Thursday, November 11, 2010

Titles and Other Rookie Mistakes

So, I've finally settled on a new (and permanent) title and URL for this blog - Confessio Scholastici, or The Student's Confession.  It's a modification of Confessio Amantis (The Lover's Confession), the name of the 1390 poem by John Gower on which I wrote my undergrad thesis.  It also seems particularly apt for the title of a blog aiming to chronicle the trials and successes of a student.  So, I had a few misses with overly crude, cheesy, and simply un-amusing titles, but this shall be my successful sticking point.

On the topic of rookie mistakes (like titling a blog before you have a really good title for it), I made a big one this quarter.  In background, let me explain that most graduate English seminars require, along with a final paper, that each student lead class once during the quarter, presenting on a specific week's reading, describing some of the existing criticism of the primary text, and starting the class discussion with a few questions.  When the sign-up sheets for these presentations went around back in September, I eagerly scanned the syllabus for what I was sure would be my favorite topic - What will I have the most to say about? I asked myself, choosing to present on the second half of Tess of the D'Urbervilles for one class, and "The Community of Women" for the other.  Fabulous, wonderful topics to present on.  The presentations are going to be really interesting to research and give.  One problem.  Without noticing it, I managed to sign up for two presentations in the last two weeks of class.  This means that, while everybody around me who had the good sense to get their presentation over with earlier in the quarter is focusing all of their attention on writing their papers, I get to focus on preparing my presentations and writing my papers.  If just one of my presentations had already been done - but, alas, no, I have two presentations and two papers to grapple with in the next few weeks.  This is not a mistake I will make again.

The bad news about this is that I will be spending copious amounts of time staring at my computer screen, printouts of articles, and dusty books (one of my favorite smells, BTW).  My eyesight may suffer, and my hair will probably be thinned by my tearing of it.  The good news, however, is that I will surely find myself hitting an academic wall and needing breaks to do things like write witty blog posts to entertain my wide reader base (Hi Mom and Dad!).  So wish me luck on my great dive, and hopefully I'll come up for some air around these parts.

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