wheeee! australiana! mask is from g+b (ta!) and the eucalypts are from the local florist. very good they smell too.
i actually wore the ned helmet back from the grocers this afternoon, because it's nice and warm. just the thing to keep your nose toasty on a freezing cold day. there was lots of snow on campus yesterday. i was very glad to get off the hill and into my nice cozy apartment, where ziggy was making apple crumble. i showed her my new toy and tried to explain what it meant. she said "so he's like a terrorist?"
still working on phd apps. it's a very involved process. after you've done all the figuring where to apply to and when the due dates are you put together an application package (or two, often, going to different places at the university) which generally includes transcripts from each previous institution, three reference letters, a writing sample (25p academic work), a research proposal, academic cv, and statement of purpose (essentially "i'm the best student in the world for x, y and z reasons, you're the best university in the world for x, y and z reasons - we belong together!" except with more name dropping). some of this stuff goes in the mail, some of it is on electronic forms and some of it has to come direct from previous institutions or referees. figuring out who wants what and when and where is half the fun.
so far i have the transcripts in the mail (cross fingers - i filled in lots and lots of forms at both institutions), the ball rolling on reference letters, and decent drafts of all the other stuff, except the statement of purpose, which has to be individually tailored for each program you're applying to. i hate writing these statements, and often think it would be easier if i were an american. it's so uncool to talk yourself up in australia or canada. but i'm not doing too badly, on the whole. slowly and surely, with lots of cursing and whimpering.