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alright. update. after much deliberation, soul-searching, and more than one email to former tutors with the subject line "help!" - i officially accepted a place in the medieval studies ma program at the university of york in the uk. the centre for medieval studies is widely acknowledged as the best in the uk, if not the world and the english department is particularly progressive, which is a bonus for me given that i am interested in working between (the medieval and modern) periods, something that few british universities look kindly upon. in the end, i was humbled by having to decide between oxford, york, and cambridge (the top three english departments in the uk, in that order) and with every single instructor ive had, both at bryn mawr/haverford and oxford pointed me unwaveringly toward york from the very beginning, i just dont know what took me so long to decide on it. my love for oxford, the city and the university, certainly got in my way but i hope never to be a stranger from that place. 

so, in october im off to the northern reaches of yorkshire for 51 weeks of study. ive been to edinburgh, but never in the north of england and i hear its lovely and very mystical - all those anglo-scandinavian and anglo-celtic influences...a friend of mine from bryn mawr is going there as well and we have three (non-academic) goals for the year:

1. visiting our amazing medieval professor from haverford and her family at their sabbatical home in northwestern france.

2. the continuation of the anglo-saxon club begun at the winesoaked table of the aforementioned professor: traveling to ancient cities around the uk, sitting by the oldest gravestone in the oldest cemetary and drinking wine out of a wine horn with anglo-saxon poetry in tow, of course

3. raising the mists of avalon. come on, how hard could it be? stand up on glastonbury tor and wave our arms around. if angelica huston can do it...

oh. a couple of people had told me they were interested in reading my thesis work, which i would be more than willing to email off in an attachment as long as no one makes fun of the numerous typos and dickensian sentence structure. those were stressful weeks spent writing - editing was more of an afterthought...anyway, the title ended up being the most high hill: 13th century mythopolitics and the rise of british medievalism. well on my way to pretentious scholardom.

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with partial credit to prof. steve finley
driving toward the lac qui parle river
                robert bly

I
I am driving; it is dusk; Minnesota.
The stubble field catches the last growth of sun.
The soybeans are breathing on all sides.
Old men are sitting before their houses on car seats
In the small towns. I am happy,
The moon rising above the turkey sheds.

II
The small world of the car
Plunges through the deep fields of the night,
On the road from Willmar to Milan.
This solitude covered with iron
Moves through the fields of night
Penetrated by the noise of crickets.

III
Nearly to Milan, suddenly a small bridge,
And water kneeling in the moonlight.
In small towns the houses are built right on the ground;
The lamplight falls on all fours on the grass.
When I reach the river, the full moon covers it.
A few people are talking, low, in a boat.

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there was a world...or was it all a dream
[iliad book III]
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as i sit here, embarking upon the second to last paper of my undergraduate career, i can hear that little voice in my head saying marie, this is not the time to teach yourself derrida...
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bug/spider bite count on my right upper thigh/hip: 21.
bug/spider bite count on my right rib-type area: 3
bug/spider bite count miscellaneous: 5

its either in my room or in the grass outside carpenter library but whatevers biting me better not be poisonous because i already look like i should be being dumped at the er at princeton plainsboro right about now. which, given how chase rocked the sweater-vest on house last night, actually doesnt sound like a bad idea. vasculitis anyone?

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that being, posting in public.

but i come downstairs in can-ah-day today to the lab and theyre playing belle & sebastian, "the boy with the arab strap" fading gently into "remember the mountain bed" by woody/wilco and the girl in the coffeeshop says its "the calming mix" ...more like the fucking depressing mix...

alright, but armed with my strangely sweet vitamin water (which encourages me to lie to future employers about the status of my sick days) i am off to pound out another 45 minutes of thesis

ETA: i fucking hate fleetwood mac.

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because you can never really have enough, more from little gidding from the four quartets

...You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiousity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid.

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dinner tonight was soul food bar with amy, which means cornbread with melted butter and honey. afterwards i walk back to brecon in the misting air, thinking sweet, im going to watch the second half of that house episode i started this morning. doesn't matter than i've seen it twice before because yum, sexy angry doctor with a big stick. as im coming down the hall, i see a little sticky note attached to my door. its blue and it says marie, rachel asked me to leave this note. she is at the bryn mawr hospital w/a concussion. she's fine, just a little groggy. yikes. im off like a flash, walking in the most roundabout way possible because goddam how was i supposed to know the emergency entry is three-quarters of the way around the compound. but tada, life imitates art and im in a real hospital now! not quite princeton-plainsboro but its got a lot of sick people. ew. no wonder house hates the clinic.

