“We don’t want any of that popular crap. Ezra Pound never wrote a memorable line in his life. That was a joke.”
Gertrude Stein is difficult, and i told Michael so, and he said he didn’t find her so. “Yeah, but you have a PhD in this shit,” i replied. There was this collective gasp from most of the class, since i’d just called (the study of) literature crap. I thought about saying "I'm an English major," but i decided i didn't need to validate anything to the class. (And of course Michael dealt with it great -- "Well, you know what PhD stands for: piled higher and deeper")
We had to read Oroonoko for Doug’s class, and we spent the beginning of class talking about the author, Aphra Behn. Doug handed around a biography of her which had a picture of her on the front, and of course lilithchilde and i had the same immediate thought: “Ooh, she’s pretty.”
Amusingly, very little is known for certain about her, but giant biographies get written, based on gossip. “If even a tenth of what was said about her is true....” She led a glittering life, had a series of public affairs with men and with women, bought a house with a man she never married who was publicly gay.
So yeah, Oroonoko isn’t that great a book, but Aphra Behn sounds like a really interesting character.
Had the first meeting of my UMass class, and it seems pretty good. (I also found my way there without incident. Yay me and my surprisingly existent sense of direction, not to mention ability to read a map.) The course reader is available online, which i was very excited about, and it looks like a lot of the readings will overlap with my Smith fairy tales class, which makes sense. There are a lot of film screenings, including Freeway which a student in Betsey’s class had mentioned. The screenings are Wednesdays at 6pm, which is just about the worst possible time for them to be scheduled, but they’ll be on reserve at UMass, so i’ll probably just watch them Saturday afternoons (the hard-to-find German ones, that is -- many of them are easily rentable).
We watched the beginnings of 3 different Snow White films in class. The first was Disney’s, which was Disney’s first full-length animated film (1937) and the animation is just extraordinary. The next was an East German live-action film, and wow live-action shows its age. The last one was very dark, reminded me of Angela Carter’s “The Snow Child.”
The one required text is Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose which i own and have already read, and which is also one of the required texts for Betsey’s class. LJ was all aflutter with the fact that Octavia Butler will be coming to speak to some class at Smith this semester. “It’s like a religion professor saying, ‘Jesus will be coming and giving a guest lecture,’ ” one person put it. I had never heard of her, so i couldn’t even guess what class that would be, but apparently it’s Bill Oram’s Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction class. Jane Yolen is probably going to come talk to our class (the Smith one) and i’m far more excited about that than i would be about Octavia Butler as i know and like a lot of Jane Yolen’s stuff and i’d never even heard of Octavia Butler.
"I had an utter fanboy moment when a faintly familiar-looking person came over at the end and introduced himself as Philip Pullman, and I just started gushing foolishly, and he was kind enough not to notice."
-Neil Gaiman, 16 November 2003
I chatted with a nice UMass boy on the bus ride back, and actually didn’t mind that the bus ride took an hour (it should only take about 35 minutes, but hello rush hour) since i got back at 6:30 and thus had time to eat dinner. I ate with Gillian and Isabel and we talked until about 8pm, which was great.
At lunch on Friday, someone announced March 2 is the Massachusetts Presidential Primary. Damn, that means i should have an opinion. I was thinking i could wait until the summer when (A) i would have time, and (B) there would only be one Dem to have to research. Not being registered as a Democrat, i can’t vote in the primary, right?
My dad is so cute. He e-mailed me:
I feel like I'm missing something but I get the impression thatakronohten is in England and IMed me on Friday: "mark said you were quite a good dancer :-)" (Ctrl+F for “mark” here and here for explanation.)
FAN is to FEN as
HOT is to HOTT.
Can you enlighten me?
I decided Friday would be my veg-day and read some fic:
- a Willow/Giles which just killed me
- a dark one-time Giles/Andrew.
- all those nights Spike saved Buffy in his dreams
- and a non-smutty Spike fic which had me literally bouncing up and down in my room near the end
I regretfully did not attend hedy’s birthday celebrations, as i’m poor and was also feeling a bit off. I ended up having a really terrific night, though.
Chatted with Jackie at tea and then with Emma for ages. After dinner a bunch of us went up to her room and played Tripoley. Then she and i and Katherine went to the CC and played some intense air hockey (And i learned that Emma went to Simon’s Rock camp with Emily L., continuing the “Smith is an incestous vacuum” theme.) and then back to Lamont for pool. Eventually Katherine went to bed and Emma and i stayed and chatted until 1:25am. I love my life sometimes.
Amherst College put on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with free tickets, so Saturday night i went. Had a hell of a time finding the place. Amherst’s map is crap. I had been to a play there before, but it was in a different building. I did ultimately find it, though.
Love the puns in the names (though i don’t know the “Marcus Lycus” one). This production had lots of gymnastics in the opening, and the costumes were cool, and they gayed up stuff, and the guy playing Erronius reminded me of John Cleese, and all of the acting was good, and the sets were nice, and yeah, good show.
The story is fairly well-done (i was impressed with myself for calling the resolution) and the lyrics are good, but i’m just not a huge fan of the show.
NHS did Forum the year before i got there, so i remember Maura and Jackie doing "Everybody ought to have a maid, Everybody ought to have a working girl..." so that’s been stuck in my head off-and-on since. One of my favorite bits was Pseudolus in "Free":
Now, not so fast!Lots of good lines, though. I dunno. The show just didn’t really grab me.
I didn't think--
The way I am,
I have a roof, three meals a day,
And I don't have to pay a thing.
I'm just a slave and everything's free.
If I were free, then nothing would be free!
And if I'm beaten now and then, what does it matter?
Remember my Ten Thousand Villages bag which my mom had to fix over January? Well this morning i tripped and fell and the other end of the strap pulled out. Poor craftsmanship, yo. I am displeased, 'cause i liked the shoulder bag thing so much better than a regular backpack.
Katy seems to have been in to work last week, but i don’t actually know what she did, because there seemed to still be all the filing i left on Wednesday. But when i left today, it was all done. An entire interterm’s worth of filing, pretty much, finished in under 12 hours (since i definitely did stuff other than file during my shifts). I rock.
Okay, off to tackle the f’list now.