Episode 21: Of Anecdotes and Indexes

A few people have been saying that I should include some of my interesting stories based on my actual real life. I figure I might as well follow the example of the serial authors I’m studying and alter some installments accordingly. Don’t worry, I’ll talk about some literary research and you will sonn see why. So last week in the middle of Spring Break I get an email from Higher One. If you do not know who they are then you are a lucky person for these are the people in charge of all things relevant to federal student loans. My financial aid is pretty much non existant throughout my PhD so these loans have made it possible that I not take crazier economic choices or empty out a big chunk of my parents’s retirement/savings to continue my education. A lot of the emails they send are about as helpful as your overly worried Aunt sending info on the newest “computer virus” or how crafty criminals are out to get you. This time however they sent me a notice that I would start paying off my student loans in a few months. WTF explitives and quizzical looks were constant for a while and I just wanted to wait and call them up the next day so that it would be a conversation and not a string of screams and insults. Just before I was about to make that call my parents emailed me that Higher One sent them a letter, an actual snail mail letter, which they scanned and sent as well. Apparently, and I did not know this, it is not enough to be a part time student (aka taking some kind of credits) in order to get loans and to still be considered a student for the issue of not paying back yet. Luckily, Spring Break did not stop administrative buildings on campus from operating and I was able to ask around for the appropiate course of action. Another issue arose in that the loans for this semester now technically didn’t exist either so now I needed to pay this semester’s tuition out of pocket if my situation didn’t get fixed soon. My one option was to get extra credits added to my curriculum of my thesis dissertation research class after the add drop deadline. I was worried but my major professor had no problem with this. Long story short, the graduate school didn’t even bat an eyelash before giving me the stamp of approval and sending me on my way to enrollment services to make the appropiate changes. So yeah, this means that I technically almost doubled my workload in order to prove my research abilities. The realization that I needed to up my awesomeness and responsibilites by a lot came in full point today when I met up with a guy who was looking for an editor for an epic fantasy book he wrote. I was in the top 3 people considered for the job but I explained to him that I needed to focus on my reading lists for comps. The money wasn’t great for the job but the experience and cv building would have been good.

Because I’ve decided to work a lot harder on finding cool books for research. The campus library unfortunately had no Batman titles so I decided to look more in a classical literary direction. I found “Victorian Novels in Serial” by J. Don Vann and thought I hit the jackpot. Looking through the book I suddenly found that my expectations needed to be culled and quick. The book itself is more an index and list of serials done by different authors, where they were originally published, when, and division of chapters per installments. Fairly interesting but nothing that will revolutionize potentiatl dissertation ideas. Some of the cooler stuff is the footnotes that put how original installments would have weird differentiations between original serial fiction and the novelized chapter version. Also, freakin Treasure Island was serialized so awesome. One additional author that needs some extra digging into is William Wilky Collins, more of a sensationalist novelist but he had a really cool saying about writing serials: “make em laugh, make em cry, and make them wait” Definitely need to add him in.

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