must have been a guy considering the things he’s stolen) stole the hard-safed money from my boyfriend, his PSP and, strangely enough, his brand new running shoes. Mr. Burglar has taste. He didn’t take my Nintendo DS, the Wii, or my boyfriend’s 10-year old running shoes that were standing next to the new ones. My boyfriend’s actually more pissed that his progress at GTA has gone to waste than about the money. And with the shoes, it’s getting personal

    via cartoonstock.com

  • Naturally, nobody told us that this apartment has been broken into two times already. Would have been nice if somebody advised us to change the lock when we were so stupid not to do it. So, I’ve learned the lesson that even the crappiest apartment is a target for burglars.
  • Me and my boyfriend actually bought the running shoes together and we used to merrily run alongside, like a cheesy couple. I liked it. Now Mr. Burglar has taken away that too, because it doesn’t have the same feel to it when I have my shiny new shoes while he has to run in his crappy old ones. That guy is so mean!
  • The secretary I wrote about inย this and this post is already shining in its new glory, courtesy of my cousin. Pictures will follow in a next post ๐Ÿ™‚ It was the right decision to give it to her!
  • Speaking of which, we’ve found a guy who’s willing to rent my grandmother’s house, but only for a very small amount of money. On top of all, I have to prepare myself for grueling negotiations over the weekend. It gets tiring, really.
  • I’ve watched a ton of Korean Dramas in these past months. Those are the best to keep your thoughts away and just turn off your brain. So if you have a hard time with something, I can give you a list of the most perfect “braindead” dramas that there are …Of course, this is also a way not to forget my Korean, even if it’s Drama-speech … so it’s a win-win ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Korean Dramas are also a perfect way to win new friends. There’s nothing like swooning over a guy with other girls. I’m currently in the “courtship” phase with a girl that wants to be my friend (yay ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) We will meet up to watch dramas, eat and drink. Another win-win ๐Ÿ™‚

    via cartoonstock.com

  • Speaking of drinking, I learned a few new drinking games, most of them from Korea. I’ve already established in that post that Koreans have a thriving drinking culture. It’s a funny contrast to us Austrians, who only sit together getting wasted while talking.
  • I found out that my English is pretty bad, so please don’t hesitate to point out any mistakes I make! Really!!
  • My family has lost all hope that I’ll ever graduate anymore. I lost hope that it still happens this year. I guess subconsciously I really put it off so not to get to the next stage, which is unemployment ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh my…

So, that is a tiny fraction of what I did. Even if it’s pathetic, I hope you enjoyed ๐Ÿ˜‰

The missing piece in my resume

picture via hs-heilbronn.de

Since I’m almost finished writing my thesis, the topic of what I should do next is coming up every so often. In a few months, my “student” status will have expired and then I have to face the tough “real” world. My plan is to just quietly apply for jobs and quietly getting rejections. I am normally very optimistic and don’t worry that much, but whenever people talk to me about it, I brood for days on end. The reason I am brooding is that I am afraid of the job market because I think I have no qualifications whatsoever and I never did an internship. This is basically the kiss of death for a 26 year old first-time job seeker. People happily point that out to me. What annoys me is that nobody makes suggestions how to succeed despite this flaw. I cannot change it anymore, so why people persist on dwelling on this point so much is beyond me. I am also not immune to taking pleasure in others’ misfortune sometimes. But it is annoying. Well, maybe I can take comfort in that it helps other people feeling less inadequate and better prepared for the job market through me ๐Ÿ˜‰

The thing is, I never worked. I had two summer jobs once. One was in the summer of 2003, the other in the summer of 2004. Then my dad died. Most people assume that I am a lazy person just riding on my mom’s money because I didn’t work afterwards anymore. And in a way that is true. But the reality is, I didn’t even dare to do an internship during my holidays after that. Because holidays meant I had to go home and help my mom. If my mom’s house were in the city, it would have been no problem to do an internship and help her out at the same time. But since my family lives on the countryside, far away from any city, far away from anything really, I didn’t have the opportunity to do it both. I don’t like to explain myself when I am accused of doing nothing. But yesterday, when a girl suggested I am “the worst” because I never worked in a joking manner, I replied that my mom preferred me helping her with my grandma instead of working on my career. My grandma is almost blind and she cannot walk very well anymore. This has been getting worse over the years. She needs help 24/7 and my mom is by her side the whole year round. Everybody who cares for older people knows how exhausting this can be. My mom doesn’t complain and she just gracefully accepts the situation. She deserves a medal and I am always amazed at how patient she is! Naturally, when I am at home she takes every opportunity to get out, meeting up with friends, going to exhibitions and so on. There are no other people whom she can call to help her out. It’s basically just me and my mom. Nowadays I’m very guilt-ridden since I don’t help her out that much anymore.

