Aug. 8th, 2007 08:26 pm
icepixie: (Victorian lamps)
Now, two years after I was there, Exeter Uni does something cool. Feh.
icepixie: (Sunflower)
Same bat time, same bat place. These are various leftovers from Exeter and Topsham and the Dover pics. Chartwell, Leeds Castle, and Salisbury/Stonehenge should be up tomorrow.
icepixie: (miles to go)
Ennui, thy name is me. I have no desire to do anything today, much less work on my Satire essay. (This may have something to do with the depressing weather. Exeter has developed the capability to be both warm--well, "warm" in the sense of "not exactly freezing"--and clammy at the same time, not to mention completely clouded over. It's amazing.) I should be excited about this essay. It's Serious Academic Work on Wonderfalls and Alice in Wonderland, and what's not to love about that?


I desperately need a haircut. It's touching my shoulders, which it hasn't done since I was seventeen. It's gotten to that stage where it's all limp and greasy except for a few hours right after I shower. It's falling out in, well, not clumps, but in alarming amounts. The split ends are out of control. It's kind of neat to be able to put it up in a ponytail and have almost all of it go in, but Chandra, at some point this week, I must set up a time to have you chop of some of this mess.


My trip to Wales (Monmouth, Symond's Yat, Tintern Abbey) looks less and less likely, as the one hostel I found in the area (possibly the one hostel in all of southern Wales, or at least the only one within walking distance of a train station or bus stop) seems disinclined to return my e-mail about booking a bed. I might try calling them, but the more I think about it, the more I think I might rather spend those three days catching up on my day trips. I still need to go back to the cute little town of Topsham and have a cute little cream tea and see if the guy at the cute not-so-little used bookstore will take some of these 40-odd tomes I got for classes off my hands. And we still haven't gotten to the miniature pony center or the otter & butterfly sanctuary on Dartmoor. Plus there's the crazy spinster house in Exmouth that I want to see (and possibly copy when i get to the crazy spinster stage myself). And Stonehenge or Avebury would make good day trips.

Still doing the Kent trip at the beginning of next month and the Loch Lomond/Loch Katrine/Alnwick Treehouse Thingy towards the middle. Hey, [ profile] vallentine, are train tickets from Stirling to Edinburgh cheap if you buy them the day of? National Rail says they're £3.75 for singles to and from if I buy them online, and it would be easier just to buy them when I get there, 'cause I'm not exactly certain what time I'll be going in either direction.

The Lake District idea died an ignominious death with Whitney bowed out and I decided I wasn't all that interested. Maybe when I'm older and richer and can come back here and rent a car. (Trying to organize June via public transportation has been especially difficult, moreso than any other trips I've planned. Argh.) There might be punting in Oxford with Certain People before I fly home. We will do our level best to emulate Three Men in a Boat, I'm sure.
icepixie: (Wax Lion)
I realized today what was missing from the English classes here: they have very little concept of the close reading. All the discussion, such as it is, rests on very broad, general topics. Nobody quotes the book or even points to passages to back up their point. Strangely, just after I realized this, Mack decided to have our one and only close reading in Satire, and the first I've seen here. It was actually interesting, for the first time all year. Too bad it was the last class.

See, Kenyon's English department is built on this type of criticism, as it's the kind developed and espoused by our most famous professor, John Crowe Ransom. (Okay, it's a bit more complicated than that; the style he and others developed in the 1940s or so, called "New Criticism," basically treats any work as a self-contained piece, studying it more through close readings of various parts and concentration on relationships between various characters, events, sounds or rhythms (in poetry) and other bits of the work, rather than concentrating so much on its relation to the outside world. It's a fairly rigid type of formalism.) The Exeter English department is way, way more into something that seems like a fanatic form of New Historicism, where they study a work practically exclusively in relation to historic events at the time of its writing, the life of the author, other books written around the time, other examples of the genre, etc. etc. (This is, if course, when we have any discussion at all. But anyway.)

I'm somewhere in the middle between the two schools of thought. I'm sure there's a name for the type of criticism I like, but I don't know what it is and can't be bothered to look it up at the moment. ;) When I write papers, I perhaps lean a little towards the cultural studies side, although I do a good amount of formal critiqueing, too. However, I get the most out of a class where the dominant style is some form of formalism, where discussion is centered on relationships amongst the pages of the book and thorough dissection of small chunks of prose or poetry, so I'm beginning to see part of the reason why this year hasn't been so academically satisfying. (I maintain that a larger part of the reason is that the classes here are CRAP, but anyway.)

