Sunday, 27 May 2007

Adrian 1 - Trees 0

Courtesy of half an hour's effort with a bowsaw, we suddenly have one less tree in the garden, and a significantly improved view from the kitchen window. Now I just need to dig the stump out and think of something nice to go there instead.

For those of you wondering whether I'm procastinating from reading through my thesis one last time: add a point to your score.

Saturday, 26 May 2007


That was hard work. I've spent the last two weeks of working 9-5, while working on my thesis during lunch breaks, evenings and weekends. It's fortunate that my brain wasn't required at work. Temping isn't all bad.

Emma was off go-karting with teachers last night, so I (eventually - popped into uni on the way home to print off a copy to read over. I only had the last 7 pages to sort anyway) was set up nicely for the final battle with my thesis. Unfortunately it turned out I was too tired to get the last bit done, so I gave up, watched Have I Got News for You (nice timing, I thought) in the company of a beer. After briefly scribbling down some notes (my brain kept working regardless), I stuck Hannibal on. Having read the book, I think they wimped out a little with the ending. Despite being one of the better books, I think it made the weakest of the four films (I'm including Manhunter here but excluding the film/book of Hannibal Rising, neither of which I've seen/read). Still perfectly entertaining though.

Got up and finished my corrections this morning.
Now I've got the remains of a three day weekend with no work (well, I'm going to read through it just to make sure I've not done anything dumb) to do, and Emma's on half term, so we're both free for once! Lovely. I can start doing things like choir (not been for a month or so), hockey (not made it once this year) and badminton (missed it this week) again. I think I might give Emma a hand with marking SATS papers too.

I should mention that Emma got home towards the end of the film with a bottle of champagne, having made the highest finish of all the girls and was the only girl to win a race. They'd not let her spray it everywhere unfortunately.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Today I had my Spanish oral exam which went OK I think. I'm quite ( I can never remember which quite is which!!!) happy with what I've done and I'm really happy is over. What a relief!

Tonight I've phoned my friend Marghe, her mum got a cancer. I thought it was going to be a hard phone call but it wasn't. She is serene, she feels the Holy Spirit giving her the strength to face it and the peace she needs not to go mad in the convent. She said she can see good things in what's happening and she is feeling God really close to her and to her family. I phoned so that maybe I could ease her pain a bit and she consoled me instead, she gave me such strength and faith in prayer. She said that she can feel all the prayers people are saying for her and for her mum, that's why she is so strong.

I've got good news from my uncle, my mum's brother. He and his wife where trying to have a baby for 10 years now they've got twins coming soon!!! I'm really happy! Twins run in the family Mark, you know that, but I wouldn't mind with 1 pregnancy I got 2!

Life has been a bit hard in these weeks, between exam and good and bad news. But Mark was there for me with his patience and his love. So Mark....... I think I'll keep you!!!

Monday, 21 May 2007

Thesis Countdown

I'm just keeping track of my progress; the aim is to graduate 13th July, so if I can get done before the end of May, my chances improve.

Important dates
Planned date of submission: 30th May (Finished Saturday at 1:00 (pm, you'll be glad to know). Just need to do a final read through over the weekend, binding and submission on Tuesday 29th. Thanks to both Anna and Craig for letting me know that one of the major binding services is shut for a week soon! I have alternative plans, and have told work that I'll be in late on Tuesday)
Deadline for getting examiners' approval and two hardbound copies handed in: 22nd June

Amendments Completed?
Chapter 1: Done
Chapter 2: Done
Chapter 3: Done (13/05 pending approval of method - Method approved 15/05. Get in!)
Chapter 4: Done (14/05 + finishing touches 15/05.)
Chapter 5: Done (16/05 + Sorting out typos 17/05.)
Chapter 6: None required
Chapter 7: Done (Started 19/05, completed 21/05, with some further minor amendments as a result of emails from John and Peter 23/05.)
Chapter 8: Done (Started 21/05, completed 26/05.)

