Monday, March 28, 2011


Well, the papers are finally finished, and here it is almost a month and a half since my last real blog post! This means I need to do an awful lot of retro-blogging, which is a word I have just made up (though I'm sure someone else has thought of it before now) for filling in everything I didn't have time to write about while it was actually going on. Amusingly, this week my parents are visiting me, so while I am intermittently retro-blogging, I will be doing more fun and exciting things that will need to be retro-blogged in the future, creating a rather dangerous cycle that will only end if I can somehow improve the efficiency of my retro-blogging to the point that it catches up with the present. I'll have to lump events together, maybe leave out non-essential details...and type quickly--as quickly as the Oxford Blues rowed this past weekend when they destroyed Cambridge at the Henley!

So, I last posted on Valentine's day, which happened at the start of Fifth Week, and fortunately there is not much to retro-blog about that week except for the adventures in marbling for the printing class, photos of which I posted in my visual blog post of mid-March. Having printed 130 copies of our class poetry book, "When it Rains Nutella" (I had no part in selecting the title), we needed to make cover papers to wrap around them. In order to do this, we squirted oil-based paint into a basin of water and swirled it around a bit, then placed sheets of paper carefully onto the water. When we lifted the sheets, the paint adhered, making a beautiful and unique marbled design. We then hung them on lines to dry. This was so easy and a LOT of fun; it would make a great craft project for children, as long as you put some newspaper down for the mess! Finishing off that week was the concert, in which members of choirs from Lincoln, Exeter, and Jesus Colleges got together in the Exeter chapel to sing Alexander's Feast, a Handel piece based on a Dryden poem, along with a hired orchestra and professional soloists, as the crowning event of the Turl Street Arts Festival. I was one of about seven altos, and we had only been rehearsing once a week for the past month or so, but we made a really beautiful sound, and everyone seemed to like it.

Sixth week was a mixture of rowing, erging, and classes--the last classes of term, and indeed of the year, for M.St. candidates, as Trinity term is all independent work on the dissertation. This was also the week we had to register our paper topics, as well as the dissertation topic. I was a bit panicked, as I have vastly changed my mind about what I want to write about for my dissertation since my original proposal in October, and I haven't fully sorted out which direction I want to take with it, so I was desperately seeking an extremely vague way to word the topic that wouldn't lock me into anything. I think what I eventually registered was "Argument, wandering, searching, and scepticism in John Donne," which I hoped would get rejected and then I would have more time to think about it, but they approved it, so now I am kind of stuck with that. I guess I have a lot of reading to do over this long break, and somehow I will put together a really good argument. Or at least, an argument. Sigh.

Is it bad that I am already tired of academia?

Hmm, almost started a whole new topic there, but I am far too tired, and it is time for me to ring my parents' hotel and meet with them for dinner, so I will stop there (we're up to Feb. 25) in my retro-blogging, and pick up again tomorrow, if possible. Cheers!

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