so she's fine and sitting there with a little gash next to her eye. turns out she slipped and fell at the haverford campus today, got the cut followed by some fun flashes and tingling in her hands and feet. we finally get into the little curtain-it-off room in the ER and im sitting there like ooookay, hating hospitals, dont really want to sit on the green vinyl chair but i do anyway because it rachel and its an ER, we're going to be here awhile. theres a painting of spongebob squarepants on the ceiling which is obviously intended to placate gurneyed-up children on their way to the x-ray or worse, yikes. i look at rachel and she's acting startlingly similarly to when she's drunk, all chatty and concerned-faced. they need to do an x-ray of her knee, because she banged that up pretty bad as well, so while she's gone i sit down and do some work - the scarlet letter for allegory class - and as i finish up a chapter i'm thinking wow, theyve been gone for a while, i wonder why its taking so long. in my head suddenly the doors stop being that ugly beige and theyre all sexy and glass and see-through and totally impractical and im thinking to myself i bet something awful is happening and bells and shit are going off all over the place and i see myself bounding up: where the hell is dr. house, we've gotta rule out vasulitis! nah, she's back and its all cool, she has a tiny benign cyst on her bone (unrelated) but theyre going to refer her to a bone doctor just in case.

more sitting on the vinyl chair of a thousand hacking children and waiting for the nurse to come back with the suture cart to put in stitches. since im an idiot and forgot to turn my phone off, despite the 2 separate signs within my line of sight telling me in their caps-lock kind of way that all cell phones must be turned completely off. i'd had it on in case gabe called but when it rings on top of the pile of sterile hand towels its my dad. marie  he says. i was just thinking and i want you to know that ed [a former student of my father's and family friend] is the executor of your mother and my will. what? dad, i say, im at the hospital, rachel has a concussion. pause. what? why are you at the hospital he bellows. fucking reception. fucking nurses staring at me for breaking their fucking lame rules. i walk outside. my dad says that as he and my mother were driving home from upstate ny this afternoon (austin-related business, goddamn), it occured to him that i didnt know what to do if they should both die. i really dont like that im standing outside a hospital right now with a bunch of other nervous and tearstained looking people. dad, i say but he cuts me off: the papers are in the cabinet in the kitchen. like i dont know this already. however it did take me two guesses to get to burlington, vt, where ed lives so maybe his apprehension is warrented. but probably not.

i get back and get to watch the stitches - cool - and then more waiting while rachel gets a cat-scan (cool! like on tv!) and then more waiting while the results for that come in. to pass the time we read an old papers that i happen to have in my folder. homer's iliad. i cant believe what big nerds we are talking about ancient poetry while one of us is in a green and pink patterned hospital gown and sitting on a tilting bed that it took the other one of us 4 tries to figure out how to work, though this is no fault of her own. so the scene: we're talking about homer - or im talking and rachel is sort of babbling and repeating herself - while we wait to know what we can learn from a giant magnet being passed about a person's head. these are two things that have never met before. somewhere a soft-looking man with crows feet is sitting in an adirondack chair on a patch of grass somewhere that looks very little like dante's limbo, even less like a new jerusalem, but a whole lot like boca raton. he's drinking wine and reading, though the book is upside down. suddenly he looks up, scans the other patches of grass in front and to the side of him with childlike rambunctiousness and pushes up out of the chair. oh man, he says, wait til hippocrates hears this one...

in any event, no bleeding in the brain which is the signal that we can finally get out of here. rachel's been for 5 hours, me, 4. so we're back home and all de-hospitaled, thank god. in preparation for a night of constant alarm-clock action (every couple of hours for little miss concussion 2006) im stting here finally watching that episode of house and score, i totally forgot that this is the one where chase makes the best face ever.

also, storm!
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this i cannot understand. after four years of college, a hundred papers of eloquent persuasion, my entire self-worth based on an ability to wrangle words, when it comes to lifting them from the paper to my throat, i find it actively impossible to even begin to make myself understood.

i am, however, protector of the wigwam and queen of the multi-projectile pinecone toss.

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jen: you suck, because i'm writing a paper too.

itunes stupidity:

songs: 1591 - just did a purge of shit i never listen to...

song title first: "its not a side effect of the cocaine, i am thinking it must be love" - fall out boy (quotes in title)
song title last: your magic is working - of montreal

longest: eskimo - damien rice (15:57) although i have hour-long 1940s radio shows on there as well, but theyre not songs.
shortest: explanation mark - the books (0:19)

top five played:
1. girl on the wing - the shins
2. title and registration - death cab for cutie
3. violin concerto in a minor - vivaldi
4. new slang - the shins
5. pitter patter goes my heart - broken social scene

"sex" - 6
"death" - 39
"love" - 62
"you" - 146

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