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About haycraftd

  • Birthday 06/13/1987

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  1. Congratulations! Hope all goes well.
  2. I guessed it was something like that, lol. Life is filled with dice tosses and we're all lucky. I'm far from the only researcher who's found "research" a roller-coaster. From deciding my degree because of housing concerns, to finding a science through an email, more--I suppose "research" as deep as this is always tricky, because your assignment is to be forever curious, finding and exploring every nook and cranny you can find. And there are MANY strange things out there. Whenever I've uncovered something new, I've always bit my lip reporting it to my professors, because all to often they've asked me to dive into it. And I have--I've got plenty of stories. Enough of that, though. Any plans for the weekend? I suspect I'm just going to veg out.
  3. @Dar'Jen Ab OwainThanks! I'll be happy to keep you all updated. Think I might want to create a thread for it? @Elgee I'm sorry, I think I didn't make things clear--this is the final year of my PhD here in Edinburgh, but I earned my Masters here as well, in November 2014. I flew over here in September 2013 for a Masters in "Medieval History" in UofE's School of History, Classics & Archaeology, finishing everything August 2014 and graduating November 2014. And then, for my PhD, I went sideways. UofE has rolling admissions, so in May 2014, while I was still working on my Masters, I applied to two PhD programmes here in order to study "Early Medieval Natural Disasters": a PhD in "History," but also another in UofE's school of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, called "Medieval Studies." The summer afterwards was looong, with me working on my Masters dissertation and waiting ten weeks to be accepted/turned down for a PhD. In early August, I finally was "Firmly Accepted" by "Medieval Studies" in the LLC. I waited for about a week afterwards to see if I got into "History," but "History" hadn't decided by the end of it. Since I needed to figure out housing and I'd be studying the same subject anyway, I withdrew my "History" application and accepted "Medieval Studies." Being an international student can be complicated, and again, carefully planned? Lol! Ever since, I've been working on my PhD, and have chipped "Early Medieval Natural Disasters" down to Vikings/natural disasters. I did decently in my Masters degree 2013-2014. Examining all I did my Masters year as compared to today, though--wow have I improved as a writer and researcher. As far as becoming stronger--it all clicked sometime in late May. Realising you've always undervalued yourself and that you might deserve the praise you've received--well, it makes you feel a bit smug, stand straighter, and smile, if you don't want to become arrogant. It makes you realise that things that you've always considered coincidences--or only because you have one arm--might not be coincidental or about that at all. I'm not sure what it will do to me yet--it sure was a confidence-booster. We'll see.
  4. Thanks! I might want an icee again today. It's warm enough here that I'm thinking about getting my shorts out for more than golf. And it's gorgeous today. I'm planning on practising Wednesday, but all the weekend through Tuesday I'm deep in work. It's sometimes odd to realise how much I've grown on the job. Reading my Masters essays vs today--I'm a far better writer now than I was in the beginning. Writing a precise outline in minutes now, instead of thinking it out in painful hours--I think a PhD can be beneficial in more ways than one, if I don't plan on continuing. Or, at least, a PhD can be beneficial here--the professors here aren't afraid of failing you. They're far more harsh than in the U.S. and you never get As. So you've really got to excel. Even if I lose my final battle with Jak o' the Shadows, my time here has been worth something. And, of course, I must have become stronger. For a long time I ignored all the evidence that I was--this isn't arrogance speaking--with the fact I'd gotten through all my medical problems and that I was studying the uses of natural disasters in military strategies when I had gone through one myself, and I seem to be a normal guy anyway--what we remember are the times we falter, not the fact we face difficult situations everyday and get through them. As did I. But in the last several months, something changed. And that's not bad at all. So, I'm back to work! Always writing, writing, writing, writing. Once I finish writing, I expect life will be extremely weird for weeks after.
