This is going to be a short post, completely composed from a stream of consciousness, as my dissertation due date is looming in the not-so-distant future.  I’m trying (sometimes successfully!) to limit my time on Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress, and definitely on such correspondence applications such as Facebook Chat, AIM, and Skype.  I totally get sucked in, and I apologize to those who look for me there.

I’ve learned through trial and error several things about myself when I’m working.

Not even close to the number of books on my desk...

  • Don’t use the Mac.  This seems counterintuitive, but my Mac is fast.  Yep, I’m complaining about my computer being too fast while I’m working.  Why?  Well, because websites load faster.  That one minute break to check email leads to a click here, a click there, and then I’ve spent an hour of productivity click-click-clickity-clicking.  I use my HP netbook instead, which is functional, but moves at a comparatively glacial pace.  Websites like YouTube and StumbleUpon aren’t nearly as fun.
  • Work out of my room.  Yes, this means walking up one of the painful Durham hills carrying lots and lots of books, but I need that time out of my comfortable college accommodation.  Plus, since college decided that a folding chair was a suitable replacement for my desk chair, in actuality the library is more comfortable…  And there are fewer distractions about when the purpose for a library is study.
  • Wake up early, no matter what.  Yes, as a night owl I feel like the veil of sleep doesn’t lift until mid-afternoon, but really I get so much more done when I get up at 7-8 each morning.  If I’m at work by 9, then I can work all day and actually do something at night.  I woke up three mornings in a row before 5 AM about two weeks ago while on holiday, so I bloody well can get up at 8!
  • Caffeine and music make Sarah a not-so-dull girl.  I’ve never had so much Diet Coke, coffee, and tea before in my life, and I’m convinced that a tenner for an entire movie soundtrack has to be an incorrect price on iTunes.  I mean, really, who won’t be enthused by listening to the Game of Thrones main title or “He’s a Pirate” from Pirates of the Caribbean?  Currently my favorite?  “An Historic Love” from the Tudors, season one.

Just a quick update on life: I’m going to York in October for my PhD position in English/the CMS (Centre for Medieval Studies).  My dissertation is on hospitality and the guest-host relationship in Middle English Gawain romances.  My dissertation is 12-15,000 words (or roughly 45-60 A4 pages).  I registered for Pottermore on the third day and am currently awaiting my welcome email.  I went to Yellowstone National Park for two weeks in early July, and rejoiced in wearing bug spray, pigtails, and hiking boots everyday.

With that, more Diet Coke.