September 7th, 2004

hermione by oatmilk

"vivat academia, vivat profesores..."

Grr, my mouse is acting up.

I love my parents. They’re gonna mail me my door decoratey stuff. Also, from my dad:
And the way I ate at Lamont and you two ate at Miss Florence and nobody begrudged it even though it was kind of weird. Maybe that's why your queerness wasn't a bit deal to us. Just one more out-of-the-ordinary set of preferences to add to the mix.
After my last entry i pulled susiebabylon away from Rolling Stone to come over with her big butch staple gun so i could put posters up.

*looks up* Damn, the Magritte “Clairvoyance” is kinda crooked but more than that, now that i’m using the desk shelf thing the books block part of it -- the egg, which is kind of a big deal. My Ani poster (which i had hoped would stay up on the wall with just duck tape because the poster is made of such light material) also fell down, so maybe i’ll make Sarah come back with her staple gun.

After she went home i went down the hall to introduce myself to the firsties living in my old room. Met Kate diadeloro first. The whole first-talking is weird, but we persevered and later Laura moxiemuse came and then Rachel paper_crystals (who lives across the hall) joined in and we were talking about kink and slash and movies and being dorky and it was wonderful. Yay for positive reinforcement of the “Let’s get to go get to know people” behavior :)

Around quarter of six we left for the all-college barbecue because i thought it started at 6. In fact it was 5:15-6:30. Oops. We had time to eat, though, and even sat with some Lamonsters. (I’ve actually been remembering the names of the new people i’ve been meeting, which is very much of the good. Oh, immortalavalamp is the Cat i met tonight; cool. Not to be confused with catling42, of course.) Also saw Allie briefly and have now met Delia(h?).

Dude, no one tells me anything. Aside from dinner, i didn’t know when Convocation was. Thought it was 8, was hearing 7:30 and 7. It was in fact 7:30. Why don’t any of us returning students get memos?

From the moment we drove up on Sunday and i read the banner saying Lamobsters i was excited ‘cause i knew i would have a really cool Convocation outfit -- my hot black knee boots, my little black dress, and my red silk dressing gown. Going through my jewelry i also found this black choker with a crystal pendant, so i added that to the outfit. I was very pleased. And i looked so hot. And my black cowboy hat fedora thing (Smith tradition: seniors wear hats to Convocation and other such events) even looked cool with the outfit. When i was first talking to Kate, she asked me what year i was and i said i was a junior and then quickly corrected myself. Wearing a hat to Convocation i felt more senior-y. And in the house foyer there was lots of picture-taking and then there was the traditional senior-photo and i of course felt very senior-y to be in that. Back at the house after Convocation Ruhi took a picture of me and Kate and Laura, so hopefully i’ll be able to procure a picture from her or somebody else.

Re: our house theme and dressing for Convocation, Kate and Laura were joking that they should go as Vietnamese people and see if anyone would get it. A couple people went it street clothes, white makeup, and trash bags -- i.e., people in bodybags. I was a big fan.

Convocation was, as Laura put it, “festive.”

Lamont is R-E-D red H-O-T hot; you can’t beat this house we’ve got.

Carol Christ talked about respectful discourse and the importance of talking about not just what we agree on but what we disagree on and learning from each other and so on and so forth. I was very happy. (Balance and community were her other two themes. Doe one year need three themes?) I liked the faculty speaker -- David Cohen, Math Department. Welcome to Smith, but not Welcome Back, because you have never been here before, not in this exact moment in space-time. And so on. It was more fun and less pretentious than it sounds. Props to happymartian for sweeping the Classics awards. And mad props to sarrin. By the time we got to Smith Crew in the Athletic Achievements i was getting teary. (And the other night susiebabylon said she actually liked Nemesis and i should see it and i would probably cry even though i don’t seem like the type to cry at much. I don’t seem like the type? Okay, i don’t exactly come off like a marshmallow in everyday interaction, but i still boggled a bit.) Subconscious reaction to the fact that it’s my last Convocation? I have never seen Amelia Kegan that fired up; did someone like coke her up or something? We “do school,” uh huh. So odd after all this screaming and chanting and pounding to hear 2500 female voices singing “Gaudeamus Igitur” in a soft tone, though then of course we get noisy for the third and final verse.

I walked back from Convocation with Laura and ended up walking her to her room and then hung out there until about 11.

Should sleep now. Will catch up on the f’list in the (post-sunrise) morning.
hermione by oatmilk

first day of classes (dork, grad school, pseudo-panic)

My father wrote: "It's hard to believe they've only been around for 6 years. I feel like we are forever wondering about something--and then walking over to the computer and googling it. It's hard to believe we've only been able to do that for 6 years."
I replied: "That's funny, because i think of Google as having been around for so much less time than that. I think because i still think of mid-high school as only being a year or two ago."

