This term has been crazy.  No, really.  Any way you put it, since Christmas school has been

mad, insane, batty, wacky, nuts, screwy, cooky, bonkers, daft.

I got back and immediately had an essay due.  After that, I had to finish whipping my applications into shape and edit my writing samples.  Next, a 5000 word essay worth 100% of my grade in my Issues module.  Now? A research proposal for my Research Methods course, which is also the cherry on top of my applications.  I’m trying to get it up to scratch so that I get funding.  There are up to eight Durham Doctoral Scholarships and 250 applicants.  Ouch.  And it’s the only funding I can apply for here as an overseas student.  So, that means I have roughly a 3% chance of getting funding.  Ooof.  And on top of this, the regular reading and classes (though, to be fair, my Issues classes are done, and in RMR I only have the daunting Dialogue Day –presenting a paper in a pseudo-conference atmosphere).  Now, before Easter break, I have to come up with a research essay topic and meet with my essay supervisor and finish another 3000 word essay.

I don’t have time for a proper post, but I wanted to update any regular readers on what’s been going on.  On the bright side, Alicia (who has a new fashion blog!!!) has turned in her Master’s thesis of 101 pages, and my former roomie, Ryan, has passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1 (the highest level of mastery in the Japanese language)!  I’m so proud of them!!!

So, onwards and upwards.  I’ll try to update more regularly, and pictures by me will turn up after break begins, as my camera vanished while I was home for Christmas.  Keep rocking on, just keep swimming, and everything’s gonna be alright.

Above: probably what my room looks like from floor-level because I haven’t yet taken my Issues books back!  Black Death, the Pearl, and the Book of the Duchess, baby!

Media note: The Oscars are this Sunday, and I’m betting on The King’s Speech, Colin Firth, and Christian Bale.  The ceremony’s being taped at home, so it’ll be good fun during break!  Adele has a fantastic new album out, 21, which is her follow-up to the amazing 19 (“Chasing Pavements” is a well-known tune from that album).  Plus, I finished Her Fearful Symmetry and am now reading The Piano Teacher and Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue.  Fun fab fact: Bill Bryson is the chancellor at Durham!  Finally, I’m reading Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and The Tempest for class.  Hooray for an amazing mix of good music, films, and texts!

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Friends

I am thankful for so many things in my life.  After recently going through my Netflix queue and looking at my bookshelf, I see the lives of people who are not so fortunate in those films and those pages.  To commemorate Thanksgiving, I wanted to briefly state what I’m thankful for.  Not why or any other explanation, but just a mention on this blog to show appreciation.  In no particular order, except for perhaps the first several:

family

friends

life / health

education

Gustavus

rain

animals

films

music

flowers

kindness

travel

other cultures and religions

e-mail and Skype to connect with those far away

random jokes

laughter

coffee

tea

chocolate

fresh berries

Shakespeare

photographs

learning

a bright, shiny future (*crosses fingers*)

grass

trees

the GAC Shakespeare pit

Latin

mountains

snow

scarves

Kiehl’s

vanilla

candles

color

slippers

mittens

umbrellas

outside plays

picnics

architecture from antiquity to the Renaissance

democracy

love

morals

support

forgiveness

hugs

smiles

cheesecake

trains

Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study.  Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.  ~Henry L. Doherty

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  ~Epictetus

A gentleman need not know Latin, but he should at least have forgotten it.  ~Brander Matthews

A Loeb Series

If the Romans had been obliged to learn Latin, they would never have found time to conquer the world.  ~Heinrich Heine