Monday, 25 August 2008

Dissertation Stress

So much work to do... I feel like my soul has been sucked out through my keyboard.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Crunch time!

An update is long overdue. I write this as I finish week two at my new job. And I am still completely infatuated by it.

I really don't think I could have a better job. The people I work with are lovely. The office is cheerful an dedicated. The British flavour is friendly, with drinks in the pub with the bosses being the norm. The cause is brilliant. And best of all, they pay for me to hop on airplanes and go to interesting places. I'm going on my first trip on Thursday, when they put me on a plane to Cambodia (!!!!). Because the people I work with are travel addicts like me, tacking on days at the beginning and end is encouraged, and I will be able to take advantage of the trip to go to the ruins at Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, then travel down to Phnom Pheh to work with one of our country programs to build up a budget and proposal for a massive expansion. Its an incredibly exciting project, and I cant wait to be part of such a huge scale up that will help so many people.

The last weeks have been incredibly stressful. Not only am I lagging on my dissertation, my visa status was up in the air because of a mistake made by the consulate in Tel Aviv. If that had fallen through my life would basically have fallen apart - I would have had to leave the best job I could possibly have, be stuck paying for my apartment in London while trying to work things out from abroad... so thank god it came through!

Now the big push is on the dissertation. Luckily my boss is very understanding and told me to take time off if I needed it, so I'm taking Tuesday for hardcore studying. Turning it in on Wednesday or Thursday, then getting on a plane Thursday night for Asia... So exciting!

At the same time that I'm excited for being finished with school work and starting at a real job, I am sad that this part of my life is coming to an end. One of my best friends (someone I knew before London, but who I became close with here) is leaving, which means that my copious levels of alcohol consumption will no longer be entirely socially acceptable. Ah yes and of course I'll miss him as well, not just as a drinking buddy.

Many people I know here are leaving or have already left, and I am sad that the LSE section of my life is dissipating and all the inspiration and learning Ive gotten this year will go with it. I hope that by staying in sector I can continue to surround myself with great, inspiring people with great dreams for the world, but as much as I have loved the environment I've also loved the individuals. And I will certainly miss them as they go.

OK Jules, back to work!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


I want to adopt him and keep him in the bathtub.

Real post comming soon...

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Procrastination and excitement

Dissertations are funny things. Somehow they suck the life out of both the writer and the topic, while simultaioniously making time between the present and the deadline fly by. Among the ways Ive found to avoid writing:

Taking a lovely trip to the Lakes District in the north of England (see see photos above)

Spending time laughing at this lovely blog:, which has provided me with enough laughs to make Mr. Sheildmaiden think I had gone off the deep end completely. I was sure that any picture from my hometown in New Jersey would do, so I looked up listings in Union City. Sure enough the first place with interior photos fit the bill, and I am honored to be name dropped in the blog! Hurray! Another few hours killed in their tracks.

Making a lovely dinner for friends at my place, of which I do not have photos but have witnesses! If nothing else, I should have gotten a most improved award. A few weeks ago I couldn't make anything except pasta and eggplant moussaka. Now I have variety. Another day down.

Sitting around being excited and nervous for my new job. I really am frothing at the bit to get started. I got a lovely email from my new boss, again welcoming me to the team and asking if she could take me out to lunch on my first day. Very sweet, and really thoughtful. I saw the same position that I've been accepted for advertised in Melbourne, and as the weather in London is turning more dreary, I keep thinking about how nice it would be to jet off to a life down under... Not this year I guess, but its good to know that they need those skills elsewhere as well. Maybe in a few years....

OK so enough yammering, back to work. If any of you happen to have experience working with PRTs in Iraq and Afghanistan, I would love to get the chance to talk to you for my dissertation.