Summer Update

Summer days are long and lazy, but unfortunately I'm so busy.

Summer days are long and lazy, but unfortunately I’m so busy.

I know a lot of you are waiting for the next installment of the AATA series, but unfortunately that will have to wait. I’m currently wading neck-high in all the things I have to do to survive this summer. My Romance Languages thesis is coming along. I met with my advisor, who approved my speaking task and I’m currently in the basement of North Quad, where I just recorded my first research participant. I feel like I may be overpaying my subjects…$20 to repeat words on a screen over a period of 10 minutes. But oh well, native French speakers are a rare commodity in Ann Arbor. My first participant did an awesome job. Now, I only have to mark up about 216 vowels and prepare them for analysis. Then rinse and repeat for each subject. Awesome.

My International Studies thesis is…not coming along. I just can’t multitask as well as others, and I need to do things one at a time. I’m thinking I’m going to finish as much of my Romance Languages thesis as I can and then bulldoze through my International Studies readings. Perhaps while I’m on vacation in Florida. Sigh, I’m never gonna get a real vacation, am I? Last Christmas, I spent my winter break in Florida revising my first novel and querying agents. During my recent trip to Taiwan/China, I finished my second novel. Oh, and I’ll also probably want to start taking practice LSAT exams while in Boca Raton.

As for my Fulbright application, I guess it’s going well. I’ve been polishing my statement of purpose with the help of the Fulbright advisor and it’s getting there. Now I just have to fill out the online form and work on my personal statement. I ran into a bit of a roadblock, since I realized that the recommendation form asked about my English skills, so my French professor would have nothing substantial to write. In the end, I decided to swap my French professor with my Princeton Review supervisor, but the latter has not responded to my email yet. Must have patience…

Arabic is going slowly. I simply don’t have enough energy and time to devote four hours a day to it, like I should be doing. I have the alphabet down and some basic words/phrases, but I’m beginning to doubt that I’ll achieve second-year proficiency by the end of the summer. We’ll see how that placement exam goes. The good news is that I found myself a tutor who agreed to evaluate my skill level for the Fulbright application. I’ll be working with her weekly from now on. I’m also trying to focus on Dareja, the Moroccan dialect, in addition to Modern Standard Arabic, so the task is doubly hard. إن شاء الله (God willing), I will learn Arabic!

Yeah, let’s not talk about my book. There’s nothing to talk about, really. I haven’t heard back from any editors/publishers yet, and I don’t want to speculate about what this means. Of course, though, when I’m in bed at night and I really want to sleep, my brain starts going to that place. They’ve already read my book, they didn’t like it, and they’re not even bothering to tell my agent. They weren’t that interested, so they’re going to wait until next year to finally read it and tell us they hated it. They’re all on vacation. Well, that one isn’t too bad…

Needless to say, I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Maybe my method of piling more things onto my plate to avoid thinking about the fate of my novel isn’t ideal. But I can’t think of anything else, other than physically working out. I’ve been going out to the stables more often, because nothing takes my mind off of work like horseback riding. Firstly, because I love it. Secondly, because riding is damn hard and anyone who says otherwise clearly has never tried. You have to think about every muscle in your body and what it is communicating to the horse. Even more complicated, each horse communicates in a slightly different language. Recently, I rode this 17 hands beast of a chestnut gelding named X. He was a great horse, but he had very peculiar “buttons” you had to push, since he was spur-trained. On any other horse, if you squeezed your legs together, he would speed up. On X, you come to a standstill.

This weekend, I was aboard Samara and had an awesome ride despite being a foot shorter than usual. Here are some of my favorite photos from this weekend, courteous of Phineas photography.

We didn't find the obese black cat, but a bunch of goats found us.

We didn’t find the obese black cat, but a bunch of goats found us.

Leading good ole Samara from the paddock.

Leading good ole Samara from the paddock.

Urging Samara along.

Urging Samara along.

Howdy, stranger. All I need is a sombrero to complete my cowgirl look.

Howdy, stranger. All I need is a sombrero to complete my cowgirl look.

I'm so coordinated I can wink while riding!

I’m so coordinated I can wink while riding!

What are you favorite stress-relieving activities? Are you a good multi-tasker?

À la prochaine,

R

 

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3 thoughts on “Summer Update

  1. Pingback: I Can’t Afford to Have Senioritis | Rebecca Cao

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