05 February 2009

I am finally back in Edinburgh. It is cold, icy, windy. I don't like it because I can never seem to get warm, even when I am back in my room. Indeed, I am not sure that I have been properly warm since October or so.

My trip to Oxford was nice and relaxing. The trip back to Scotland was absolute hell, but I'd prefer not to relive the stress by actually retelling what went on. The trip made me realize exactly just how much I love that city. Part of my wonderful experience last semester was due to the people I met, but a larger part was also due to the location. It is the perfect fit for me in so many ways, at least at this stage in my life. As I believe I've mentioned before, I will be applying to Oxford for graduate school. This trip back showed me how I devastated I will be if I fail. It was also strange to realize just how much I missed the food at St. Peter's. The most complicated thing that I can cook is chicken curry. To actually eat other things was quite a treat.

Unfortunately, on my return I've found that things are going to pick up quite considerably from here on out. This is not entirely a bad thing as I was a bit bored prior to this, but still, no one is keen on having to spend all of their days in the library. (Especially seeing as my prime studying hours are between 11pm and 3am. Edinburgh's library closes at midnight.)

5th week: (Next week)
Tuesday: I'm preparing a tutorial lecture on the long-term significance of the 14th century crisis.

6th week:
Monday: Seminar presentation on the difference in devotion shown by literate and illiterate members of the early parish.
Tuesday: Tutorial lecture on contemporary reactions to the Black Death. (Although this is a bit of a freebie since I know am an authority on the Black Death. No, really, I am.)
Thursday: Seminar presentation on the role of John Spotiswoode and David Calderwood in the Scottish kirk before 1603.

7th week:
Friday: 4000 word final essay on Malthusian crisis for Medieval Europe due.

9th week:
Monday: Seminar presentation on reactions to The Book of Margery Kempe

10th week:
Monday: 4000 word final essay on Margery Kempe for Popular Religion due. 4000 word final essay on the foreign relations of James I due.
Thursday: Seminar presentation on James I's foreign policy and relations with Spain.

On the other hand, I've decided to spend the first two weeks of spring break in Oxford. This is not as great as it seems, as I have been issued a Bodleian card and will be spending those two weeks doing the majority of my research for my senior dissertation. So while everyone else is going fun and fancy free in the Canary Islands, Grenada, or Greece, I will be in England stuck in the library. Still, I never was a beach person and I don't particularly mind this scenario. Karen will still be there and we are planning a trip to the 'other place' (Cambridge). I figure that if I am going to be applying for grad school there, I may as well go and visit.

I'll be renting a room for the two weeks so that I have a comfortable place to crash after a day spent working. I'm still looking around, but I've found a room in Iffley that is reasonably priced, has an ensuite bathroom, and a kitchenette. It is a 25 minute walk from the city centre, but I don't mind that at all.

On another note, I casually mentioned that I had read Edmund Spenser's 'View on the Present State of Ireland' in my Blessed Union seminar and, as a result, had to spent 20 minutes telling the class about what he said, my thoughts on it, why I had read it, and what else I did in that tutorial. My teacher was quite excited to hear that I had studied in Oxford as she was at Somerville for her doctorate. It is strange because I never mention that I studied in Oxford. I always say 'I was in England' because people hear Oxford and immediately assume that you are pretentious. But my professor immediately guessed where I had studied. I think it might be because I have such a hard time talking in groups now. One-on-one and I can chatter up a storm (for me at least). But put me in a group of fifteen and I am lost amongst the crowd.

Oh well. There are worse things to talk about.

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