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A Week in the Life of Jessica

Diary Photo for Jessica Jones

Jessica is from the United States and studying the MA in Film and Literature. She enjoys representing her fellow English MA students as a Course Representative and giving tours to visiting international students as an International Student Ambassador. On Tuesdays Jessica volunteers at a local sixth-form, York College, through the York Students In Schools program. She assists in classes like photography, creative media, and filmmaking, as she hopes to become a secondary teacher after her Masters.


Mondays are the reserved day for film screenings so I head to the Humanities Research Center bright and early for a screening at 9:30am. Once the first film is done I have lunch with my coursemates in the HRC and run a quick errand to the library to pick up a book I need for later. We watch our second film at 1:00pm and we’re done for the day, so I head home to my house off-campus. I live in a house owned by the university where I live with 14 other post-grad students. I have a cup of tea with a few housemates and watch some telly before making dinner. Then it’s time to read and study before bed!


I sleep in a bit today and head to the city centre to run a few errands after breakfast. The weather is quite nice today so I decide to walk by the river for an hour or so and then do some light reading outside. I have seminar the next morning so I prep my notes and discussion questions as much as possible because I’ll be busy tonight! Wednesday nights are the usual pub quiz night for my friends and I, so we meet at the pub at 8:30 and sadly don’t win, but still enjoy a few rounds and plenty of laughs.


Friday is jam-packed! I have my final British Children’s Literature seminar in the morning followed by a meeting with my supervisor to discuss term paper ideas right after. After, I head over to the International Admissions and Recruiting Office where I work as an International Student Ambassador. I need to get my photo taken for some recruiting materials before I take a student visiting from the United States on a campus tour. After showing her the campus and dropping her off at the English Department, I cycle home to shower and have dinner before going out for the evening. A fellow English MA student is having an end-of-term party so I grab a taxi and head to her house for festivities. 


As a treat to celebrate the end of classes, our professor Judith has invited us all in her British and American Cinema class to her house for afternoon tea and an (early) Easter egg hunt. My classmates and I pile into three taxis and head to Judith’s house where we decorate Easter baskets and make springtime crafts while enjoying tea and cakes. We eventually split into teams and the egg hunt ensues. Everyone walks away with plenty of chocolate and sweets so we’re all happy and full on the ride home. I head to bed early, ready to get up and back to it the next morning!


I volunteer at a local sixth-form, York College, through the York Students In Schools program on Tuesdays. I catch the bus very early and head to school where I shadow post-secondary teachers in the Media Studies department. I assist in classes like photography, creative media, and filmmaking, gaining classroom experience as I hope to become a secondary teacher once I am done with my masters. Once I’m home I do my weekly Skype chat with my family back in the United States and then read a bit before bed.


I’m enrolled in two modules right now and this morning I have seminar for my film-centered class, Nation, Genre and the Past in British and American Cinema. We meet once a week for two hours to discuss the films we viewed and how they relate to the assigned reading in a very pro-active discussion setting. This week is actually the last week of seminar before we begin writing our term papers so we spend time wrapping things up and discussing the course overall. Afterwards I have a coffee at The Courtyard with some coursemates to chat and relax a bit. Then it’s home to prepare for tomorrow morning’s seminar for my British Children’s Literature class.


I decide to take a few days off from academic work before beginning my term papers so I spend the day relaxing and catching up with my favourite television shows. I have a trip to London planned the following week so I research some restaurants to try while I’m there and see if there’s anything special playing at cinemas when I’m in the city. I eventually drag myself to the gym on campus to play tennis with a friend for an hour so I don’t feel too guilty about taking the day off.