Paper Writing with Virginia

Writing this Virginia Woolf paper, I feel as though she and I are engaged in a battle of wills. I have to wrestle with her for every sentence of analysis; I have to put her in a headlock to obtain an entire paragraph.  Virginia (as you may have experienced, grappling with someone typically puts you on a first-name basis with them) is the most present of any author whose works I’ve read.  I’m not sure how to explain this, exactly.  I’m not seeing visions of her (our sparring is purely imaginative), but I feel her.  Sometimes when I’m frustrated over a contradiction I’ve just discovered in my thesis, or utterly unable to decipher a passage, I look up from Mac and say aloud, “I am not afraid of you.  Let me write this, please!”  Sometimes, Virginia seems to relent, but sometimes she crosses her lace-covered arms and looks down her nose at me.  She has a long nose, but the effect is still good.  She twitches an eyebrow (and I am terribly embarrassed to admit to myself that she looks like Nicole Kidman in The Hours).  I tremble and shed a few tears and flop back against my pillows and attempt to recover my dignity.  I think that’s what Virginia would have done to people in real life.  I think she quietly, sometimes humorously, floored people.

I’m going to get back to it now.  Virginia is eating the Sour Skittles I got on Halloween and pursing her lips in the most Victorian manner possible.  Oops, now she’s futzing with my electric hair dryer.  I may have to give her a book and make her sit in the corner until I’m through.  I highly doubt, however, that I’ll be able to prevent her from giving me that look and from calling out highly inappropriate quips every fifteen minutes or so.

I’m not seeing visions.  7.5 pages to go.


I apologize for the sparse posting lately, but it’s been kind of a rough week, despite the general glory that is Halloween.

This evening the wonderful Anne Panning did a reading from her book Butter.  Although I felt my arteries clogging as she read, it was highly entertaining, and when the reading was over, I bought a copy and got it signed.  We all know that there is no resisting when it comes to books.

Settling in to watch the last two episodes of Game of Thrones, Season Two.

Talk to you tomorrow.



What I did today:

1. Was invited by the Chancellor to meet with the U of MN Board of Regents (they basically run the entire University of Minnesota system).  It was a dozen or so student leaders in a room with the Regents, and we all got to chat about why we like Morris, what could be better at Morris, how much debt we’ve accumulated, why the Regents haven’t publicly denounced the marriage amendment, etc.  Plus I got to skip class and drink berry black tea (which was so good that I stole an extra packet).

2.  Judged the Halloween Costume Contest.  The contest was an idea I had at the beginning of the year.  Not many people at UMM typically dress up for class on Halloween, and I viewed this as a tragedy that warranted a remedy.  The contest, then, was aimed to give students an excuse to dress up and be festive on the happiest day of the year.  I think it worked, folks, because we had 86 entries in the contest, and I had several professors comment to me about how great the costumes were, and how lively campus was because of it.  I know that planning a costume contest as a student government project reverts a little back to middle school student council, when decorating for dances was our ‘big project.’ But I also know that it’s important for student government to come down off its pedestal every now and then.  I’ll be taking on gender neutral bathrooms next, however, so there will be balance.

3.  Played in my first intramural doubles badminton match of the season.  My gentleman caller and I lost.  Mostly, I strongly suspect, due to my tendency to let serves drop, thinking them to be out-of-bounds.  They rarely were.