image via squidoo.com

So yesterday, when I said that the reason for not doing “anything” was to help out my mom, I was met with embarrassed silence. Did I overburden them with private family matters? Nowadays nobody wants to hear of the sick and the old, but I didn’t say that to gain sympathy. I just stated the facts. The reaction irritated me. I don’t know why they were embarrassed and it still bugs me that they reacted that way. Since I was too stunned I couldn’t react properly and the topic changed very quickly. I take it that they either pity me, feel sorry for me, think of their grandparents, think of my decision to put my grandma before my career as stupid or just don’t know how to handle someone actually having a grandma at home. I really don’t know. If they pity me, I think it very strange. Yeah, my grandma is very annoying if you don’t tend to her the minute she wants something. There were times when it was exhausting and frightening to be alone with her when she was sick and I didn’t know what to do to the point of pitying myself. But she is very lively for her age. While she remembers stuff she did on a particular day, let’s say, in 1942, I cannot for the life of me remember the stuff I did yesterday properly.ย  What amazes me the most is that even though she already told me stories on every possible subject and on every possible stage of her life, every time I visit she still knows a new story I never heard of. Through her I get to know every family member in every possible way. She tells me stuff nobody else would dare to tell me, juicy family secrets and the like. I discover things through her stories which I would have never known. There are new stories every time and I even hear new things about my dad from time to time. I love that! It’s astonishing. Listening to her is like a live-cast of history. To conclude this, it’s not a burden to care for her.

I think the reaction annoys me that much because I got a taste of my future job interviews. When future employers will ask me about the missing spots in my resume, I will have to tell them the same. And because I didn’t even think about such strange reactions, I never thought about my “holiday work” as a problem. Since this was what I got, I am more afraid of strange feedback than ever. I cannot process their reaction, don’t know what it’s about and don’t know how to cope with it. And most of all, I don’t know how to make such situations less awkward. Let’s just hope nobody asks ๐Ÿ˜‰

Deadline

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So, now it is already April and my deadline was set for April 26. Like my subconsciousness sees it, deadlines are there to be broken. Especially the ones I set for myself. Why is it that I cannot stick to my own deadlines? If some authority, like a teacher ๐Ÿ˜‰ , gives deadlines, I follow those religiously. But the minute I do it for myself, my expectations go out the window. Together with my self-confidence. Sometimes I feel like I am some drama heroine. Some bad drama heroine who you want to punch in the face whenever she comes on the screen because of the stupid decisions she makes. My decisions are really not the best but can I punch myself and therefor punish myself? Oh my…. OK, so my thesis is now approaching 40 pages, which is good actually, but I am afraid I cannot write another forty until April 26. Which is quite a failure. And considering that I still don’t know what I am doing 40 pages is maybe quite good?! I cannot decide. Since my mom has already given up on asking how my work is going on, that should give me a breather. But the deep fear of failure is always weighing on my head. Oh how I wish for the day when I can throw my fear of failure out the window…

I really need that!!!

The case of the forgotten memory stick

I wouldn't forget that one would I ๐Ÿ˜‰ image via thisnext.com

Last week, my boyfriend treated me to a brand new 16 GB memory stick in modest black. Since my old one was always full having only 1 GB of storage (donโ€™t ask, it was 2006 and then it was really expensive) I was in dire need of a new one and was very happy with my new shiny blank stick, I even engraved the first letter of my name in it ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s when I took it to a little ride to the library, where browsing through academic journals I stored some articles as well as parts of my little thesis project. And then in the evening, when writing something and a very important thought entered my head, the stick came up again. “Wasn’t there something important today that I read that I can include in my text…” I thought and grabbed my backpack where suddenly I couldn’t find my little new stick…Then it began to dawn on me that I might have forgotten to take it out of the library computer and then I felt really really stupid…Of course I back upped my work. Tales of infecting the computer with some terrible kind of virus while downloading some random shareware when writing page 92 of one’s dissertation have taught me enough not to do that kind of thing and be safe. The golden rule is: backup, backup, backup.

