Random Bullets of Monday

  • I have the interview for my fellowship tomorrow. I’m nervous because I’m a neurotic person, but I’m also feeling pretty good about my chances. That could be because no other department has really submitted anyone’s name for this fellowship, but it’s also because I found out that the professor I’m interviewing with really liked the paper I wrote and submitted with my application. So cross any and all appendages for me!
  • This is the first time in my ENTIRE graduate career that I have a body of work that I’m proud of. In my history M.A. we only wrote a couple of seminar papers (and they didn’t necessarily cover topics in which I had much intellectual investment). In the first year of my history Ph.D. I took a total of 10 classes (on the quarter system) and I ended up with no papers to speak of. Just short 7-page essays, which are rather worthless overall. Right now I have three projects ongoing, all of which I’m excited about, and this summer I will be picking up a fourth. It feels really good to be semi-productive like this.
  • I swear to all that is good in the world that my cats are sharing a single brain cell. Tonight I picked up some toys and catnip for the three of them. Two of them are now stoned and drooling over the catnip. One of them keeps trying to climb the front door. Oy.
  • I’ve been in a bit of a “fun” reading slump lately. I have several fiction books on my bedside table, but for some reason, they’re not holding my attention. So I’ve decided to mix things up a bit with some non-fiction (which I love). Even better, I’m giving in to my love for all things espionage (I loooooooove James Bond–I’ve seen every film and really need to read the books–even though he essentially stands for everything that I stand against). I just picked up the book Agent ZigZag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre. It’s about a charming con man who became a spy for the Nazis only to turn right around and become a spy for MI5, leading the Germans by the nose for years. I can’t wait to dive in.
  • I’m in the middle of reading Sister Carrie for one of my courses. It’s a bit clunky and repetitive in parts, but I’m enjoying it nevertheless. And there are moments when Dreiser just gets it right–his writing hits home and works beautifully, making up for the clunky bits. I think I’ll be reading An American Tragedy this summer.
  • I have perfected the vegan cappuccino cupcakes, which I filled and frosted with coffee-flavored frosting. Yumalicious.
  • I’ve started reading Elie Wiesel’s Night for another course. I’ve avoided it for years now, because it’s so painful, but it is heartbreakingly beautiful. Depressing, but beautiful.
  • After Milton, it’s rather shocking to move on to the pornographic satires of the Earl of Rochester.
  • Time for me to drink my tea and go to bed! I’ll hopefully have good news about the fellowship in the very near future!

10 responses to this post.

  1. Good luck Sarah! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. And my toes, beacuse I’m cool like that. 😉 And yay for having a body of work to be proud of!! I have one project that I love to death, and I’m hoping to do some more in grad school (although it’s a professional-oriented grad school, rather than research/academia so we’ll see).


  2. Best of luck with the interview! I’m sure you’ll do great.


  3. Hope your interview went well! I’d like to read An American Tragedy as well—eventually! 🙂


  4. I’m sending positive vibes your way. Best of luck!!!!


  5. Thanks everyone! It’s out of my hands now–hopefully I’ll know soon! 🙂


  6. Posted by Queen Mother on February 20, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    I have called upon all the Matriarchs in the family past and present to send good vibes your way. Since I have a warped version of the afterlife I figure that good thoughts are with you always.


  7. Crossing lots of appendages for you. I know you did a great job!


  8. Good luck! Yay!


  9. Sounds like some great reading is going on! I loved Sister Carrie. It was my first Dreiser (and my only to date), and I need to get my hands on An American Tragedy.

    And Night is my very favorite holocaust book. Definitely heartbreaking, but so poignant and affecting.


  10. Clair and Courtney: Thanks! Hopefully I’ll find out soon…

    Andi: The only thing that bums me out about An American Tragedy is that it’s only available in mass market or in the Library of America hardcover. Argh. But it’s definitely on the list for this summer…


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