Finally received marks for my dissertation last week. The verdict: my chapter numbering should have been clearer and the discussion on constructivist theory needed to be deepened but “overall a very good submission” and the paper “could provide basis for an excellent PhD project.” Yehey! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, I’m happy just to have completed an MA in International Political Economy With Distinction! Time to update my résumé and apply to full-time work by January but in the meantime I am trying out different part-time jobs. To infinity and beyooond.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the Chevening Scholarship Award, aka the nice folks who paid for my year of grad school in Birmingham. I’ve been asked to be an education ambassador now that I’m back, but the real dealio ambassador is the smiling gentleman to my right. I am still waiting for my dissertation grade though, any day now!
One last video to end the school year with. I’m now just waiting for the reunion mixer at the embassy for the Philippine scholars and my dissertation grade before I close the chapter on this scholarship. It’s been great, Birmingham!
I am home! This was on my third night back in Manila where I was reunited with San Miguel beer. Since then, I’ve caught up on some other Filipino favorites: lumpiang sariwa (palm heart spring rolls), turon (fried banana and jackfruit wrapped in egg sheets), and sapin-sapin (sticky rice cakes). I’m still anxious about being back and unemployed but at least my tummy is all settled in. Photo by Claireness.
A final look before moving out and flying home. Goodbye, Birmingham!
York Minster and the York Eye
Views from the York city walls
Celebrated dissertation submission with a traditional British pub crawl in York. We started at (clockwise from top left) Plonkers by the river Ouse, continued on to Pitcher and Piano, then headed to the Lendall Cellars pub which was enclosed by stained glass windows of the neighboring guild hall. We ended the crawl at a pub/inn where the infamous Guy Fawkes was born. I am assimilating the local culture, that is my excuse.
I’M DONE! PARTY TIME!
Group hug with all my dissertation chapters before I murder my darlings.
So my thesis supervisor has asked me to add stuff from his book into my paper. If my thesis were an interpretative dance, this is how I’ve been prominently featuring him in my citations.
A view of Northern Irish farm land along the Antrim coast from our trip last July
by Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s first Nobel prize-winning poet since WB Yeats
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down
Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.
The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.
By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.
My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.
The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.
My new postcode comes with this friendly advice from the landlord: “Keep the gates locked to keep the children from coming in to fetch their balls.” Ladies and gentlemen, this is the house where fun comes to die. I like this place already!
This is how we answer the door when repair men come to our flat. Presenting, for our final appearance: Lufei of Room 1, Jessica of Room 2, Wen of Room 3, Prapthi of Room 4, Mallory of Room 5, and Asako of Room 6.
A parting act of vandalism on our last night at the Vale: transferring our house plant Mr. Chili into the great outdoors! Very exciting.