I wish I could give some extraordinarily compelling excuse for my extended absence over the past few months: alien abduction, Freaky Friday-esque body-switching, or an improbable scenario in which I somehow discover that Jules Verne was right all along and the earth is indeed hollow and inhabited by dinosaurs, and I end up shacking up with Brendan Fraser and making it all the way to China through the Earth’s crust. But sadly the excuse is, as ever, an extraordinary banal one: a new job, the kind of cold that’s so persistent that after a few weeks it brings along a few of its friends and turns your sinuses into its own personal party bus, all combined with the usual leg-dragging laziness. Continue reading
I didn’t actually realise what a momentous day it was. It was a dreary Friday, there was rain on the way, and I’d gotten up at six am to do a few hours of reading for those increasingly worrying essays whose deadlines had begun to loom with disturbing menace.
Red-eyed, yawning, and shivering from the cold, I’d made my way to campus and dragged my sleep-deprived body up countless flights of stairs to reach a small, stuffy little classroom in a back building. I pulled out pen and notepad, as I always do (I’m endearingly old-fashioned in this respect, until essay-writing season comes round, and I begin spewing out incredibly unladylike volleys of swear words as I search desperately for a three-word summary of Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories that I scribbled in an almost-illegible hand ten weeks before). Continue reading
I’ve been a lit major for nigh on six years now, and so I thought it only fair that I use this week’s Top Ten Tuesday ‘Back to School’ theme to share some of the wisdom I’ve managed to gain. So I’ve decided to share ten texts I think every new lit major should try and read at some point in their university careers. Don’t be alarmed if these texts at first seem unnecessarily confusing, pointless, and/or completely and utterly useless. That’s more or less precisely how they’re supposed to be. Continue reading
I feel myself to be a bit of a self-taught expert when it comes to English Literature dissertations. I’m now into the last few days of my Masters dissertation, and having spent the last few months navigating a veritable emotional rollercoaster, I thought it only right that I share some of the things I’ve learnt over the past few months (if only because drafting blog posts is an entirely welcome relief from reading literary theory for five straight hours at a time). So, with that in mind, I present you with:
How to Write an English Literature Dissertation, in 21 Easy Steps
Step 1: Pick a book or an author you like a lot. After all, you’re going to be reading it over and over! For an extra challenge, choose something particularly obscure and complicated so that you can look progressive and experimental. Also there’s less chance that the markers have read the book and can therefore contradict your ideas.
Studying can be hard. There’s no denying that. Studying at university can be even harder. But even though I’m currently buried so deep under accumulated unread books relating to my dissertation that I’m in real danger of being declared a fire hazard to the rest of my building, I still love being a student. And in particular, I love being a student of literature. So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish seemed like the perfect opportunity to remind myself just why I decided I wanted to spend the next four years of my life developing a deep and meaningful relationship with university librarians, and love-hate relationships with long-dead literary theorists.
Cue dramatic music, please… because I am finally ready to resume normal life. Yes, that’s right, I’ve finally finished my university work for this year. That means that I can now return to regularly programmed human activities, such as showering, holding conversations that last for more that fifteen minutes (and are related to something other than essays and assignments), and actually, you know, leaving the house more than twice a week.
So what have I got planned for my extended summer holidays? Well, I can’t say for sure yet, but I can say with some certainty that it will involve a lot of books. Continue reading
What’s that hint of warmth in the air? Is it really time to shed the scarves and socks already? Yes, sadly my favourite season of the year is drawing to an end. And although I occasionally like the breezy warmth and the petal-strewn gardens of spring, this year I’ll be spending most of my time inside, studying for my classes and bemoaning the fact that all too soon, we’ll have to apply sunscreen before going outside to check the mailbox. Thanks, Australia. Continue reading
Regular readers may have noticed I’ve been rather silent these past few weeks. It’s been about a month since I last posted, a fact which I was amazed to discover when I logged on this morning for the first time in a long while. There is a (fairly) good explanation for this, and for my neglect of my favourite blogs and websites.
Here in the southern hemisphere it’s that most joyous time of the year: winter. Unfortunately, before we can all enjoy wrapping ourselves in blankets and sipping warm tea of a chilly afternoon, university exams loom over the immediate future. As a long-standing Arts student I don’t actually have exams, but I did have to write roughly eight thousand words’ worth of essays before the semester was over. So, naturally, the past few weeks have been spent in a kind of robotic sleep-eat-work-sleep routine, punctuated by the occasional anxiety attack (complete with paper-bag breathing exercises) and sleepless night.
Despite this routine (or perhaps because of it), I have finally made it through to the other side of the semester. Continue reading