Procrastinating away

It's just a bad day not a bad life

I scheduled a MasterThesis Bootcamp for the long weekend and, as you can see from the title of the post, ended up doing maybe one hour of reading for the thesis. Which was not the goal. The goal was to cram in at least 20hrs of reading, prepare the research plan to give to my thesis advisor, start with the writing of some theoretical definitions and draft an outline.

The first thing that threw me off my plan was that I got a crazy bad migraine attack on Saturday, leaving me laying in bed the whole day and the next thing was my general problem with my work attitude at home, which is mostly non-existant. It is Monday evening as I am writing this, so I can assure that I have not found a solution at least for this weekend.

But I will just start fresh tomorrow and make the best of the rest of the time I have left to work on the thesis.

moi pink

picture courtesy of WeHeartIt
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The post in which I really want to learn portuguese but,…

Brazil_copacabana

Rio de Janeiro

Back in 2010 I was in Rio de Janeiro for a few days on my tiny South America tour and I totally fell in love with the city.

Back in Germany I tried to learn some portuguese with podcasts but next to my draining dual studies programme I did not have the energy to properly learn the language. That’s why after I quit my job I found a course at the Volkshochschule which is comparable to the Learning Annex I guess. I ordered the book and was very eager to go to my first lecture at this intensive course. I even managed to get the unemployment discount and only paid half the price. But then my mom asked my to help her out with my little sister’s birthday party.

As I am trying to be a better sibling and somehow felt that me being able to speak fluent Italian would help me with Portuguese I decided to skip the first lesson and go to the second one instead.

The week after that I went to the nearest big town where the course was to be held and waited in front of the room. When nobody had shown up 5mins before the class started I went to the Info Point and asked them if the course had been canceled. The old man behind the counter looked it up for me and confirmed the room number, I then went back to the room and waited outside as there was still a German course going on. The teacher from the German course suggested I ask the janitors if maybe my course had switched rooms and asked them for keys. I went back to the other side of the Info Point asking the janitors for my course and they looked at me and started laughing. I had managed to get the dates completely messed up. The course was an intensive course and had gone from Monday to Saturday the week before without me. I had looked at the letter of confirmation and there were the dates , when I booked it online the dates must have been there, but somehow I was so incredibly convinced that the course was a weekly one. Oh yeah and of course the billed me.

After drowning my sorrow in a Starbucks coffee from the main station I drove back home and shrugged my shoulders at the irony that the book would arrive the next day…

I think that nice episode sums up perfectly how terribly confused and not well together I was during the period after I had quit my job and before I had the admission for graduate school. Funny thing the school I got accepted at was the one were I sent the application letter without stamps on the envelope because I was again so confused and had so much on my mind.

And at that very school I have been taking a portuguese beginners course for the last 7 weeks and had to change the idea that I am some kind of language genius. Because learning Italian in a year of living there with mostly native speakers around me is just not the same as sitting 4hrs/week in a course and trying to fumble together some sentences in Portuguese.

But hey Mission accomplished I am taking my Portuguese class and if everything goes as planned I will even o on a semester abroad to Brazil!

moi pink

Holy Moly I did it – the big step that changed my life

Not my granddad's garden, but it looks pretty similiar

Holy Moly, I did it !

I did it, i turned my life upside down, quit my job, moved back to my hometown to live with my granddad. And the odds of getting into my favourite grad school, any grad school at all, turn out to become smaller any day that’s passing. {Update I did get into one!}

Doing it right

I always figured that I did everything right, in “their” mind whoever you want “them” to be. And almost immediately I hated it. Half a year before I even finished high school, I got the offer of a “dual studies” programme with a coal-trading company. I happily took it, being the type A personality that I was back then and needing the security of knowing what the next step would be.

When I started this programme consisting of an apprenticeship for the first two years and after that a full-time position within the company, all while going to university lectures 2-3 times in the evening and on most Saturdays, I immediately hated it. I didn’t like the general management stuff they taught us at university and I felt not needed and bored during the apprenticeship.

After convincing myself that I just needed an adjustment phase and that afterwards the big career I always wanted during high school would await me. Money to buy Jimmy Choos, get a BMW Z8, fancy designer clothes, etc. Needless to say when I envisioned that I was a clueless high schooler, pumped up on talk about the demographic shift and how we are the Generation that can choose their employers freely.

After sometime I just couldn’t take it any more and I started to plan my “escape” (I will blog about the detailed process in an upcoming mini series)

Now that I have “escaped” and things do not go according to plan, again, I still feel calm. I am full of confidence in my decision, my future, and most important of all, I am full of confidence in myself.

That is when I don’t get a letter of decline from a grad school that I thought to be a sure candidate….

But after watching bad TV for an entire day and nearly crying in the car, the next day I was okay again. Now I am sitting here in my new favourite spot to write, in my granddad’s big garden and…

I am so happy and proud of me that I did it, that I let go of my unfullfilling day job and started anew.

moi pink

PS: I wrote this piece while on my blogging-hiatus so it’s probably a bit confusing. Because I did get into grad school after all, but I just wanted to share this article with you nonetheless.

picture courtesy of jour de pluie via Ilorias hub

TOEFL Test Part II

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I just finished writing the first part in a series about recruitment processes and I had to think about my TOEFL Test and I noticed that I never told you guys about the actual TOEFL Test.

I was having the flu until the day before the test, so I should have been nervous about my performance but actually was way too tired to do so. On the day of the test I woke up feeling much better for the first time in a week. Nonetheless when I took the test I was not so sure if I had preformed well, as the questions and texts were harder than in the practise test and my head started to feel feverish after the first hour or so.

But, I nailed it ! I scored 108 out of 120 possible points, not bad for no preparation except for only buying the book and taking a prep course a month before the test…

Picture courtesy of lavieboston.com

TOEFL Test study routine, well sort of

I knew it would come this way.

After having ordered an enormous textbook for the TOEFL Test, I noticed that I returned to being my usual lazy self and booked a preparation course for the TOEFL Test.

I only hope that the tax auditor will accept all this as necessery expenses.

Not sure how they feel about a Portguese course in Lisbon, but that is another story.

Back to the prep course.

It was fun, I noticed once again how much I enjoy speaking English.

The techniques to tackle the test were very helpful. Funny how the teacher said I would likely get some problems in the test as my English is already very good. The course took place at a university in a nearby town, on Friday evenings and Saturday from 8 to 16 o’clock. Made me remember how much I love learning new things and the class room environment.

We also did a simulated test, unfortunately I did not reach a score high enough for some of the Master programs. I only hope that I will be better in the real test.

TOEFL Test

Nowadays I love the English language, I even have problems explaining in detail in my mother tongue especially as my work requires me to read a lot in English and condense the important bits of information in my mother tongue. It gets really hard if one has an additional question to which I know the answer but only in the original English I read it in. Luckily no one ever gets upset if I throw around the English terms.
So anyways I think of myself as a very fluent speaker, unfortunately my self-assessment is not enough for the universities I want to apply to.

They don’t know my highly criticizing self yet.

The formal standards for the Master applications therefore require me to take the TOEFL Test, the book for training arrived yesterday and my elderly neighbour nearly couldn’t lift it up.

I only have two months to prepare left, and I really hope that I can score above 100 so that I can apply to my favourite Master program.

In the next days I will upload my study program, hoping I will stick to it more rigorously if it has been published on the Interwebz, I am a high risk patient of procrastination.