TheCrockery

A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

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Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spring Break Reading

It's spring break, and for once, it actually feels like spring in this corner of the Midwest. What a surprise! I'm just waiting for a major windstorm to come through and knock out all the power lines. Something bad has to happen weather-wise-- surely we aren't to be allowed a few carefree sunny days in the middle of March?

In case you're wondering, I am not going anywhere for spring break. I have gotten to the point where I simply laugh at people who get to go somewhere for spring break. Spring break is not for leisure. It is for frantically catching up on work. In my case, it is for finishing up a first draft of the final chapter- the very same chapter I've been working on since November. I've written a lot since then, but it's all been in bits and pieces. Now I'm trying to force those bits and pieces to cohere into a single document. Right now I'm on. . . oh, page 18 or so. I predict that this draft will finish up at about 30-35 pages. That's a bit on the short side for a chapter, but then, it is a first draft.

However, I did decide to treat myself a LITTLE this week. So I went to the public library, looking for some fun, non-academic spring break reading. Some times I browse the fantasy or juvi-fiction sections of the library. This time I ended up in the mystery section. And I came with a copy of . . .

DEATH BY DISSERTATION.

With a name like that, how could I pass it up? Especially when I opened it up and read this paragraph:

I was convinced graduate school was the lowest circle of Hell in the Inferno, but Dante discarded it as too terrifying for his readers. My particular corner of hell was a seminar room half full of dedicated medievalists; and slouching in a stuffy seminar room on a beautiful October afternoon, even for a nonathletic slug like me, was hard work. Especially when I was having to listen to Dan Erikson babble on and on about the absolutely riveting number of horses Charles Martel had had in his army when he defeated the Muslim invaders in Poitiers in A.D. 732. That was a heck of a long way from 1991.

Now, I'm neither a medievalist nor a historian, and I couldn't tell you who Charles Martel was, but I guess I have a nostalgic place in my heart for the days I was in coursework, because that opening paragraph brought back fond memories of being stuck in a classroom trying to hide my annoyance while during someone else's less than interesting pet theory. Ah, coursework, how I miss you! Or is it just that I'm so sick of dissertating that I'd rather read murder mysteries about dissertating? Either way, I think I've sunk to a new graduate student low.

3 Comments:

Blogger La Mama Loca said...

I don't really have anything to say, but I'm leaving a comment to affirm you, and to acknowledge that I've read your blog. See, I love MY sister. . .

11:48 PM  
Blogger Leopoldtulip said...

I love your sister, so I guess I'll leave a comment too.

-Leopoldtulip

11:32 PM  
Blogger Mistifier said...

LOL. I love that death by dissertation involves medieval grad students. It must have been written by some disgruntled history student who has been ABD for 16 years. I only vaguely have heard of Charles Martel. . . but I have heard that the warhorses (or "destriers" (des-tree-ay) in French) that knights rode were BIG, CRAZY spitfire horses. You didn't ride one to go visit your neighbor, or to go about your daily business, because they were insane. They were "war-only" transportation.

Imagine the enormous Budweiser horses on crack.

This insane image and obscure, useless medieval knowledge is my gift to you today.

2:11 PM  

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