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Guillaume de Machaut

1300-1373, the last great composer to also be a poet, or vice versa, because I suppose Wagner doesn't count as a 'great' poet and Nietzsche, though a tepid composer, was not a poet, either.

Can you think of any other poet/composers? I feel like more ought to be on the tip of my mind, but at the moment nothing is coming to the fore.
I turned in my B-essay this morning and realized about half an hour ago that I forgot to include the MANUSCRIPT in the Bibliography!

Is that ironic, or just stupid?
The paleography paper felt difficult and mechanical, and I need to go back and revise it tomorrow.

I've spent yesterday and today, however, reading parts of about six more sagas for material for the C-course essay, and I've finally (sigh) finished the introduction.

Saturday I was asked to dep for the Commotio choir concert. That will take up the whole day; I'm looking forward to it and I wouldn't have volunteered if I didn't think I'd have the time, but it does relegate one good Library Day to the trash bin. Meaning, the following schedule applies for the rest of term:

Friday: Revise and finish B-course essay
Saturday: Choir all day
Sunday: 2,500 or so words of C-course essay, triple-check B
Monday: Turn in B-course essay, at least 2,000 words of C-course essay; stick in Old Norse quotes
Tuesday: Finish essay in the Morning and take the rest of the day off
Wednesday: Revise
Thursday: Print and enjoy vacation!

res gestae

The Digby 23 Project

If anyone here is subscribed the Medieval History feed from About.com, they'll realize I'm being a big copycat here. However, this is awesome and deserves extra attention.

In other news, I've finally finished my outline for the Paleography (B Course) essay, and it alone has topped at over 4,500 words (out of a strict maximum 7,000 for the essay itself). I always pare my notes and quotes as I write, throwing out redundancies and shortening overly poetic bits, and it's actually comforting to know that I've done a bit too much research. As with the MT essay, though, I'll probably end up having to throw out half my thesis, but I'd rather be in that position than caught short for words.

I am, however, a bit frustrated with the title I gave the paper, which we had to hand in over two weeks ago already. Since that point I've refocused the work just enough to make the original title an awkward fit. It also would help if I had time to go to Paris and Vienna and look at the correlating MSS for Iam, dulcis amica, venito, but I'll have to settle for a transcription (since, as far as I can tell, the Bodleian doesn't have a facsimile edition of either MS!).
Well, Hilary Term is two weeks away from being officially over, and I've gotten the Palaeography test under my belt now, which is a bit of a relief. I love transcribing, and dating hands is like a fun mystery puzzle, but the amount of manuscripts I've had a chance to look at and compare date-wise is still small enough that I feel it's still a bit of a mushy science. In eight years maybe I'll have enough experience with the fashions in handwriting through the years to identify them like last year's Roos or like pants based on jeans flare, but at the moment I feel like I'm shruggingly accepting the dating given me and the reasons behind it without feeling as though I'm part of the timeline.

I've vowed to finish a draft of one of my essays by Monday; this will be a good exercise for me, since I usually write everything the day before the due-date, saving all of my readings in my brain until I explode in a fit of feigned brilliance all over my computer. This method generally works, but since I have two essays due this term instead of one, I'd rather not tempt fate or my ability to stay up until four in the morning for days on end. I'd also rather not backslide into caffeine overconsumption again, either.

I turned down Cornell yesterday morning. The medieval studies degree would have been great, but I felt like a bit of an impostor... applying for the English degree and squeezing into a different department. Now, then, I need to decide where it's actually convenient for me to visit over break. UPenn and UMich are definite visits, but do I bother with UCLA and NYU? I want to see California, and I want to see what the school feels like. Same with NYU. I doubt I'll end up at either program, but at the moment I can't seem to cut either off my list--so much work went into these applications that I feel as though I'm throwing away part of my life every time I consider turning them down.

OHwell. I need to buy plane tickets and write.

Ein kleines Updaetchen

There isn't much new to report here, except for the fact that I've been so excited about grad schools this week that I completely sloughed off on my tutorial essay I ought to have been preparing for review; after sixth week, faculty can no longer see our work until they grade it, which means that having even a very rough draft done before then can be helpful--at least in terms of delimiting the boundaries of the essay, which is only 7,000 words (max) and therefore quite constricting. Last term I didn't show Vincent anything beforehand and still managed to make the average mark necessary for Distinction, and I've never been quite capable of writing something I felt at all comfortable with until after I do ten times the amount of reading necessary for the essay in the first place, which is almost impossible to have done by this point. I just don't feel as though I can begin writing until I know exactly what Holes of Unoriginality or Pitfalls of Cliche I need to avoid.

So, Harvard apparently notified last night, and I didn't get an email. This is fine by me... although originally I was pretty keen on going there, after hearing some things bad (like the excessive amount of teaching they require grad students to do, creating a much longer time to degree) as well as some things good (it's supposedly the best university to study at... in the entire world), I'm perfectly fine with not getting in. I never thought I was a particularly outstanding candidate or even a great fit in their program, and after being accepted to UPenn, I, frankly, don't care at all. It would have been nice, actually, to be able to turn down the big H.


