Thursday, 7 March 2013

I'm still The Perpetual Student (although I'm not a student any more!)

My alias is The Perpetual Student, but technically I'm not a student any more! When I started this blog I was in the 3rd year of my BA, which I finished in June 2011, and since then I have completed my MA, which I did from September 2011 to September 2012. But since then, I haven't been in university, but I still consider myself to be a Perpetual Student!

This is because I believe that we never stop being students. Even if you aren't in university, college or school, we never stop learning, and life is a great teacher! But I also push myself to be scholarly and academically constructive at home.

This is my main focus, because I am an Egyptologist! 
During my MA I focused on the Theban 'kings' of the First Intermediate Period, and I thought my future research area would be on this period of Egyptian history, but my research project evolved more into an investigation of what was kingship during this period, which is an issue I found really fascinating (and it turns out I find the First Intermediate Period quite boring, actually!), so I decided to focus on the issue of ancient Egyptian kingship as my own research area. I try to research this in my spare time at least a couple of times per week.

Anyway, enough of my Egyptology waffle. What I mean to say is that even if you have finished your university course, it doesn't mean that you have to stop studying that subject! If you enjoy it, and have the time and resources (books etc), it is brilliant to do your own research! In fact, I think it is more fun! Since I finished uni, I have enjoyed doing Egyptology much more, because I don't have the pressure of deadlines and feedback etc (I HATE feedback!!). Also, you don't have professors saying that you can't or shouldn't research a certain subject- if you enjoy a subject, make it your own!! Don't give up!! 

I have quite big goals for learning languages. I aim to learn German well enough to be able to read German Egyptology articles (conversing is a whole nuther ball game!!), and I need to revise my French, because bits of it are dropping out of my head every day! Also, I need to continue with my Middle Egyptian (Hieroglyphs), because it's fascinating and really important to my research, but also because one of my Egyptology tutors said you have to do some Hieroglyphs (mainly translation) at least once every 3 weeks, or you will start to forget it!
So I push myself to learn languages. French is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment, maybe because I can't be bothered (bad girl!!), but also because I feel the other 2 are a bit more important.  I am trying to teach myself German, as I have a background in learning languages in university, having been taught by really amazing teachers, so I use their languages learning methods to teach myself German- basically, I start with the structure of the language- grammar (like the skeleton of the language), and fill it in with the vocabulary etc (like the muscles, skin etc). I have a few German grammar books, a dictionary, a couple of vocab/phrase books- so I just read the sections in these books, and make notes, then revise. I try to do these a couple of times a week, but I have been neglecting them recently :(
Languages are really important, because the world is becoming much more multi-cultural, so if you learn another language, you are investing in your future!

Creative writing:
This is more like a hobby, but I think it is scholarly too, because writing a novel etc is very difficult. When I was little I always wanted to be an author, and since I finished university I have had some really good ideas! I'm not going to tell you about them now, they are secret!
I think creative writing, like any hobby, can be really beneficial to you. When I read, I like to feel like I am transported to another world. When I'm thinking up ideas for my novel (I'm only at the ideas stage, not the writing stage yet), I'm transported again, but this time to a world that I create!
I am sure when I start writing (hopefully in the summer), I will feel as though I'm really accomplishing something important, just when you are on a roll with writing an essay. I don't know if my novels will ever be published, but I think that the exercise of writing it is a great task in itself. At the moment I just write down ideas as I think of them, but when I'm ready to start writing I will sit down a few times a week and work properly on it!

So although I'm technically not a student any more, I'm still learning, and working hard to do my scholarly projects and hobbies. Just because you've graduated university, it doesn't mean that you have to stop being academic! It makes me feel sad when people finish a course and say good bye to that subject- I will never say good bye to Egyptology! 
I'm a student of the world, and I'm committed to continuing learning!

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