Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Semester Reflections

Semester Spring 2011 has come to an eventful close. Yesterday felt like one big sigh of relief. I turned in the last of three final papers. In the last week, I wrote over 50 pages on "Sybil Vane and Aesthetic Self-Destruction in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray," "The Fluidity of Associations Within and Across Joyce's Ulysses and the Fellow who Writes Like Synge's Hamlet," and "Kingship, Kinship, and Otherness in the Alliterative Morte Arthure." Up next, I have a few weeks to finalize my article for publication (AAAHHH!!!) and then I can focus full-time on ADK Shakes stuff for this summer and for our 2012 season. Yep, already.

Before moving on to projects which have been sitting on the back burner, I want to take a little time to reflect on this year. My first academic year since 2003-2004. The intervening years went so quickly, and it felt surprisingly comfortable to get back into the swing of homework, reading, response papers, seminar papers. Of course, it was just a lot more of everything than in undergrad. But I flatter myself that I handled everything pretty gracefully. (I'm pretty sure that my karmic lesson this time around is grace.) Here's a recap of some of the things I've done in my first year as a Doctoral Fellow in English:

  • started this blog
  • researched the nature of Authenticity
  • wrote a 28-page seminar paper on "The Economics of Language in Titus Andronicus and The Tempest"
  • compiled this website outlining my work on The Bookend Project
  • read five of George Eliot's novels
  • opened my mind about hegemony
  • presented with an amazing panel on Digital Literacy at the NEWCA conference at Southern New Hampshire University
  • compiled scripts for Titus Andronicus and The Tempest
  • directed a dual RAW production of Titus Andronicus and The Tempest, my very first experience as director.
  • logged many hours at a terrific Writing Center as a one-on-one Writing Consultant
  • had an article accepted for publication
  • presented one of my George Eliot papers on "Speaking with Dorothea's Voice: Languages of Art, Architecture, and Textuality in George Eliot's Middlemarch" at the St. John's Graduate Conference
  • had my ass kicked reading James Joyce's Ulysses, an incredibly humbling experience
  • solidified my love for the nineteenth-century British novel
  • got sick of the weight I'd gained over the last few years and lost 14.5 pounds in the spring semester
Some totals which blow my mind:
  • Number of books read: 31
  • Number of pages read: I can't bring myself to actually figure this out, but I will estimate this figure at over 8,000 -- between novels, books on theory, secondary readings for class, and additional research for papers. Maybe I'll actually figure this out at some point and update.
  • Number of pages written: 182 
  • Estimated ounces of coffee consumed: 1,450
Many thanks to my fellow students, inspiring professors, and colleagues at the Writing Center for welcoming me into the St. John's community this year. I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work with you. Although I am really ready for a break right now, I know by the time the fall semester begins, it will feel too long to have been away.

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