Grendel Cometh

I folded brochures at work today, lining crease up to crease and chatting with Sharon about dark chocolate versus milk.

I walked to Humanities, after, sat down in my professor’s office (although I would have preferred to stand), and gave my Beowulf recitation.  It was the scene where Grendel comes up from the mist, and spots the wine hall where men are drunk and sleepy and cannot prevent an attack.  Here’s the thing: I had to recite the passage in Old English.  Ergo, this is what the text looked like.  It sits forward in your mouth when you say it properly, rounded like a German umlaut.

I researched my first and last name for an onomastics paper due Monday.  “Holly,” as I already knew, means “plant with red berries” (fascinating), but my last name means “valley dweller.” My persona, then, the very essence of my being, is a prickly Christmas plant growing at low altitude.

Flocks and flocks of geese were qnacking overhead as I walked home from campus.  V’s overlapped against the sky, almost blocking out the sun.  I considered putting my hat on in anticipation of free-falling feces, but instead plodded onward, bare-headed and bold-hearted.

There was an email in my inbox when I got home.  Teach for America has selected me to participate in a final interview.  Which means that they must have really liked my application, because usually, they require several interviews/activities before the final.

My gentleman caller and I had our second intramural badminton match, and were victorious.  There was a moment when I dove for the birdie at the same time he did, and I thought all was lost.  We were both on hands and knees and writhing in agony over floor-burned shins, but somehow, somehow, we kept up the volley and won the point.  Even now, I can’t think of how we must have looked without laughing out loud.

Night, friends.

Library Planning

Finished Mrs. Dalloway.  Alas!  And now begins my 4-5 page paper on Clarissa.

Short post tonight, because I work from 10-midnight and am scurrying to finish my studying before then.

Great libraries I’ve been to:

Melk Abbey Library (Austria).

Austrian National Library in Vienna.

St. Mark’s Square Library in Venice.

It’s a short list, but these great libraries have inspired me to begin my planning for my own future home library.  A globe will be involved, and thick carpet, and leather chairs, and green shaded lamps, and likely no official organization system.


Grad School

After a few days of sore throat, I woke up this morning with a fever, and a desire to never leave bed again.

I called in sick for work, and then I slept for five more hours.

Then I felt better.

Better enough, in fact, to pick a GRE testing site, register for a date and time, and continue my grad school research.

It’s frightening, this search for a grad school.  More so than my undergraduate search was.     Probably because the programs are tougher, they’re specific, they require huge personal statements and the submission of huge academic essays, and the one I choose will likely be my home for the next several years, assuming I chug straight through both the masters and Ph.D programs in one go.

Luckily, I seem to become surer every day that this is what I want to do with my life.  I’ve always loved school, and since I entered college, I’ve become fascinated with the academic world.  The prospect of spending my life researching, writing books and papers, and discussing literature and writing, is glorious to me.

But first-there is more cat sitting to be done.

A Procrastination Poem

I’ve been at the library for weeks and months,

or maybe two hours.

I’ve bobbed up and down several times, up to check out two movies

(needed to write my paper on the cinematography of The Queen and Gandhi),

down again to write a paragraph, hammering at my thesis with bit-blunt nails

I would rather sink into this uncomfortable wooden chair

And watch Helen Mirren do her best

But instead I have to focus on the way the light bounces off her hair

and the reason why she stands behind the couch instead of sitting upon it with the rest of them.

Why should I suffer so, you wonder?

Folded into coat and scarf in the corner of the first floor?

For my GPA, of course.

And to graduate with Honors, and to get into grad school and to earn my masters and doctorate

and to eventually sit in a far more palatable chair, doling out papers such as these

to poor juniors who would rather