Allie and i had both forgotten that the other was taking Dead Sea Scrolls, so we both had a moment of surprise when i walked into class. (She was already sitting down since i was one minute late by the classroom clock.) Being in this class together means we can continue our tradition of Tuesday/Thursday lunch together :)

Usually i’m excited about veggie grinders, but today they were avocado and stuff and while i appreciate the effort to make them not just boring carrots hummus etc., i liked the boring grinders. Dinner i had spinach salad. Clearly i need to get less picky. Though with the new dining thing with some houses having different food and the menus being online i can plan ahead (because i’m the kind of person who would actually do that).

I didn’t get into my Art History class, and listening to Barbara Kellum describe the class i decided it wasn’t something i wanted enough to fight for (clearly this is partly laziness and sour grapes).

So then i went to Pat Skarda’s office to ask her to write a letter of recommendation for me for grad school and she says i am “eminently recommendable.”

Her: “I’m going to say something dark and surly.”
Me: “Would i ever expect any less from you?”

I told her i was shopping for a 4th class and she suggested a seminar, which would be a really good idea particularly since my transcript isn’t exceptionally strong (i went through undergrad not intending grad school and not inclined to kill myself for straight As).

Her seminar Visions and Visionaries: William Blake and the Shelleys was at 3, and i ended up going in part just because i was still there by then (Sarah and Kathy stopped by and i hung around and then Gillian showed up and i was thrilled to see her).

I have no particular love for the Romantics, but there would be refreshments, which is a selling point. I would get to indulge my incest kink (Mathilda by Mary Shelley and Percy’s response: The Cenci) and Mary Shelley’s The Last Man sounds interesting. And it would give me an excuse to read Prometheus Unbound. A lot of the stuff about the Shelleys really piques my interest. And some of the supplementary readings look damn cool -- Frankenstein’s Creation: The Book, The Monster, and Human Reality by David Ketterer and Mary Shelley and Frankenstein: The Fate of Androgyny by William Veeder for starters. Do i really wanna suffer through Blake and all the other stuff just for the sex and death and monstrous and all, though?

Near the end of class the clock, which was an hour behind, started going super-fast but when it finally stopped it was still an hour behind. Weirdness.

F-ing hard to find courses i wanna take that fit my schedule. So many of the neat religion courses (among others) conflict with my Dead Sea Scrolls class. And then of course there are cool-looking seminars but of course i won’t get into them.

I could take my first ever 8am class -- Ethics with Ernest Alleva MW. The class meets for the first time tomorrow morning, so i’m gonna at least check it out.

I could take a second class with Karl Donfried (and Pat Skarda says he’s retiring after this year, so that wouldn’t be an entirely bad idea) -- Sexuality, Asceticism and Redemption in Early Christianity -- but Pat Miller’s Deviant Behavior meets at the same time. Decisions decisions.

And then Thursday afternoon is Doug’s seminar on George Eliot. Pat Skarda mentioned her translation of Fuerbach’s Essence of Christianity and i remembered learning some about that through my Oxford class and making a mental note to read it at some point, so if it’s on the syllabus it would be a great time to read it (and some of her fiction does look appealling).

Susan pointed out that i could also do a Special Studies, which would of course look great for grad school and be hella work. I’d have to come up with a topic and a syllabus and stuff like yesterday, though. What is the deal with how one goes about doing a Special Studies?

In looking through the paper catalogue i found a bunch of cool Spring courses -- again, some of which are seminars. I’d love to even just audit the Philosophy seminar on Adam Smith, though. And in Religion there’s The Inklings: Religion and Imagination in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams and Religion and Film.

‘Cause i don’t already have enough classes for that semester, right? I already wanna take Intro Bible 2 (gee, more Karl Donfried), the 2nd of the Shakespeare courses, Nancy Bradbury’s Folklore and Fakelore seminar, and there’s an ENG 120 on Children’s Literature; Gillian Kendall’s teaching it, but but but...

The Registrar’s Office sent out the Degree Requirements e-mail to all seniors, so i learned that the exact wording is "for the bachelor of arts degree, completion of 64 credits of academic work outside the department or program of the major" Nice.

Wow, doing the math i have 43 credits in my major and 68 outside. To fulfill the bare minimum of the English major takes 48 credits of work. This helps to explain why i feel like i know so few of the English Department professors -- that and the fact that it’s such a large department, of course. 20 of my “non-major” credits are still lit classes, though, which explains why i feel like i have such an abundance of English classes (63 credits from lit classes, 48 non -- which is still more even than i had had the impression it was).

*looks at clock* So, it's almost tomorrow and i'm gonna shop an 8am class and i totally haven't done any of the grad school e-mailing i meant to do. I really have to e-mail all the program coordinators about GRE requirements (English Subject Test: yes? no?) so i can register. I think i'm just gonna take it in Boston 'cause it seems like that would be just as much time/money as taking it in Worcester given my dependence on public transit.

P.S. ats_nolimits premieres this Wednesday (i.e. tomorrow -- today by the time most people read this).