Master’s Degree!

Finally, finally I got the notification saying my final marks are now online. My master’s thesis didn’t go all wrong despite all the hassles. Not absolutely brilliant, but still good enough. My overall grade is in the a-little-less-than-very-good area, just good enough to allow me to apply for PhD programmes and job positions in research without having to fear being sorted out as soon as someone looks at my results. Could have been worse.

I don’t have my certificate yet as I will have to request it myself (to make sure all my electives are on record before they print it), which I’ll do in two weeks or so to make sure I can still work this and maybe even next month in my current job before they exmatriculate me.


Two more nights to freedom …

Just two more nights until I’ll have to sit my oral exam – my final exam in the master’s programme!

I’ve been sick all week long last week, so I’m pretty much delayed concerning working my way through all the literature I’m supposed to know. The list I sent to my professor is rather short, but it can’t be helped now.

At least I found a pretty cool paper on metaphor use in Swahili I plan to use as a source for examples: Some of them are quite funny and I read them to Darling just for shit and giggles.

So much to read! I’ll have to finish the relevant chapters of Lakoff’s “Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things” and Epstein’s “Translating Expressive Language in Children’s Literature”, not to mention three big chunks of gibberish on semantic networks (for which I needed two weeks when working through them for the first time a year ago). Tomorrow sounds like fun …

I’m looking forward to being free – the exam will be on Friday morning, after that there is a work meeting. Then: Capoeira and weekend!

master’s thesis update: three more nights!

So I’ve only got three nights left and there is so much to write! At the moment I’m only able to function somewhat normally on a mix of caffeine and valerian, because otherwise I fall asleep (without anything) or either run around in a manic-creative mood or get really bad anxiety/panic attacks (both on caffeine, depending on current depression level). Overall I’m rather jumpy these days. Yuck.

I’m looking forward to going to capoeira class again without feeling guilty about not being at my desk again! And to sleeping at normal times.

Writing at Dawn (Haiku)

filling blank pages
I love to see the morning
from the other side


Tonight, just before dawn, it smells like spring outside and the first birds are singing in the dark. I wish I could go and sit on the roof. Just a few more days until I’ll be free to do more of these weird and beautiful things again. Maybe even go to capoeira class for five days in a row, just because I can do so. Tonight I’ll spend dawn filling in the blank spaces in my morphology chapter.

master’s thesis update: one week to go

Just one more week until I have to prepare my master’s thesis for printing! Tonight I finished the contents of the chapter on the theoretical framework, just some examples and citations need a little more work. I’ll do that when my proofreaders say the content is okay and not full of logical wholes.

I’m quite content with another chapter, which is on special uses, metaphorical meanings and possible grammaticalisation. At the moment it’s longer than the chapters on the “normal” usage!

The biggest struggle is the statistics – I’m still not sure about more than half of the tags, so counting them is fuzzy business, and my first attempt of counting resulted in weird numbers that just didn’t add up when comparing the stats for the different aspects I’m looking into. Big drama last night. I’ll have to rework the categorisation, the tagging, and the stats before I’ll be able to write something decent on lexicalisation. And syntax. I hate describing fuzzy syntax stuff.

Morphology is mostly alright. So far I’ve refrained from working statistics into the morphology chapter; this will be reserved for the unlikely case of finishing the other things early enough. Putting affixes in categories and describing their use was quite nice for a change, though I’ll have to spend at least one more day on it to fill in all the examples and describe a few things more detailed.

Just so-so are the chapters on the data used, terminology, and inference. Inference is an interesting topic, but I lack the knowledge (and time) to research it in depth. The introduction is fairly solid, though the order could be better, and the outlook/conclusion will need some serious input in the end. Not sure about the troubleshooting chapter yet.

All in all I’ve more or less reached the absolute minimum of required pages; but this includes the still empty tables for these freaking stats. I’ll gain another page or two during the final formatting session by widening the side margins for my professors to write in their comments, but I’d rather be able to hand in at least the suggested 80 pages, the biggest tables not included in this figure.

In case you’ve made it so far through this bland post, thanks for reading, and please, send me some motivation, prayers, and maybe a few vegetables, I should stop living on sugary stuff.



Master’s Thesis Update

Three weeks to the deadline for my master’s thesis! I have to hand it in by 19th March, so I want to get the majority of the writing stuff done by the end of next week to give the proof readers enough time (and I’ll need time as well for the appendices, including two large chunks of translation work).

Now that I’ve started to focus more on really writing (and putting the examples and quotations in) the progress is much faster; obviously writing complicated sentences about weird stuff is what I do best. There are some statistics to be done, though, and I dread them!

Still a lot to do, but now I should go to bed, it’s nearly 5am over here …

Daisy Dreams (Haiku)

childhood daisy-dreams
swing suspended from a tree
time that never was


I have no clue what this is about or where it came from.

I just felt like the world was swaying because I’m so tired (wrote some pages for my thesis tonight) and somehow I got nostalgic. It took me a few moments to remember where I had played on a tree swing – in my grandparents’ garden, I had forgotten about this for many years. No idea why fatigue induced wobbliness triggered subconscious associations with this faded memory. Many of the memories of my childhood and especially school years are very vague or deeply buried, so sometimes it really feels like some segments of time went missing.