And I'm a little shocked that I've managed to absorb enough about litcrit over the past three years to write all that. Huh.


In other news, I'm over the minimum word count for essay #1! Just need to tie up a few loose ends and write a conclusion, and then I can move on to essay #2, the Wonderfalls essay. :)
icepixie: (Finding Neverland)
*hack hack* I sound like a consumptive, for God's sake. Ecchh.

Anyway. Time wastage abounded this morning, so my Ireland photos are now online for all to see. As an added bonus, you get pictures of the last two pretty sunsets in Exeter.
icepixie: ("Dance Me to the End of Love")
I'm shocked that I can say this, but: it's another beautiful day. I broke out the capri pants and sandals.

I turned in my papers, cleaned off my desk, washed the pile of dishes that have accumulated in my room over the past several days, and now I'm obsessively writing down every tiny little detail about getting to train stations from airports, hostels from train stations, etc. for Switzerland and Austria. I bought another notebook especially for all this stuff; mostly because my trusty take-with-me-for-random-jotting-down-of-stuff notebook is running out of paper, but also because I'm anal like this.

And I think I finally figured out how to buy train tickets online from the Swiss Rail site! Woot! You can print off the tickets and everything. I'm going to buy my Lucerne->Salzburg ticket from them in a couple days, when they open up sales for the day I'm going. It looks like it's only 45 Swiss francs (worth about 85 US cents, which means I finally found a European currency to which the US dollar is FAVORABLE, WHEEEE!) for Zurich->Salzburg, plus probably 20-ish for Lucerne->Zurich. Hooray. Ellen, given how frequently the trains run between Basel and Lucerne, we should probably just buy that ticket when we get there, as I'm really not sure how long customs, etc. will take and I don't want to have to buy two tickets.

And now I'm going to pick up the book I won for completing Bowman's Irish Cultural Literacy Quiz (I also won lunch in Dublin or Galway 'cause I answered the most questions correctly--hooray for having done papers on Irish nationalism and Anglo-Irish relations over the past several years) and get some munchies at Spar. Then I'm going to make some more Wonderfalls icons, 'cause I totally made a whole bunch of screencaps last night. Is a good day.
icepixie: (humans are superior)
Okay, so did my flat get the gimpy router or something? The entire flat's 'net connection went out between 5 and 7 PM last night. At least they fixed it this morning, but this is the second time in as many weeks it's been out for more than twelve hours. Um, £60 ResNet fee? Grrr.

So of course, since I couldn't get online to research for my papers, I did other forms of...research. Heh. Okay, I did some legitimate work by watching Farscape, since it seems my paper is going to at least have a significant section on "Revenging Angel," and it may turn out to be best if I structure the entire paper around the episode, describing how it takes Looney Tunes tropes personas and transfers them into a larger plot context that manages to say things about love and identity and power through hermaneutic references to said tropes and personas.

I swear to God, that is the kind of sentence you would read in a postmodernist essay.

So, yeah, two solid pages of notes on that episode. And then I had to go help Ellen watch three Wonderfalls episodes after I finished the Farscape. Of course... Heh. Am still contemplating writing my next Satire essay (the one due in June) on that show. There must be a way.
icepixie: (NX light)
I'd sort of had a vague plan of doing work, but decided against it when I woke up at noon. Sooooo...four Wonderfalls episodes (no more new-to-me ones! Waaaah!) and three commentaries later, it's now almost time for bed. Er, yes. I half-expect one of my stuffed animals to start talking to me now.

So, yesterday. Much fun with various birthday celebrations, starting with waking up to find my door wallpapered by [ profile] softstepshoes, complete with "21 Things We Love About Becca" poster/pictures. It's still up there, 'cause it's way more interesting than the door itself.

Dawlish )

Further festivities )

So, yeah. Best 21st birthday ever.
icepixie: (headdesk)
No smoking around icepixie. Thank you for your co-operation.





Also, choir tonight could've made the baby Jesus cry. I had no idea that "E" was actually eight notes in one, all of them flat. *cries*


Feb. 22nd, 2005 08:02 am
icepixie: (Fashion Police)
It is SNOWING in EXETER. Holy cow.
icepixie: (Trevor/Claire chemistry)
Well, we finally have our dates set up for spring break. I have it all on a big calendar I made with Sharpie in my room. *whew* Looks like spring break will have six components:

1. [ profile] rowdycamels and I are spending three days in Lucerne, Switzerland (plus two days' travel to and from). Mountains and lakes and quaint little cities, oh, my!

