Monday, August 27, 2007

And so... it begins

Ah, the work, the scramble, the hurry, the pressure, the weight hanging over you...
Good times, I tell you, good times.

Very happy with most of my classes so far. Much less happy with one, but I won't say which. I must say, however, that Rise of the Novel so far looks VERY promising. It turns out that several people in the class either did not KNOW they were supposed to do a lot of the reading over the summer, or simply didn't bother to do so. So, having read one and a half of the required books, I am actually in relatively good shape.

I mustn't let that go to my head! But really, it doesn't get much better than good books and good teacher. And a comparative essay at the end! I can almost do those in my sleep, they were so drilled into us at high school. I am very much looking forward to all of this reading. Tomorrow, I finish my classes at 11, so I will head to the library and read, and be done with Dickens before Thursday's class for sure. Then I can spend the weekend skimming over Emma by Jane Austen in preparation for the next few weeks, and spend those two weeks on the next two (much longer) books. I think I will be fine.

I am also very happy with my new housemates. They are all very nice and friendly. We had our first house dinner tonight and it was quite fun. I spend too much time at the table (and doing the dishes afterwards). Luckily, it is the beginning of the semester; plenty of time before dinner is sitting down for ten minutes, shoveling food into your mouth, and then pulling an all-nighter. That is what seems to happen the last month and a half of the semester!

My room feels like home again, and it is very cozy since I cleaned and did a little rearranging. I am drinking tea from my "Smart Women: Thirst for Knowledge" mug, sitting on my orange chair with my laptop, get to fall asleep hugging my positively huge pillow, and am back to tying back the burgundy curtains with my familiar green ribbons.

Soon, though, I will be exploring the newer things that are here in Middelburg. The new Illy Cafe, the new Koestraat building where several of my friends have moved, the new supermarket, and of course, meeting all of the new students. There is a student here for the semester from Georgia, and two American boys in my history class. Not to mention plenty of international students (though perhaps not so many as expected), including my housemate Dana, who is Belgian but has lived mostly in Panama.

So there is a lot to do. And the first thing?

Read Great Expectations.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It's been a long time since I last posted, as multiple family members have been kind enough to remind me. (Hey, family members! If you post comments here, I may write more often!)

And unfortunately, I won't be able to change too much about that right now. This is why:

  • Classes start day after tomorrow, Monday
  • I have to study for the French qualifying exam, which takes place Monday at 845 am
  • For the third time since I chose my classes last May, the authorities have directed my attention to the fact that yet another one of my classes has been canceled: there will be no 199 Dutch this fall. After agonizing about the fact that there were very few classes left that I found interesting, I decided to see if I could get into The 200 literature class, Rise of the Novel. Luckily, Dr. van Werven was nice enough to let me in at the last minute (although he can, of course, change that); however, this means I have to catch up on all of the reading that the other students did over the break. (Thus the large addition to my "to-read" shelf on
  • I am the chair of the school magazine, Tabula Rasa, and have as yet very, very little to show for it.
  • I have to get up bright and early on Wednesday to take care of some residency issues in the Hague.

So I don't think I will be writing too much again for a while. Hopefully, I will read all of "Great Expectations" before 13.45 on Monday; maybe then I will be able to post another quick note. I would really like to tell you all about my three-day trip to Minnesota, so I will do my best...