Niall’s virtual diary archives – Wednesday 30th April 2008

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Wednesday 30th April 2008: 1pm exactly. I am, as of yesterday, now done with university at St. Andrews as I handed in my dissertation yay! It's quite a thought to think that I am now coming to the end of what I began well over five years ago now - I just got a book to spit out, and this cycle will have been completed. My dissertation is on modelling the costs of climate change - unlike most Economic treatises on the matter, mine is actually based on scientific evidence which makes it rather different - and I have an awful lot of good stuff in there (having once again leached most of it off my notes for my book).

It's been so busy since the last entry. Myself and Megan went to Ireland which was great as she secured a teaching practice place in a school - now that she's completely sorted, it comes down to myself finding somewhere. Dad wants us to finish renovating the last of the house in exchange for us living there rent free which Megan seems very happy about. All in all, things to do with what we're going to do next are looking very good at present - only a month ago, the total lack of security was really beginning to annoy. Oh, and while we were very busy in Ireland (up early, bed late), we did get to eat very well whilst there - it was expensive, but that seafood lasagne we ate in that restaurant off McCurtain Street will definitely stick in our memories for a while.

Since we got back, I immediately had to dive into a four thousand worder on Risk in the Creative Industries - as with all the coursework I have handed in for that module, for the first time since first year I am free to write what I want as it makes no difference to my degree grade, so I wrote a thermodynamic treatise on the matter which is probably unintelligible to almost everyone . I managed to write that in three days which is very good going - I wrote the dissertation which stands at nearly 17,000 words in precisely eight days, with no starting research despite the sixty or so referenced peer reviewed research papers (all of which I actually read fully this time), which has got to be some sort of record. Unfortunately, the word count was supposed to by 8,000 so I more than doubled it and I'll probably get penalised for that - but no matter, once again I wasn't doing it for the grade.

And to be honest, those two have eaten up most of the last three weeks. Of course, there was added drama - I was trying to frobnicate the hard drive settings on this computer that Saturday and through the simple changing of a BIOS setting managed to hose my entire partition table plus the first partition - a problem not least that my dissertation was stored there. That took an entire day to fix. There also have been various people freaking out and getting themselves into sticky situations as they wont to do this time of year, but I was flexible, and I bent with changing events though I must admit that the end of that dissertation is more rushed than I would have preferred.

So what happens now? Well, I got a nice long list of things to tick off which I've been keeping for now (one of which was to write this entry). I have another long list of stuff for when I get money in as once again I am at my overdraft limit thanks to going to Ireland yanking £180 off my monthly income - but Virgin have very nicely given me a credit card at 6.7% APR for life which is far better than a bank loan, so even though it's only got a £500 limit, that's gold dust to me right now (you'll never find such a cheap rate normally - use google, there's a magic link to follow which activates the drop from 16.7% to 6.7%). Obviously, I'd really rather like to get my book going - I have very much enjoyed writing these essays even though the time pressure sucks monkey balls as you have to submit them "good enough" instead of perfect.

I think Johanna has nearly finished cooking fish for our lunch, so time to go! I feel bloody elated that this degree is over, now come the fun times until the end of summer. Of course, it will be sad to say goodbye to so many - and for most, it will be forever, and even most of the remainder you'll never hear from them again after three years as I learned from Hull. But we still have a summer left - and St. Andrews is very pretty in the summer - as I'm sure you'll be hearing about on here. Be happy everyone!

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