2. I'm spending two days in Salzburg, Austria, with Annie (plus two days of travel, so this probably really works out to 2.5 days). There will be much geeking about Sound of Music and singing in the hills.

3. I'm doing some laundry in Exeter, and then Pez is going to the Lake District for a few days as a group.

4. We're seeing some horse thing (something with those Lipizzaner stallions...Apassionata? Something like that) in Manchester and then heading back to Exeter for a couple days' rest.

5. Paris for varying amounts of days. Looks like [ profile] softstepshoes and I are staying for six. Maybe there'll be a day trip here and there, especially to Versailles. [ profile] fiara, prepare for the bombardment of Pezzers.

6. And, finally, we have a week and a half all over Ireland with the Kenyon/Exeter group. After which we will collapse and generally be exhausted before remembering we have these classes we have to go to...


Lovely day today. Sunny and warm-ish, though a bit windy. *wipes up the dripping sarcasm* I went to Exeter's museum, which is way bigger than it looks on the outside. It's a strange combination of natural history, world cultures, and art gallery. There was everything from Constable sketches to Japanese samurai armor to a room full of dead starfish. Um...I guess a lot of people donate collections of odd things for display? Anyway, they're currently running an exhibit on Norman Thelwell, whom I can only assume is the British version of Norman Rockwell. He did covers of Punch for years and years in the middle of the century, as well as various comics, in which he created such characters as a little girl and her fat, recalcitrant pony. Funny stuff, and a lot of it, too.

And then I went grocery shopping and bought two more boxes of teabags to add to my growing collection. So now I have 80 bags of Tesco tea (regular black stuff), a few of herbal peppermint, a few of herbal peach/passionfruit (that I totally brought back with me from the US...because England isn't associated with tea or anything...), 50 of Ceylon, and 20 of herbal honey/vanilla/chammomile. (I thought that one was real tea, but alas, it is not.)

Everybody needs to start having tea parties in my room right now.


Um...yeah. That's about it. Whee, travel!
icepixie: (headdesk)
*looks around*

So, little spiders have invaded my room.

Did I mention that SPIDERS have invaded MY ROOM?


I don't usually have a problem with spiders, but these are rather large little buggers, maybe a couple centimeters long and very quick. Um, are small light brown English spiders poisonous? *runs off to Google*


Feb. 11th, 2005 05:04 pm
icepixie: (miles to go)
The weather is terrible. It's windy and drizzly and chilly and grey. Typical February day, really. (I always feel a bit disloyal when I criticize February, as my birthday is in the month, but it and January really do have more than their share of nasty days.) Made worse by the Guild travel office not having any internet access and thus being unable to sell us tickets for our next class trip to London, so we had to walk into town to get them. And then I promptly forgot to ask if we could go ahead and buy the train/bus/admission to Leeds Castle from London while we were there. Argh. Another trip to the Guild office!

So, yes, was in a bad mood this afternoon, but seeing a few more daffodils (two-toned ones this time! Orange and yellow! Still haven't seen any white-and-yellows, which are my favorites, though) in someone's front patch of green on the way back to campus lifted my spirits some, as did the pretty fall of plum tree blossoms that happened as I was walking up the alley back to Lafrowda.

I've had the soundtrack to The Village (which I still haven't seen) stuck in my head all day. It really goes quite well with this weather. Lots of frantically-somber violins and flutes and things.

Oh, and I managed to get my hands ona copy of "Threads." Will ramble about that and "The Seige" later on. Will also reply to comments later, too. Maybe once I get some dinner...
icepixie: (Sasha Abt)
1. I totally have an essay topic for my comedy film class. Oh, yes. I shall be writing about the similarities between Bugs Bunny and Groucho Marx and how they manipulate language to get their ways. Or maybe I'll just dump the Marx brothers and write about Bugs and company. Either way, Serious Academic Work on CARTOONS, wheeee!

2. I uploaded a bunch of photos that have been piling up. They're in the "Nashville Over Winter Break" and "Exeter in January" galleries. Almost entirely of flowers and streams and sunsets and stuff, with a few of the dogs and the cat thrown in for laughs.

3. I'm about 95% sure that my sinus infection has returned. ARGH.
icepixie: (academic)
The second semester started in earnest today. I had Satire in the morning and Comedy, Comedians & Romance (a film class) in the afternoon. Were I a real British student, I'd only have classes on Tuesdays. (Well, okay, there are screenings for the film class on Thursdays and Fridays, but you can do those any time in the library, so they don't count.) But us Kenyonites are more special, so I continue to have the Kenyon seminar on Monday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. Which is a good thing, otherwise I'd go out of my mind without enough to do. I still don't understand how the English majors here at Exeter can consider themselves educated after having taken a total of twelve courses before graduation. Yes, some of these classes are ever-so-slightly more intense than ones at home, but we take thirty-two courses over four years at a minimum at Kenyon. Most of us take a few more than that. The mind still boggles.