I always feel like โ€žthat can never happen to meโ€œ, โ€žhow can someone be that stupidโ€œ and have other self-righteous thoughts that bit me in the ass that day. That could be another life lesson. Never be self-righteous! I know that it is not good for you, but sometimes you cannot help. And in those few moments where you cannot help yourself but to feel that way, I can guarantee you that in the next moment it happens to you. Which is kind of terrifying since yesterday, when told the story of a girl my age becoming pregnant โ€žby accidentโ€œ, I also had those thoughts. Ok, admittedly they were not self-righteous, more terrified and pitying the girl, but I still am slightly anxious nowโ€ฆ.please spare me!

Feeling sorry but also kind of superior when people hang up messages searching for their memory stick or post somewhere that they forgot their memory stick in the library pc and now are on the brink of desperation because their dissertation outline, research history, pictures of their childhood with grandma, who is now dead (ok I feel very sorry for that, but still it is kind of stupid to not backup this precious memory) and other things are stored on that particular stick. The chance of getting it back is always very slim.

image via internetslol.com

Considering mine is brand new and nothing special was stored on it, I honestly was only pissed at myself and wouldn’t even have cared if somebody took it. My bf, who is always very pessimistic, just laughed and didn’t have any hope at all that I would get it back, lamenting about the lack of “sister/brotherhood” or general moral in students. Even if I was pissed I didn’t care too much because I had the strange feeling of getting it back. I am the positive one here. And the next day I made the library journey again very early, and after telling the nice library lady my little mishap she immediately handed my stick back to me. So there still are wonderful, responsible students full of moral, who think about the sad student searching frantically for his/her memory stick and cursing the world. I am really thankful to that person! My bf doesn’t understand the world anymore…there are still nice and friendly people? What is this world coming to?

Still I feel slightly stupid for having forgotten to take the stick with me and now I have learned my lesson. I feel kind of knighted. Now that I have experienced the terror of losing some special โ€žworkโ€œ, (that I have backupped of course, but stillโ€ฆ) I can lean back and enjoy the ride.

P.S.: Apparently this is not an isolated matter and tales of forgotten memory sticks are just as random as lost hairpins…there’s a hilarious video on youtube encouraging students to use microsoft office live workspace so that a lost memory stick doesn’t shatter your world.

Maybe I can accomplish it?!

My "brilliant" brain ๐Ÿ˜‰ image via kleinzeitung.at

Today I wrote three pages at once which is the most I wrote in the history of writing my little thesis. I even came up with a few questions that, to me at least, seem to be great. Without wanting to speak to soon – I hope I am onto something here. Maybe it “clicked” finally ๐Ÿ˜‰

Inheritance

Image: mdr.de

Today is a slow day again…outside it is raining, it is foggy, and the mood is generally set to be a Sunday. And today I received a letter which basically ended my childhood by having formally received my inheritance. It sounds strange, but I already inherited while my mum still lives…she just wanted to get everything settled so that she can enjoy her retirement without worrying about money or formalities. Now it is settled that the house in which I grew up in belongs to my sister, and I inherited the house where my mother grew up in, which she still owned up to now. It feels strange because I thought this would happen when I am well in my 30ies and I could swallow the idea ofย  owning a house. But now the thought is only terrifying. The problem is, the house is very old, my grandmother died a few years ago and since then it was mostly used as a “garbage bin” which means loading old stuff off, using it for family reunions and as a holiday house for family members.

It is a very nice little house, and I like it very much. I just don’t like the idea of owning it, because in a way everybody owns it. If the house would be in Vienna, I would move in right away. But since the house is in the middle of nowhere…or for me, it seems to be in the middle of nowhere, the situation is a little tougher. I cannot imagine to move there someday, the next city is half an hour away and I already had my share of country life. But since everybody owns a piece of it, I don’t really feel like I can make a decision to either let the house or just sell it. And even if I did sell it, I would freak out at the thought of having money. Not that it is worth much ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course I need money, but I just couldn’t handle it. Those are my feelings and they also play into the whole thesis thing. I am pressured to get to a decision, but I really would have preferred to have inherited after the finish line of my thesis. It just sucks…This present just comes along with a big prize tag. And despite being 25, it is hard to accept. I am such a whiny baby ๐Ÿ˜‰ But it really just sucks…