Saturday, April 26, 2003

yay instant messenger. (following aim names changed to protect the overly pedantic)

MotherSuperiorIris: what kind of sentence did you use postlasp-whatever in? a discussion regarding phillip glass?
SistrStOlga: postlapsarian=after the fall [of "man"], i.e. the famous fruit-eating of Mother Eve
SistrStOlga: i used it in the hildegard paper

Oh yes, and the other night at dinner, someone random said to me, "Medieval Studies? Have you ever heard of Hildegard von Bingen's chants?"
Well, I haven't studied them academically, but I did turn in a nineteen-page paper on her art this morning.... yeah...

I have SARS.

Okay, maybe I don't, but I have a lousy cold and I am coughing like mad, so I will make this short.

I learned, while on vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia, that people there do not read. I know, it amazed me too, because where I live, you can't go two miles without running into a bookstore or a library, but out there... *shudder*

I drove through five separate shopping malls, some old and decrepit, some new and shiny, and found one, ONE comic book store. And I didn't go in, because it looked more like a hangout than a place that actually sold comics.

I was frightened. I didn't think such a place existed that had so little interesting in reading material. There was a book section in the large gift shop at Williamsburg, but it sold only historical novels and big sixty-five dollar coffee table book on things like period dress and architecture and silverware... *wipes drool from bottom lip* But I digress..

There was a Starbucks and an organic supermarket, wasn't a bookstore the next step in yuppification? I found the phonebook at the condo and dug through it, searching for bookstores. Since I was south of the Mason Dixon line, I figured i could at least find a Christian book store, though some among us might feel that categorizing such a place under "book seller" might be stretching the definition. There was one. And I think it supported itself by selling music and gift stuff too.

Incredible. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Luckily I had brought sufficient reading material with me to make it through the week, but I had to supplement it by watching Star Trek on TNN in the evening and going to bed without turning too many pages. Okay, I watched more than that, but I don't get cable at home, so sue me. Most of my time was spent visiting plantations on Garden Week, but that's another story.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Yay! I used the word "postlapsarian" in a sentence!

(The English language has such wonderful words, and there are so rarely uses for the best ones...)

I was actually trying to do Hildegard research on the Web when I found this wonderful article about poetry and authenticity. Oh, how I love a good forgery.

Niki, your life sounds as stressful as mine! Scary. Good luck.

Meanwhile, random thought of the day: Hildegard of Bingen has a special phrase meaning "monk". She calls the monk vivens odor vovens iter secretae regenerationis, "a living fragrance vowing the way of secret regeneration." (Barbara Newman, "Introduction", in Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, Columba Hart and Jane Bishop ed., trans. New York: Paulist Press, 1990. Page 25.) I would point out that there's not a gendered word (at least referring to the monk) anywhere in that phrase, (except odor, which bet is feminine, even though the online dictionary is down so I can't check) so it can work for nuns too... how would you all like to be living fragrances?

Hello Nuns, message from the nun on the other side of the puddle....

I am so very sorry that you have such a stressful life St. Olga......the life of a grad student is tough. And so many people think I do nothing just because I am student. Sigh. I am in a bit of a stress situation my self. I have to finish my upgrading proposal today, send it to my supervisors, so they can have a last look through it and tell me if I need to change anything, as it must be handed in on the 29th of April. In the mean time, I have to write a paper for my conferene in Denmark in the beginingof May and send that to the Institute in Denmark and attend a three day conference here in London. Basicly, I am going home on the 30th of April and before that I need to have handed in my proposal, written the paper and gone to the conference. And once I get to Denmark I need to have meetings with my Danish supervisor and I need to read a bunch of books on the Czech Republic and the EU, as I have been assign the job to comment on some Danish grad student's paper on the relationship between the Czech Republic and the EU. They seemed to think that I'd know a lot about the subject, but frankly, I know nothing.Sigh. But really, Sister Andrea, you should hire someone to cook, clean and brew you cups of coffee and tea in the next couple of weeks.It would only be fair.

As for your healthy instruction Mother Superior, they have served to make me feel really guilty....I have not been to the gym in a month! I feel terrible and imagine bumps and bulk when I look in the mirror However odd it may sound, i do feel the difference and want to get back. But as my life works right now, i am always away travelling, or too busy or else the gym closes for easter, so a gym memebership doesn't pay. Oh, well, after I upgrade and have more time on my hands, I will get back to it.

The weather is very un-English, lovely and warm and sunshine.........great.And unfair. Who wants tospend their time writing when it is great wheather....?

Wish I could join in your Georgette Heyer sessions once you go off to the conference.........

That is all for now..........Sister Scarlett

Monday, April 21, 2003

Hello all. Sorry about the long hiatus... it's been a holiday, I'm at home, and G-d knows I have too much work to do... this last is mainly because my thesis defense is apparently in one month instead of three. (DAMN those professor sabbaticals!) Iris, if all goes well, I'll have something that looks like a decent draft to show you when we go to Kalamazoo together. Anyway, I had better write the last fifteen pages of the twenty-page Hildegard of Bingen paper today... AAAAHHH!!! and finish my palaeography paper tomorrow, along with whatever PowerPoint work the Hildegard presentation needs... and that leaves Tuesday night, Wednesday and Thursday to work on the thesis, Friday to give the Hildegard presentation and hand the paper in, Saturday night and Sunday to write the take-home final for Art History that they haven't given us yet, Monday to study palaeography for the final test and work on the thesis and go to class, Tuesday and Wednesday to continue thesis work (and go to class Wednesday night), Thursday to continue thesis work, Friday to hand in the Art History final, Saturday night and Sunday to cram for the palaeography final test, Monday to go to the last palaeography class and take that test, Tuesday to continue working on the thesis and pack, Wednesday to meet Iris in Detroit... five days to relax, enjoy the medievalists' conference in Kalamazoo, show Iris my thesis and read some Georgette Heyer... Monday afternoon the 12th of May I'm back in New York City, and the FINAL draft of the thesis is due on Friday the 16th, with the defense to be held on Monday the 19th. Got all that?

I am taking one course as an incomplete, so I have one less twenty-page paper to write between now and the nineteenth of May, thank G-d. Nevertheless... yeah, that's my life.