Anyway. I think this semester will be better, class-wise, than the last one. There will never be a dull moment in Satire, at any rate. The professor is--well, opinionated, obnoxious, antagonistic, incendiary...take your pick of adjectives, really. He does rather fit the stereotype of the obnoxious New Yorker. We were told today that anyone insulting Judy Garland would be taken out back and shot. Indeed. And he insulted Kenyon and Ohio again; apparently we're all insane for wanting to go to school in Gambier. Still, I get the impression that he's all bark and no bite, to use a cliche, and really just puts on the act to keep us on our toes. Plus, y'know. Satire. Fabulous reading list. And it appears (so far) that there will not be any of the group presentations that the professors here seem so enamored with, to my great delight. Glorified busy work and an excuse for the rest of the class not to do the reading, those things are.

Unfortunately, the film class appears to be using presentations, although with any luck they won't be the half-the-class-every-week style from Shakespeare. Other than that, it looks like a fun class; the prof didn't make much of an impression on me, but any class where we're watching When Harry Met Sally, Bringing Up Baby, The Shop Around the Corner, and City Lights can't be all bad. Essay topics are already percolating in my brain, which is always a good thing.

Speaking of essays, if I ever go to graduate school, first knock me upside the head for even thinking of such a thing, and then if I still insist on doing it, remind me to do my thesis/dissertation on Yeats. Writing an essay on him and William Morris at the moment for Matz's class, and wow. So much more excited about this one than I have been about anything the entire past semester.

Speaking of which, I should probably go work on that...
icepixie: (Trevor/Claire chemistry)
Um, yes. So I found out the hard way that today is one of the few days when Exeter weather moves away from "drizzle" and into "flat-out rain." But even though my umbrella was broken, at least I had my raincoat. And though my backpack is completely soaked, at least my plastic-bagged groceries stayed dry. (Why was I out grocery shopping this early in the morning, you ask? Well, I woke up at 5, presumably thanks to my 18-hour snooze yesterday, and the store opens at 8, so...)

If you actually wake up of your own accord instead of get jolted out of sleep by an alarm, early morning isn't so bad. I got an article read for my bibliography, worked on the synopsis of my script...and I still have an hour before I have to be anywhere. I think I'll spend it reading the little Our Dumb Century (by The Onion, natch) that [ profile] rowdycamels got me. Heh.

(Don't expect this to last. By Wednesday at the latest, I'll be griping about having to get up at 8. Trust me.)


Jan. 9th, 2005 02:32 pm
icepixie: (Default)
Um. I didn't know it was possible to sleep for eighteen hours straight, but apparently it is, 'cause I just did it. Around 8 PM, my eyes pretty much shut of their own accord, and didn't open back up until half an hour ago. Possibly the mini-cold I have on top of the jet lag has something to do with this.

And now I have to go grocery shopping. *sigh* No desire, man, none whatsoever.

(P.S. Flight was delayed two hours, but otherwise fine. Train ride was nice and long, but sleepable. Warm and sunny yesterday in London, which made me question which country I was in, but Exeter has succeeded in bringing the drizzle. Ah, well.)
icepixie: ("Dance Me to the End of Love")
Well, it's New Year's Day, and we're in the throes of our annual New Year's warm spell. It was 67F yesterday, and today at 11:30, it's already 65F. It's going up to almost 70 for the next several days. We had our New Year's Eve dinner out on the patio last night. It wasn't exactly warm, even with a log in the firebowl, but it wasn't bad, either. July may be awful, but winter in TN isn't all that bad, really. ;)

I wonder if there's a way to make some kind of fascimile of black-eyed peas, dirty rice and sausage in Exeter. I have a feeling there isn't.

Getting slightly desperate about essay topics for Matz's class. I have two weeks to come up with an annotated bibliography for the paper, but not a clue what I want to write about. I'm vaguely considering something about the Arts & Crafts Movement, Futurism, and Art Deco, but this isn't an art history class, it's an English course. Not that we ever talk about literature in that class. But.

Hmmm...Arcadia and Howard's End? How could I smoosh them together in 3,000 words? There's probably a way... Oh, and the Shakespeare essay that's due a week or so after the bibliography. I'm thinking something about revenge as it relates to Titus Andronicus and The Spanish Tragedy. Would rather do something altogether different on Othello, but no, I have to compare two plays, and one of them has to be non-Shakespeare... *rails against stupid requirements* God, I feel like I'm back in high school.