So, the tally to now is:

Columbia: No news yet
Cornell: In
Harvard: Implicit Rejection
Notre Dame: Implicit Rejection
NYU: No news yet; I don't want to go there now
UMich: In
UPenn: In
UVa: Implicit Rejection; they don't have my mich transcript (how? dunno)

I am reiterating most of this information because I am so excessively pleased and surprised by the outcome. I will sit and rest on my laurels for no more than two more days, and then I will work like a fiend to kick butt on my two essays this term.

Ok, ostensibly, I'm off to the Bod now.

But first, I need to get dressed.

A Crazy 24 hours

Today I had dinner and was about to leave for choir when my mom IMed me.

"UPenn just called; they are emailing you."

And so I went to choir all a-twitter with the thought that I might get to study with David Wallace next year, which is tantamount to touching God in medieval-english-professor form.

So, I got back from choir and checked my gmail; I saw one in which the first line ran "Congratulations on your acceptance..." and so I clicked on it and started reading and was very very very confused.

It was an email from UCLA.

The email from UPenn arrived about half an hour later, after I'd skyped a professor at Penn, returning her call.

Long story short, I got accepted to two schools today... and suddenly life is just that much more confusing. A good sort of confusing, though.



Professor Gregg Crane
Graduate Chair
Department of English Language and Literature
University of Michigan

Dear Allshallbewell:

I am delighted to announce that you have been accepted into our Ph.D. program in English Language and Literature. In addition to admission, we are also able to offer five consecutive years of support for your graduate studies. I speak on behalf of the entire faculty when I say we hope you will decide to attend Michigan.

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has awarded you one of the University’s most substantial awards of support, a Two Year Departmental Fellowship. The fellowship provides you with fellowship support in your first year and again in your fifth year (provided you apply for other fellowships through our fellowship competitions) and three years of support as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI). Should you not receive a competitive fellowship in your fifth year, you will be guaranteed a second year of Departmental Fellowship. One of the attractive aspects of our Ph.D. program is that all of our students receive a full five years of support and do not have to compete with one another in order to remain in the program. We only admit students we expect to be able to grant a doctorate at the completion of their studies. Financial support is guaranteed as long as you maintain a good academic standing and make regular and satisfactory progress toward your degree.

The email went on. But, needless to say, WOW! yay! hiphip!
Offer of $20,000/year for five years with four years of summer support (~$3,000) and health insurance, first and final years fully-funded and the others aided by teaching writing seminars (on medieval topics).

This is not a bad deal.

Grad School Frenzy

Dear Anyone,

I know I haven't updated here in a while; it's not for lack of working or interesting things to post, but mostly because I've been in a grad school tizzy and have actually been slightly afraid to post research-related things for fear I was getting excited about a profession that would soon be closed to me (at least in the immediate future).

Last night the director of the Medieval Studies program at Cornell called my house; I got back to my room around midnight to an instant message from my dad saying, "CALL HOME." When I did, I got the news that I'd been admitted, but I don't know anything beyond that (other than the surmise that the English department transferred my application to the Medieval Studies Department based on my research interests). After looking at the program's website, I'm actually really pleased: it will give me a (forced) opportunity to do more language work, perhaps teach German (!), and to work interdepartmentally with the Music, Art, Language, and Philosophy faculties, all while keeping the focus on English Lit&Lang that is the backbone of my interest in the time period. Like I said, I don't know anything else yet, but I will after about 1:00 when the director is calling me to tell me details.

All I can say is that, until last night, I was pretty much despondent, and not just because I felt like I had no control over my situation. I've put a lot of effort into being studious, into focusing my interests and honing my writing skills over the last few years, and to face the widening gap between my aspirations and my educational reality, well, it's something I knew all along had a great possibility of occurring, but not something pleasing to feel nonetheless. Of course, I'm still interested to see what will become of my other applications, but in the same sort of detached-interested sort of difference you feel when watching someone give a public oration and giving one yourself. I feel like I can be a bit of a spectator again; it's a wonderful feeling.

So, an update:

Cornell: :)
UVa: Implicit rejection; after checking the online status, I realized they'd never received my UM transcripts. I'm not completely upset, as Bruce Holsinger focuses on my main area of interest, but I have to admit I'm not overly keen on his writing.
UCLA: I haven't heard anything yet; people have been accepted, but a lot of people have been rejected. Either I wasn't worth emailing, or I'm in an internal purgatory/waitlist. This would have been painful at this time yesterday, but like I said, I have the luxury of spectating at this point.
Harvard: Nothing.
Notre Dame: Nothing
UMich: Nothing
UPenn: Nothing
Columbia: Nothing
NYU: Nothing

I may email/call Notre Dame and tell them I'm no longer interested, but I think I'll wait until after the phone call.

Anyway. I didn't get to sleep until about 2:30 last night due to the excitement, but I also had to get up early to write an essay for my Norse tutorial this morning. I'm running on about 3 hours of sleep and no caffeine. It's worth it. :) :)