As you can see from all the other bloggers’ recent posts, classes and finals at Holy Cross are now finished. However, I’m still in the middle of my term. It’s kind of weird to see my friends posting on each others’ facebooks about their summer plans. Don’t get me wrong – I am not complaining at all! I adore my tutorials this term (would you expect anything else at this point?), and I’ve attended some fascinating lectures. This term, my primary tutorial is Medieval Female Mystical Literature with Lucinda Rumsey. For the past three weeks, I’ve studied Margery Kempe, who was a lay female mystic in the 14th century. This week, I’m studying how Margery’s conception of Catholicism contrasts with the strain found in Ancrene Wisse, which isn’t a mystical text. Rather, it’s an earlier text (12-13th century) that serves as an instruction manual for three anchoritic sisters. I’m extremely excited to approach Ancrene Wisse in this fashion, since I analyzed just the manuscripts of the text last term with Ralph and I didn’t engage in the actual text. After this week, I’ll be shifting my focus onto Julian of Norwich (!!!). I’m excited for this part of my tutorial since part of my Senior thesis (more on that below) concerns Julian of Norwich. For my final essay, I’m compiling all the essays that I wrote over the term and presenting a mini-dissertation to Lucinda about everything that I learned over the term. Exciting, right?!?! As for my secondary, I’m taking another course on British Medieval History with Hugh Doherty. However, I’m now dealing with a time period for which we have more than two sources. Excellent! I’m focusing on 1066-1215. For my first essay, Hugh had me argue which of the Norman kings had the least legitimate claim to the throne of England. For my second essay, I had to argue whether or not “the anarchy” was still an apt description of Stephen’s reign. For my third essay, I’m debating who benefited the most from Henry II’s reforms – his subjects or himself. I’ve really enjoyed exploring the more historical aspects of this period and the linear approach that I’ve taken to it has provided a fluid timeline of how England’s government grew and changed. In first term, I focused on how England went from a Roman province to a Germanic feudal (anachronistic, I know…) system of multiple and warring kings. Now I’m focusing on the rise of the monarchy and the middle political class. It’s absolutely fascinating!
As for dancing…wow. It’s been an incredible couple of weeks. On the 9th, I danced in the National Qualifiers. The National Championships are held over Thanksgiving Break, and my mom said she would consider allowing me to return to England for my Thanksgiving Break if I qualified. Well…I won the Latin section. I’m returning to England to compete in the National Championships in November! This weekend, Oxford hosted the 37th Annual Varsity Match against Cambridge University. This is a really different type of competition. You have the A-Team, which is comprised of the team’s best 9 couples, the B-Team, which is comprised of the team’s next best 9 couples, and then the Beginners’ Team. There are various open events, as well. Sam and I were the reserves for the B-Team, and we almost had to dance at that level. In the end, though, we competed just at the Beginners’ level. Oxford did extremely well for the day; we won the A-Team, the B-Team, and the Beginners’ Team. Take that, Cambridge! Sam and I also had a really successful last competition together. We were the only Oxford couple to place in all four finals (Waltz, Quickstep, Jive, and Cha Cha), which was excellent considering that Sam had a broken foot (no, I’m not kidding). We placed 3rd in Waltz and Jive and fifth in Quickstep and Cha Cha. It was a fantastic way to end my competitive career for Oxford University.
In other news, my sister, Caitie, graduated from Colgate University yesterday. That will be me in a year. *gulp*
Stand by for photos from this weekend’s competition!<< Older Entries