the life and times of a carleton student

Today is the first day of spring. My law class finished early. So I had time to read my book for global literature. My goal is to finish it for tonight because I have until 23th to finish my paper about it. I love spring so much. It’s get me very motivated to work harder. I can do anything!


so i just met with my shakespeare prof and pitched him my thesis idea (evil queens and the body politic)

and he not only thought it was workable but loved it, said it was a slam dunk and that the few examples i gave him were beautiful (when i talked about weaponizing traditional feminine roles like motherhood he got super excited)

and said the other students should be jealous of me for having such a clear and interesting topic



a very literary hello

this questionnaire i’ve been filling out for my school’s english department also serves as a pretty good intro post, so as i have a lot of new followers i figured i’d share it

1. If you could teach any class in the Carleton English department, what would it be?

Creating the Creator, a class on how authors handle writing deities into their works. I’m really interested in the tension between beings that are in some sense ineffable and the very human writers trying to convey them in text. We’d read everything from The Odyssey to Paradise Lost to American Gods.

2. What book(s) do you turn to as your guilty pleasure?

I actually don’t believe in guilty pleasures. Why feel bad about enjoying something? But in terms of “comfort food”-type books, I love fun, engaging young adult lit like the Artemis Fowl series (fairies and crime and antiheroes and puns!) and the Curse Workers Trilogy (noir and magic and mysteries and mob families!).

3. If you could date one literary figure, who would it be? Describe the date.

Henry Percy, a.k.a. Hotspur, from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1. We’d go see a movie, a classic like The Birds, and then ten minutes in he’d start furiously whispering in my ear about how really they aren’t that threatening, those birds have terrible strategy, they would be EASY to defeat, and if the people in the movie would just SHUT UP and listen to him THE MOVIE WOULD HAVE BEEN OVER AN HOUR AGO AND THOSE AREN’T EVEN REAL BIRDS!!! Eventually, I’d be forced to stop his mouth.

4. ink is running out,/seventeen syllables left,/write a self-haiku.

myths, songs, fairies, gods,
bloody hands and vicious queens,
I drink them like wine.

today in theater history & theory class:
  • prof: i've directed almost every postmodern play ... out there ...
  • student 1: so would you call yourself a postmodernist?
  • prof: no, i wouldn't take that on ... mostly because i hate that label.
  • student 2: how postmodern of you.
  • [...]
  • prof: [during heiner müller's life] there were german punk metal bands making albums with the text of hamletmachine--i know because i own them!
oh my god i love my friends so much

one of my guy friends just posted on facebook:

A couple years back, I had a Facebook status that said something like “I have to carry more boxes—just because I’m male.” Though technically this is true, past-me should have considered how frivolous that sounds next to “I have to try as hard as I can just to be taken seriously, let alone given the respect that my peers get relatively for free, and also I can’t feel safe walking home after dark—just because I’m female.” In case it’s not too late, I’m really sorry.


a message i just got from my dad:


It is that time. Very shortly, a day will arrive that has the potential to strengthen or shatter our lives and our expectations. It is all too easy to take the importance of this day for granted. Over the last few years we have grown soft with comfort, security, and predictability. We must never forget, however, that the things we cherish can be easily lost though lack of vigilance or complacency. This is our call to arms, our moment of decision.

Therefore Daughters I ask that you stand strong with me in defending the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Stand tall at that bright line in the sand we have drawn, and negotiate only on one vegetable side dish.

As good King Henry said:

This story shall the good man teach his Daughters;
And Turkey Day shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of diners;
For she to-day that stands strong with me
Shall be my great ally; be she ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle her condition;
And feast lovers in Montana now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their valor cheap whiles any speaks
That stood with us defending our Turkey meal.

- Dad

so i got to lead my latin@ poetry class for a bit today

we’re doing student-directed classes for the back half of the term

and i was the first person to go

and it was so much fun! like a really good lively discussion where people participated and it flowed well and i didn’t have to do much besides get the ball rolling

and there was actually one of those mindblowing moments where a girl pointed out a homophone everyone had missed and we all just gaped for a second bc it totally changed the way we looked at the poem

and we got to talk about female bodies and sexuality and constructing narrative space/embodying archetypes (isabel we were talking about two sandra cisneros poems that are just blatantly about caprica six, it was wonderful)

i just love teaching so much you guys

i really think this is what i want to do

you know


wow, what a fucking fantastic day this has been
  • woke up semi-early and finished all my work at a leisurely pace and with time to spare
  • had my paper on “the company of wolves” returned to me and found out my professor really liked it (it’s here if anyone’s interested)
  • discovered that the opera i’m doing my music thesis on was performed on television in 1948 and made into a movie (in noir style!) in 1951, so there exist two (TWO!) filmed productions with the original cast (the latter is even directed by menotti himself!!!!) for me to study
  • got really nice chocolates from my parents for valentine’s day
  • gave a presentation on fairies and the erotic eucharist which went over quite well–subsequently the class read aloud and discussed “goblin market” while eating “goblin fruits” the prof brought us (high-end dried fruit, delicious)
  • turned in a rough draft of my senior thesis proposal (for music), was well-received, and got a cookie
  • get to cook dinner tonight
  • have nothing else to do besides lounge around/watch tv/browse tumblr
omg the faculty are bringing their a game today

an email i just got from an english prof:

dear all,

i am writing to you either because you were recommended to me as a likely candidate for what i am about to describe or because you took a class with me in recent memory and you seem to me to be the kind of ham who would be into what i am about to describe:

2012 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of charles dickens (only the greatest writer in the history of the english language–this has been established by a panel of experts so please do not argue or appeal to other members of the english dept.). to mark this important event the english department will be welcoming to campus in october a renowned victorian studies scholar, james kincaid. he will deliver a lecture on /great expectations/ on thursday, oct 18, and participate in an informal group discussion of /david copperfield/ on friday, oct 19. more details on these two events will follow soon. what i am writing to you about now is a special event the english department is organizing in advance of the discussion of /david copperfield/: a marathon reading of the book.

beginning at common time on tuesday, october 16 a group of students, staff and faculty will take turns to read all of /david copperfield/ out loud, one chapter at a time. we hope to end on the evening of wednesday, october 17, with a party involving cake and other goodies. most or all of the english department faculty will read, as will professors from other departments, various members of staff and probably president poskanzer as well (my people are currently in negotiations with his people); schiller has not been heard from yet. i am inviting you to join the roster of readers. (each reading slot will be roughly 30 minutes in duration; you may read your chapter alone, or with a friend or friends.) this is going to be a lot of fun, a test of endurance, and hopefully the revival of a regular series of such marathon readings.