Um, yes. So, Happy New Year, everyone! Ignore my complaining, please. This is why I like having the semester end before Christmas break, so I don't have essays hanging over my head during vacation, again contributing to the feeling that I've returned to high school.

Right. Moving on this time, really. So, 2005...when did this happen, exactly? To paraphrase Peter, we're halfway through the decade that has no name. Unless "the oughts" has taken hold. Has it? I've heard that one a couple times, but I was hoping for something so much cooler. Oh, well. After a month or so, I might remember to put mm/dd/05 instead of 04... :)
icepixie: ("The Singing Butler" - Jack Vettriano)
I trekked down to the post office today and mailed my twenty-odd cards and packages today, so everyone who gave me an address should all be getting mail within a week or two. Woo!


Now that I've finished the theatre review, I have nothing left to do before break! Notice how I said before...'cause break will consist of me playing with Jstor and various other online databases so's I can research my two papers that are due after we come back...have I mentioned how much I dislike this practice of ending the semester two weeks after winter vacation? Argh.


Also, pictures from my trip into town, mostly of the cathedral (which is right across the street from the post office). It was sunset (at three frickin' thirty), there were picturesque clouds...yeah.

Distant steeple from on a hill.
Cathedral, with lighted tree.
Cathedral tower with pretty sky and lamp.
Cathedral with lamp.
The dark bulk of the cathedralw ith a pink sky and a barren tree.
A whomping willow, except it isn't a willow.
Neat storefronts across from the cathedral yard.
Abstract cathedral part and a blue sky.
Sunset over the railroad tracks. (One of the five best pictures I've taken this year. I love how the colors of the sky are reflected in the rails.)
Wider shot of the same.


And, finally, awesome instrumental mp3s here: Manhattan Beach Symphony. They're a concert band that does music by American composers and arrangers (Shenandoah, Simple Gifts, Train Heading West--typical high school band fare), and I think has some connection with arranging pieces for school bands. Anyway, great mp3s, and free free free!
icepixie: ("Dance Me to the End of Love" - Jack Vet)
Well, our concert (Handel's Messiah) was tonight. I've been quiet about it because I wasn't sure I'd actually show up, as it's a completely voluntary thing (unlike at Kenyon, you don't get class credit for this), I'd already had to miss a couple rehearsals due to Kenyon/Exeter stuff, and I've been utterly unimpressed with the generalized unprofessionalism of the whole outfit. But I did sing in the concert, not to mention the four hours of rehearsal this afternoon in the freezing cold church. It went better than I thought it would, mostly due to the amazing soloists, but there were serious complications. Like, oh, the fact that we were still sight-reading several sections. The last bit, right before the amens? I think the first time over half of the choir had seen it was this afternoon. I wish I were kidding. There was also a longish section where, for once, the soprano section split into two parts, which we were introduced to on Thursday. It wouldn't have been so bad if there were accessible pianos around this campus to plink it out on and get it into my head, but no. I have no idea what part I was singing on that one. And tonight, we had to start over in one part of the performance because our conductor forgot to tell us we were zooming right into a chorus from one of the duets, and didn't really cue us, so we were completely flummoxed. *headdesk* Some parts sounded pretty good, though. I was proud of "For Unto Us a Child Is Born." I'm putting a moratorium on talking tomorrow, however, as I don't really have much of a voice left after seven hours combined of singing over the orchestra, especially on the Hallelujah chorus and various Glories to God. I definitely felt breath going into places in my throat it ought not to, so I perhaps overdid it a bit.

I miss Doc so much. Community Choir isn't the most technically perfect choir in the world, of course, but we do challenging things (songs in five different languages two semesters ago!) and do them well, and we have the best conductor in the world. This was just sort We sang in a church that looked a little like the Chapel at Kenyon, where we always sing in the advent service the night after the big Community Choir/Chamber Singers concert...which is tonight, I think. Ballroom's winter dance is tonight, and they're always on the same night, so it must be. [ profile] laserhead or [ profile] sleepingcbw, wanna tell me what they're/you're doing this semester? Chandra and I had an impromptu singalong to Kokosing Farewell, which got very stuck in my head sometime around 7 PM tonight, I guess because of general concert vibes.

If the year so far has taught me anything, it's that I had no idea how wonderful Kenyon is in so many ways, from English to libraries to music and everything else .


Amusing, semi-related meme from Jessica )

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