In terms of study, I am a very neat person. I can only start studying when my work space is completely clear and organised. It's an obsessive habit. This is what my desk looks like:
You might notice the Sylvia postcard I have on my wall. I got it in the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco when I travelled across the USA in the summer. The second portrait postcard is Marcel Proust, and was sent to me by my dear friend Morgane:) I definitely think a personalised workspace is integral for study! It's important to feel comfortable in your environment!
Tonight I hope to finish the final draft of my report and mail it to my supervisor for her opinions. Then I have over a week to correct anything she thinks needs to be corrected and work on the powerpoint presentation. I will be glad to get this over with! I've chosen a very 1950s-inspired outfit for the actual viva itself: try and channel a bit of Sylvia in the room with me!
I was reading some of the "Letters Home" last night and definitely found a lot of strength in a letter Sylvia wrote home on November 29, 1956 in relation to a friend of Aurelia's who had become deeply depressed. Sylvia replied offering advice, particularly about schoolwork: "When he dies, his marks will not be written on his gravestone. If he has loved a book, been kind to someone, enjoyed a certain colour in the sea - that is the thing that will show whether he has lived". I thought that this was such a lovely statement to come out with and it really helps put things into perspective when under academic pressure.
For posterity, the albums I'm listening to at the moment are Bright Eyes - "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" (2005) and Sea of Bees "Songs for the Ravens" (2010). These are both great albums, perfect for cold and dismal January. Also, it's snowing again in Ireland. How horrible! I am sick of the snow!