I am officially the most unnatural shade of orange that I have been in my entire life. But, the good news is that this month of dance competitions has finally concluded. I spent last weekend at Blackpool (it’s beginning to be my home away from home) for the 50th IVDC (essentially, the national university championships). It was such a fascinating experience – the organizers brought in the Empress Orchestra to play the music for our final team match rounds. Dancing to a live orchestra is always an honor, but dancing in the Winter Gardens to the Empress Orchestra? That’s a rare treat that only the world champions really get to enjoy.
Dean and I did well. We managed to dance the best that we’ve ever done in ballroom. We were a bit disappointed with the Latin results, but these things happen. We came 13th in both events – so now we’re asking the awful nagging questions like “If I had held my poise a bit more, would the judge have marked me? Would I have been through the next round if I smiled a bit more?” Overall, we can’t really complain about our performances. Oxford unfortunately lost the Overall title to Cambridge. We have our Varsity match against the Tabs in May where we will hopefully reclaim our rightful title.
Now that the dancing high has worn off, I’ve chained myself to my desk. I have a massive Paleography exam on Thursday and two essays due in two weeks. It’s going to be a busy two weeks… For the Paleography exam, I have to transcribe a given set of plates and correctly date them (within fifty years) and identify the script used. You never knew it, but the crossbar above a “t” tells you a whole lot about a manuscript’s date.
In very exciting news, I’ve been accepted to speak at my first conference. I will give my paper at COLSONOEL, which is a conference geared specifically toward topics relating to Old Norse, Old English, and Latin studies. The conference is going to be held at Cambridge in May. I’m rather excited about this next step in my academic career.
And now, I’m off to study more manuscripts!