Currently it looks like I'll make it. John's happy with my approach so I've only got to worry about stuff taking too long going through university admin. My examiners are lovely and will be pretty quick once they get the stuff, but three weeks is a quick turnaround when the uni usually gives them six. In case you're wondering "three weeks to do what?":
I submit two copies (planned 30th May), which the uni send to the examiners, asking them to return their recommendations (e.g. thesis is fine / thesis needs more corrections / etc) within six weeks. Once the recommendations are back, assuming no further changes are required (there shouldn't be any - I've got nice examiners and have been running various versions past them over the last couple of months), they'll be ok'd by a committee, then I'll need to get two hardbound copies submitted. As long as this happens by 22nd June then I can graduate in July.

I've come to the conclusion that I just need to get finished. I've got a compromise approach whereby I don't throw any of my results out, but I don't state them in quite the nice succinct way I'd originally intended. I think my external examiner and I have come to the conclusion that this doesn't really matter. If getting them stated "properly" is worthwhile (it does appear to be quite a subtle task. Whether that makes it interesting, I'll let Nige (supervisor) and John (external examiner) decide), it can go in a paper.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Erm, ok

It's been well documented that Richard Hammond (of Brainiac and Top Gear fame) took quite a knock to the head, but even so.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

I might get to go to France next year for free.  Hurrah.  My new boss is orgainising a trip to France to do Maths in Paris.  I think it is just an excuse to get a free holiday.  Only downside is that it will be over the summer half term rather than in school time.  But I get a free holiday and won't end up annoying Adrian who will probably be working all week anyway.  I basically get first dibs, being the only Maths teacher who is female and won't have retired by the time of the trip.  It will be with years 7 and 8 so should be good fun.  I have never been to France.  Nick you will have to tell me the best way to learn some french.  I can't speak a word and it might be a good idea to learn a little if I am responsible for small children in the country.  They can speak more than me as they study it at school.  

I am also organising the Maize maze trip that I did last year again.  Trips really are the best bit of teaching in my opinion.  We get to take year 7 to a maze and lose them for the day.  Going to be great fun.  Hopefully we will get good weather again.  Last year it was blazing hot and we had to send letters home the day before to warn about bringing lots of water and suncream etc.  Rhys laughed at me wearing shorts, but I didn't care I got a day outside, while he had to stay in school.  

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Jobs and Things

Well. I didn't get the job in Cheltenham. The upside to this is that we don't have to move 200miles away having just bought a house. The downside is that I'm not really sure what to do with myself. I'm quite envious of Emma, in that she's found a vocation (as opposed to a career). I'm thinking that something technical and slightly geeky would be my cup of tea, preferably using some amount of maths. Actuarial careers seem a sensible way to go, although one of Anna's friends works in fraud detection for a bank: setting up proceedures to find dodgy customers. Quite stats based apparently, and maybe interesting.

I'm starting a temping job on Tuesday, which will help my (non-existant) finances no end. Corrections are going ok. I've given my notice to submit (again) for the end of the month, so I might just make July graduation. Even if I just miss it, at least I'll be finished. One interesting by-product of my visit to Leicester (giving a talk & chatting with external examiner about corrections) is that I've been given several ideas of ways in which to extend my research - just when I'm desperately trying to get out of uni. Typical, eh? I'll be making the most of this week to do corrections, then finishing off in the evenings after work. I don't think I can justify any more full-time university, as 1) I'm sick of it, and 2) it doesn't pay a penny.

Any thoughts on careers directions would be appreciated. I'll be cracking on with finding a proper job as soon as I've submitted my revised thesis.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Schadenfreude Anyone?

Leeds are down.
A cynic could compare the lengthy local news coverage given to Leeds' fall to the third flight with that given to other Yorkshire clubs' achievements. It's a little surprising the reporters aren't wearing black armbands.

However it's been a good season for Wednesday. Highest league finish since we were relegated from the Premier League and narrowly missing out of the playoffs. At worst we look to be an established Championship side.