  5. Nests, whether they're birds or squirrels.
  6. Thanks, maybe. I've got to get all this together for the end of Tuesday, so they can read everything for the annual review the 26th. I'm certain I'll get through it this time, so I'm not very worried about writing it perfectly, but I do want more sources to "beef it up." So today I was zigzagging all through the internet to find one primary or secondary source after the other, to make it look better. Occasionally I find something useful for the case study itself, but mostly it's just showing I know all the scholars I need to know.
  7. Well, I think this is over, but, coincidentally, the girl at Toastmasters who was looking at me funny April through early May--(I haven't seen or heard from her since, but I know she's had problems)--is half-Russian. I think I'm going to try to see what's up at our next Toastmaster meeting Thursday. We're friends anyway and, if things go wrong, I'm leaving next year. If things go right--well, that outweighs wrong by far, don't you think? I wouldn't have too much trouble in going to St Petersburg, and she's a lovely lass. A hug and something direct, but don't make it a big deal? Something like, "I dunno, I'm thinking there might be something between us, think so?" Then "Anyway" and change the subject? Think she'd get it? I'm fairly sure you all will want to know what happens now. I'm guessing nothing, but I suppose I can say things here.
  8. And @LilyElizabeth, Life is wonderful. It's difficult to keep that in mind always, but it's true--whether we've won the lottery or are sulking at home. We're all lucky to be alive. For me--the fact I survived everything is lucky enough, but the fact that it didn't mess me up is doubly lucky. Hurricane Katrina messed up plenty of my friends, and that's only one event in my own life. Sure, I (might) be strong--but that's not all of it. I don't have dice rolling in my head like Mat, but luck has played a fairly big role in everything. In the last couple of years, I've decided to start an exercise every night. I take out a piece of paper or open a Word document and then I write a letter to God. "Dear God, Thanks for today." And I list ten events that day that could be considered good events--whether it's something as significant as finishing my rough draft or as insignificant as the fact that I messaged someone. I finish it with a good "Amen," and sign it. Yup. Thanks, everyone.
  9. Thanks! @Elgee: Given that two of my paintings are Russian, I'm wondering whether I should visit Russia one of these days.
  10. I did, all in all. It was a rainy day for most of it, but it cleared up for the night. I ended up having a quiet, but nice, cigar. Life has been an interesting journey so far. I've never had anything resembling a normal life--(you can read some of it here, that's a short summary, and doesn't cover close to everything--I've seen MANY jaws drop)--so I'm very happy I've been able to make it as far as I have. I always try to make light of that history, just saying it's made me stronger and pointing out I'm normal. Being an inspiration isn't as good as it's made out to be. People often see me as an inspiration once they learn close to all of that, but forget the boy in front of them. I've got a couple of quotes over my desk. The first is from the Knights Radiant, "Life before Death, Strength Before Weakness, Journey before Destination." I have "Journey before Destination" underlined. Of course, I also have a quote from Mat: "“One more dance along the razor's edge finished. Almost dead yesterday, maybe dead tomorrow, but alive, gloriously alive, today!” I've got the last bit underlined there too. Sure, I've joked about it, but I've probably been near that razor's edge more often than many if not most people. It's sometimes scary to remember it all. I should probably put this one up from one of the songs that means the most to me, "The Gambler." "They'll be time enough for counting, when the dealing's done." I'm still journeying, alive, and playing poker today. Hopefully I'll be playing it for many years to come. Wish me luck.
  11. Interesting proposition, lol. But thanks, everyone! I was joking (if it might have fallen a bit flat), but Dar'Jen--it's all relative, isn't it? Remember how much we looked up to and respected the "grownups" when we were kids? I think "grownup" was basically 18 and older? The equations have changed a bit, but working on a doctorate, at least ten years older than all the undergraduates swarming around you (I believe about a third of the city of Edinburgh is made up of students), can make you feel old. I've just gotten some pizza and have a nice cigar waiting.
  12. Thanks! I'm ancient now--32! Nobody's around these days--(there are downsides to having a summer birthday at a university)--so I'm getting everything ready to have a good night.
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