i am using my ray icon because i am feeling wise and a little bit smug, as i imagine ray probably is.
i haven’t updated since britney spears was still wearing schoolgirl skirts instead of wifebeater tank tops and (gasp) NO SHOES in gas station restrooms. my apologies, but i have my excuses, the first being that my hard drive up and DIED about a week ago, hurling me into a swirling abyss of despair. and many many hours on the phone with dell tech support. but it’s replaced and working now, and so help me god if you ask me “so when was the last time you backed up your files?” i will hurt you. and your mama, too.
but things are going well this semester. it’s going to be a lot of work, even though i’m taking one less class then i did in the fall. two of my classes are novel classes, which means 600+ pages to read each week. but it’s fun reading, at least. even if i did have to practically sell the soul of my firstborn to find a copy of thackeray’s pendennis. but i now have an older, two-volume edition in my possession. and the souls of any first-borns in my future are safe.
i was actually inspired to reenter the blogging world tonight to proclaim two things:
(1) danny is a finalist in a golf course architecture internship program. he is one of SIX out of FIVE HUNDRED. which is awesome. so congrats, danny!
and (2), which is much less exciting for most but perhaps interesting to my english professor friend brad, is that i just graded a set of reading response papers that were so good i wanted to cry. this rarely rarely happens. usually at least one or two students disgust me right down to the toenails, but there was not ONE PAPER that didn’t make me go “aha!” which is a gift. rice undergrads are quite bright, and they actually read the novels, which is a start. but these were well-written, concise, and insightful. i can tell that these students are struggling with some central ideas–like consent, or authorship, or historical context–and are just looking for the vocabulary. so wow. i heart my undergrads.
my only complaint is that one student kept calling eliza haywood “miss haywood.” wtf? are you an 18th century literary crit?
and to end on an interesting note, the professor of the class i’m TAing (who is probably the most effective classroom teacher i’ve ever met) read us this fabulous passage from alexander pope on tuesday, in which he talks about what a loose woman eliza haywood is because she’s an author. in pope’s poem, dunciad, two publishers compete in a pissing contest (and i mean this in the most literal sense of the word) to earn eliza as a prize.
See in the circle next, Eliza plac’d,
Two babes of love close clinging to her waist;
Fair as before her works she stands confess’d,
In flow’rs and pearls by bounteous Kirkall dress’d.
The Goddess then: “Who best can send on high
“The salient spout, far-streaming to the sky;
“His be yon Juno of majestic size,
“With cow-like udders, and with ox-like eyes.
“This China Jordan let the chief o’ercome
“Replenish, not ingloriously, at home.”
Osborne and Curl accept the glorious strife,
(Tho’ this his Son dissuades, and that his Wife.)