UniDiary Day 23: The Case of the Confusing Word Count

The Imitation Game
Nuh uh, honey:

Guess who was in the corridor being loud again last night? If you guessed my obnoxious roommate, you’d be right!

I stayed up late trying to start the essay which I procrastinated all day yesterday. Turning my light off at 12:20am, I shut my eyes… And seconds later there was yelling in the corridor, music blaring and doors slamming. Joy of joys. I groaned, dragging my pillow closer and considering beating her with it. If she’d made noise earlier in the evening I wouldn’t have minded, because the flat was empty for most of the day. It’s just inconsiderate to start partying when everyone else is asleep. (I phoned security. I’m too old to deal with that shit, and they’re there for a reason. I don’t pay as much money as I do to not make use of the facilities).

She was standoffish this morning, saying that she was out when they were playing the music loudly. To this I ask, why did she go out and leave them alone in the flat? When she was with them last time, food got stolen (which she still hasn’t replaced). It could have been a lot worse this time if they were completely unaccompanied.

I’ll keep you updated as this develops, because I think it’s about to erupt into a full-scale war…

Let’s move on to talk about this, and this, and this!:

I ACTUALLY STARTED MY ESSAY THIS MORNING! Despite the drama bubbling in the group chat, I managed to write a quarter of it before I needed to leave for my lectures. However, I was rather engrossed. I ended up rushing to get to my lecture, bursting in a few minutes after it started.

Thankfully, someone was making a speech about why we should choose her as student rep. The lesson didn’t start until 12:10pm, giving me time to catch my breath before the guest lecturer stepped up. Introducing us to Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankstein’, she charged her way through her powerpoint, hardly pausing between slides. Rapidly jumping from one topic to another – the death of the Shelley’s children, the monster portrayed as a feral man – it genuinely felt as though my brain was going to explode as I tried to keep up.

SOMEHOW I managed to take down all of the notes I wanted, but I didn’t take any of it in. I’ll be revisiting those notes before the seminar tomorrow.

I’m at a place called ‘Vertigo’:

It was time for our next film screening, and this week we settled in to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’. Our lecturer has stressed the importance of colour in this film repeatedly, so I was expecting it to be a psychedelic mess. Surprisingly, it was a little slow (and completely bland, for at least the first hour). This was my first encounter with a Hitchcock film, and I’d been expecting more from such a celebrated genius.

The second half definitely picked up, but I still felt my mind wandering. Checking Twitter and surreptitiously texting my mum under the desk, I still made a lot of notes, but it’s another reason I’d rather watch the films in my own time. I could have been getting on with other productive work during the downtime. (It seems other people in my class feel the same way. Three people left halfway through the screening. Why not? They take register at the beginning, after all).

There are lots of interesting camera angles in ‘Vertigo’. It’s probably going to be the film that I focus on for the presentation we need to make. There’s lots to pick up on during the two-hour run time, so I shouldn’t be struggling to find enough material to fill ten slides.

Home is where the heart is:

For some reason, I felt the need to check the postbox when I got back to my flat. A bunch of takeaway menus, a letter for my roommate… And something brightly coloured shining in between them. Yep, my boyfriend sent me a postcard from Hawaii before he went home. (Considering he’s been back for five days it’s a little late, but it looks gorgeous on my pinboard!).

We ended up talking on the phone for an hour. He’s been suffering from jetlag and I’ve been busy, so there hasn’t been time. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed his voice, though. It’s been almost three weeks since we last spoke and we’ve never gone that long without talking to each other before. I’m looking forward to going home at the weekend more than ever.

Because I want to enjoy that time at home, as soon as we ended the call I cracked on with my essay.

Thus begins the Case of the Confusing Word Count:

On Monday, we were told that references were included in the word count. I didn’t think this was a problem, until I realised just how many words one reference takes up in the Harvard referencing style. I’ve hit the word limit but I’ve yet to write a conclusion, and over a quarter of my words are just references.

It doesn’t make any sense to me, so I’ve queried it with my personal tutor. The in-text citations take up enough of the word count, without including the entire bibliography of references! If that is how they’re doing it, it means we have to do hardly any work. If that’s not how they’re doing it, I’ve left myself some wiggle room: I have another point I can expand on and the dreaded conclusion to insert, so I can easily work my way back up to 800 words.

Hopefully my tutor will get back to me ASAP! It’s frustrating that I’ve finally knuckled down and made great progress, only to be halted in my tracks.

And that brings us up to now! I’m just about to go for a shower before bed, because last week I got up at 6am to shower and I HATED myself. I’ve learnt my lesson…