Wow. I can’t believe that I haven’t updated my blog in such a long time. Since my last entry (at the beginning of May? Really?!), I have been so incredibly busy. All of my final exams and papers went really well. I was the most nervous about my Tolkien paper, but I was able to pull it off. I found a fantastic little nook in the library, too. I literally secluded myself from human society for about twelve hours a day during the last five days of school. I was basically a modern anchoress. I even had a small little window through which I could see people! The end of sophomore year was bittersweet. I had a lot of work to do this semester, but, like last semester, I enjoyed every minute of it. When I turned in my Latin final blue book, I was honestly sad. This past semester (and year, actually) has just been so academically inspiring. I was able to find my niche last semester, and this semester I just honed it in. My professors were fantastic resources and also tolerated my academic interests. Professor Perry allowed me to explore the Libri Carolini, and Professor Mulrooney tolerated my never-ending medieval spiels in my Tolkien seminar. All of my professors from previous semesters (notably Profs. Juilfs, Kee, Manoussakis, Murphy, and Fr. Howard) just kept telling me to pursue my academic passions. Even though I might not make a whole lot of money, I think that I want to be a professor of Medieval literature. This is quite the 180 from last year! These past two years have just been such a fantastic foundation, and now I feel ready to tackle whatever my tutors at Oxford might throw at me in a couple of months. It’s just so wonderful to be able to attend a school with such supportive professors who are more than willing to mentor you about post-undergraduate life. I really feel so blessed to attend such a school.
After my last final, I enjoyed a really long walk around the campus. I took some pictures because it was just gorgeous weather outside. It was so gorgeous that even a pair of hawks decided to nest right outside of O’Kane. There was one beautiful red-tailed hawk. Of course, no one on campus wanted to tarry around that area for all that long! The day after my Latin final, my mom flew up and helped me pack up. My sister and father then drove down from Colgate the next day, and we finished packing up Wheeler 331. After that, I just walked around campus a little more; I was able to see Prof Mulrooney, and he gave me a couple of pointers on how to improve my Tolkien paper. That paper truly was the most fun I have ever had on an assignment (no offense to any of my other professors who might stumble across this blog!). I argued that Tolkien used the same understanding of the Beowulf poet’s conception of the body and the soul, specifically through two Old English words. I know, I know. It sounds dusty and really weird, but it was so much fun to write! Once again, my sources this semester were not exactly too recent!
After we finished packing everything up (which went so much more smoothly than last year because I brought far less clothes with me!), we headed into Boston. We were even lucky enough to grab some seats at Fenway park that night! That was the same night that Jason Bay was on fire (I know, I’m not really being specific here). After saying hello to some family members, my dad, sister, and I began our drive back to Atlanta. Usually, we do the drive in two days. This time, however, we decided to take our time, so we took three days to complete the journey. We saw some more family along the way (my entire family is scattered along the eastern seaboard), and we stopped in Richmond for the Strawberry Street Café’s infamous strawberry shortcake. It’s kind of a tradition. See, the first time that we stopped there, Dad, Caitie, and I finished an entire shortcake in less than three minutes. This time, we broke our record and brought it down to 2:09. It would’ve been quicker, but we were laughing for a good thirty seconds because our waitress had no idea what we were doing.
Eventually, we made it back to Georgia. I celebrated my 20th birthday (ugh. I am such an old fart) with my family at my favorite restaurant, McCormick and Schmick’s. My sister bought me a subscription to Neflix for the summer, and I think that Caitie has used it more than I have. We’re using it to get caught up on our pop culture knowledge. See Since then, I’ve been working at the Irish pub at which I worked last summer and just reading a couple of books. I had to get a graft surgery on my gums, so I couldn’t talk for a couple of days. My family cherished those three days! But, I’ve made a full recovery and I’m back to talking, much to my family’s dismay. On Saturday night, Caitie and I went to the Keith Urban concert. It was fantastic. Our mom won some seats at an auction, and Caitie and I had no idea how good the seats were. We knew that we were on the floor, but we had no idea that we would be literally ten feet from Keith. It was great! I didn’t even zoom in for the pictures! He is such an amazing performer, and he sounds so good live. The only bad part was that Taylor Swift opened (blech). Sorry, I’m just not a huge fan of her music. It was such a cool night, though!
I’m starting Ancient Greek tutorials next week, and I have a few more books to read. I’m really excited to begin Ancient Greek. I’m learning in a tutorial setting with a private instructor, so we’ll see how it goes. My paper on the Libri Carolini influenced me to take this class because I really want to read the great Greeks (and eventually the Greek Fathers) in their vernacular.
Other than that, I’ve been planning for my year abroad. I’ve already applied for my visa, and I have my plane ticket to London. I’m receiving e-mails every week from the Director of the Visiting Student Programme at Mansfield about my tutorials, living arrangement, and immigration status. I’m pretty much signing my life away. Basically, I’m using this summer to prepare as much as I can for Oxford. I’ve even started to bike again! Because I’ve been biking a little bit, I’ve finally restored a tad of color to my skin. Now I don’t reflect light as much anymore! People can look at me without being blinded. It’s a great feeling.
So, that’s a basic wrap-up of what I’ve been doing since my last entry. Check back soon for more updates and photos of my summer adventures!