Friday, December 19, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Bilingual Soul

OK, so I don't think they've gotten around to compiling Chicken Soup for the Bilingual Soul yet, but I've been enjoying the parallel text editions printed in Vietnam. They are quite popular here, and the local Catholic bookshop sells a whole range. I'm not sure that Messrs. Canfield and Hansen are receiving any royalties from them either, as Vietnam remains copyright pirating capital of the world.
My Vietnamese friends are a little bewildered by the books - "Just a bunch of stories, really." They say, "Nothing special."
And they also comment on the cultural specificity of the stories. "All well and good for foreigners to do these crazy things," said one friend. "We Vietnamese have to work."
Point taken.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I have a supervisor

Yep, I'm halfway there, with the fabulous, prestigious supervisor of my dreams.
Now I just have to get through the entire, ridiculous application process with the Uni.
Most galling aspect? Having to pay for an academic transcript to provide with my application when they can and will bring up the same information in about 10 seconds on their computer.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

PhD Application

The whole PhD application process is not going smoothly, in part because I have to get everything finished early (I leave for Vietnam next Wednesday), and in part because of the foolishness of the whole application process. But I won't vent here, because I want to stay positive.
I am putting together a bibliography for my application, but it is very difficult because most of the books on my subject are simply not in any Australian libraries - so when I get back next year I'm going to need to do a big buy-up with Amazon or ABE.
Right now the whole application process is frozen because I need to hear from key people, and if there's one thing I've learned it's that academics simply won't be hurried. Very difficult to cope with when one has come from the corporate world.
Anyway, I'm off to check my student email once more, and then to sit down and read Samuel Smiles. He will inspire me to complete my application.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A new project

I am just winding up my Honours Thesis (the first draft is with my supervisor), and now I need to start giving some serious thought to my PhD application - I don't have much time left to sort it out.
I propose to research a history of the literature of Self Help in Australia. No one has done it, and it is a subject I am fascinated by.
So far I have no supervisor, haven't submitted an application, and don't really know where I'm going with it. But still, I want to blog it from its first tentative steps....