Days 76-82: customs fees were created specifically to torment me

Monday March 27-Sunday April 2nd

I rushed to do my laundry on Monday morning (I don’t have class until 12:10 on Mondays) because I didn’t do it on Sunday and I was out of everything.  I had a bit of confusion about whether or not I needed to rush, because I wasn’t sure I had class.  There was an announcement on Blackboard saying that my Pragmatics lectures were over; even though there’s one assignment and a test, the class isn’t meeting anymore.  (Which is nice, since it’s my earliest class, but also a bummer because I missed a lot.)  I wasn’t sure if this was standard and my other two classes were also over.  The syllabus for my Traditional Drama class had two more sessions, but there wasn’t anything for Current Issues.  So… I guess I’m just going to have to go and see what happens.  I have to go to campus anyway to turn in the Special Circumstances paperwork–I’m not sure where to turn it in, but I figure I can find someone who knows.

I tried to print said paperwork in the morning (I filled it out in Photoshop) but the printer at Portsburgh Court wasn’t working.  I let the front desk know, and loaded up the PDF on my flash drive to print at uni–I’ve never managed to connect to eduroam here (or back at UMass) so I can’t use the WiFi on campus.  But surely I could find a way to print from a flash drive, right?

I went to class and discovered that yes, it was meeting, but this is the last week.  Next week the only class I’m gonna have will be Traditional Drama on Thursday, and then I’m done.  That’s a little under a month before classes at the Five Colleges end; we have a vacation in April but I think it’s meant to be for studying for the exams in May.  I’m gonna have to use it for studying because I’m so behind.  But that’s fine because my plan was already to stay here and do the tourist-y stuff I haven’t gotten to yet.  Anyway, class was cool and I learned about a new logic system!  With boxes!  I also thought of a title for my Div II, which I’ve been calling “untitled”, “I dunno”, “this doesn’t cohere enough for a title”, etc.

Then I went to try and print the Special Circumstances form.  It did not work.  I should’ve seen that one coming.  I couldn’t find any way to get the printer to recognize my flash drive, which I had plugged into it.  I probably could’ve tried a little harder, but I wasn’t feeling good, it was warm, and I stood in front of the printer for ages.  So I was a little lightheaded, and a lot grouchy.  I went home and decided to wait and see if the printer there would get fixed; hopefully I can print on Tuesday morning.  I should have time to take care of it since I only have Current Issues.  (I want to try and make it to these last three days because even though it’s my hardest class it’s also my favorite.)

After I perked up a little, I made banana bread and worked on my homework.  I started to sort through the emails I was behind on, but it was late and I decided I needed to go to bed on time.


Yes it’s in a cake pan–I’m not gonna buy loaf pans when I’m only gonna be here for one semester.  I overcooked it a little because I got too absorbed in the formatting for my Current Issues assignment.

[Image description: one photo of some banana bread with chocolate in it.  It is baked in a circular cake pan, which has been buttered and floured.  There is a slice missing.]

I woke up at 5 am on Tuesday.  It wasn’t on purpose, but I’m not complaining.  I love having time to do things in the morning!  I finally did my Hamp housing accommodations paperwork, which is always nerve-wracking.  Even more so this time because I’m not on campus and I can’t meet with potential modmates.  The housing lottery is probably worse, but this is still unpleasant.  I also emailed the Disability Service here about exam accommodations.  I’m allowed to be in a separate room with a few other people, since the sound of a hundred or so people rustling papers and coughing distracts me.  But I have problems with my hands, and so sometimes when I write longer things I use dictation software.  It looks like I’ll need it for all of my exams, but you can’t exactly put someone who’s saying all the answers out loud in a room with other people.  So now I need to get them to put me in a separate room.

(Also, you know how I mentioned that the LangSoc events end on the 29th of March and I didn’t know if that was because they hadn’t figured out the rest yet?  I think it does end there, which makes sense because classes end so soon.)

I took a bit of a nap in the morning (because, yanno, I woke up at 5 am) and then printed out the Special Circumstances paperwork, since the printer was fixed.  Then I checked my two emails from my Personal Tutor because I figured he might have mentioned where I’m supposed to turn the form in.  And then I felt very, very silly.  It turns out you don’t need to submit the Special Circumstances paperwork until after the semester ends!  It’s more of an after-the-fact thing that retroactively affects your grade, not something you do while you’re having problems.  This does mean I’m gonna have to reword stuff–I might print it and fill it out again, but by hand this time.  Maybe I’ll even figure out the uni printers so it doesn’t print with a giant ad on the bottom!  (That’s why the printers at Portsburgh Court are free.  Anything you print has a giant ad on it.)  I emailed my Personal Tutor back asking if I could still submit it sometime this week or the next, because I’d like to just get it out of the way, but that’s a relief.  I was worrying I’d left it too late!  Of course this also means that I may end up having plenty of time to stew about whether or not I’ll get approved–it’s really gonna tank my Current Issues grade if I don’t.

I really wanted to go to class (like I said, Current Issues is my favorite) but my legs crapped out and I wasn’t able to walk over.  Same with Wednesday, so there goes my noble “go to all three Current Issues classes this week” plan.  I also missed the last LangSoc lecture, which sucks because a) I ought to be taking advantage of these resources while they’re available and b) it sounded really cool.  I wish I could do studying abroad over.  (Not enough to repeat this semester, though.  Graduating a semester later than I intended would have me graduating with one of my best friends, yes, but also one of my worst enemies.  No they’re not the same person–my life isn’t quite that dramatic.)  Can you study abroad in grad school?  A quick Google says that you can, but it’s complicated.

Also, on Wednesday morning, I found out that Avengers: Infinity War is filming in Edinburgh, so that’s pretty neat.  I might try to make my way over at some point during the break to take a look.

I crashed on Thursday and Friday, partially due to people yelling outside my window (seriously, what is it about my window that says, “Rest your weary feet beneath me and speak at any volume you please even if it’s 3:30 am”?) and partially due to overexerting myself running errands and such.  Basically what’ll happen is I’ll start to feel okay, I’ll do a bunch of stuff, and then I’ll crash.  That’s what my life used to be like for the first few years of chronic illness–I actually didn’t realize, until I put it that way, that my life wasn’t like that anymore.  Sure, if I did a lot of stuff one day I’d be tired the next and I might have to take it easy.  But I wouldn’t be tired for multiple days and I would just be “sit around and read” tired, not “sleep all day, don’t eat because you don’t have the energy” tired.  So now I’m back to, well, not Square One.  Maybe Square Three or so?  Regardless, I really hope this clears up at some point.  I have (vague) travel plans!  And also, yanno, I don’t want to fail everything ever.

I perked up on Saturday (mostly because of the horrible, manic energy I get when I’m running on about five hours of sleep–there was more yelling, this time around 4 am) and now that I knew what was going on, I planned accordingly.  I was hoping to go to the Royal Mail place to pay customs fees and pick up a package, but they closed at 2 pm and I wasn’t quite ready then.  But I did go and withdraw some cash from Barclays.  Then I waffled on whether or not to go grocery shopping, but decided I should because I’d bought a day ticket and only taken two buses so far, which meant if I didn’t ride the bus at least one more time I’d technically have lost money.

I took Sunday off so I could rest up, but soon ruined that idea by accidentally staying up all night.  No one was yelling–it was remarkably quiet–I was just drawing a series of inhuman women in bloodstained ballgowns.  Wow it sounds creepy when I put it like that.  It was just a spur of the moment thing?  Nope, nope, I can tell that’s not helping.


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