Things to look forward to:

Today, I booked a flight to New Orleans for a few days to visit a friend a week before I go back to school. This is incredibly exciting to me. I find that it helps when you have wonderful things to look forward to, and not in a way that leaves you wishing away the current situation, but one that leaves a hint of excitement lingering in your not-so-distant future, smiling and shining at you as encouragement. That might not have made any sense. But that’s my philosophy.

I haven’t done a lot of solo-traveling, so this jaunt down south will be a new and educational experience. Maybe a practice round for all the traveling I’ll be doing winter semester, running around Europe? I think so! I’m going to be staying with my friend and fellow Batesie Schuyler, who is an elegant southern belle, of course.

I remember last summer, after work ended, I still had three weeks until school started and, once most of my friends from home started heading back to school early, I was stuck with NOTHING to do but sit around eagerly awaiting Bates. Now, at least, I’ll have something super exciting to fill the space between work and school. And, it isn’t a bad thing to look forward to for the next three weeks!

The Noble Pursuit of UBC

UBC stands for “Ulysses Book Club,” as coined by one of my favorite high school English teachers. And this summer, the two of us, along with my mother, are desperately attempting to conquer the behemoth that is James Joyce’s Ulysses. Why would I spend my summer months plugging away at such a substantial piece of literature that is by no means light, poolside reading? Because in the fall, I am taking one of my two junior/senior seminar classes on the book, and I decided that I desperately needed to do some preparation before school began.

The class, “Ulysses and Its Others” will be taught by professor Carole Taylor . It’s a 395 level course, which is terrifyingly high to me. So I’m doing my homework. Early.

The course description:

From its initial banning to the international celebration of Bloomsday, James Joyce’s modernist novel has become a key text for almost every strain of critical and cultural theory and for many subsequent transformations of anti-heroic epic journeys. Students consider the work’s experiments in language, structure, and form in relation to its rich sources, Homer’s Odyssey primary among them. They also examine its legacy of literary provocation for “othered” literary traditions, represented here by Derek Walcott’s Omeros, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, and Gerald Vizenor’s Hiroshima Bugi: Atomu 57.

I’m really excited, but also beginning to worry. Since the arrival of a box from Borders this past week with two copies of the book,  I’ve read a total of two pages. Sure, it was a busy week with work. Sure, it was hot and I didn’t have a lot of down time. But I’m on page 4, and there are two title pages. That’s weak.

I’m hoping that my interest in classics will help me get more out of the novel, which mirrors Homer’s Odyssey. My thought is that if I go into the class with at least a basic understanding of the book, I’ll be able to get more our of it, and maybe focus on the critical aspects of the class as well as the other works we will be reading.

You will probably not be surprised to know that this very minute I’m procrastinating reading. I just need a little push to get me into it, and then I’m really crossing my fingers there will be sparks or something that stay with me until the end. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But I also cannot fall short of my promise to read and discuss the book with my mom and my old teacher, especially considering that I am the reason both of them are reading it in the first place…

Summer So Far

I’ve been terribly MIA so far this summer, with not one good reason, but possible many. I’m about to start week 3 of work, which is Creative Arts summer camp where I run around all day with 8 and 9 year olds, singing, dancing, acting, creating art, and of course splashing around in a pool. Just like last year, I’m feeling very fulfilled but also very drained by the work. This lack of energy for all things after the 4:30 pm dismissal partially explains the gaping hole in my summer blogging. But I digress…

Until work started, I had a very angry, sparse, scary looking empty month. Somehow I filled it with many enjoyable trips, adventures, events and plain old nights spent doing nothing. This summer I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out with some Bates grads (class of 09) who live close by. Their apartment is a very welcome escape most nights, considering that my work situation has me still living at home under the reign of my parents. Through them, I’ve begun to get a taste for a phenomenon that commonly occurs in “the real world,” where groups of people come together to be friends but not from any one reason, for example that they all went to school together. Instead, it’s this person’s friend from high school with that person’s college buddy and my best friend from home. Despite a lack of years and memories, the mishmash of people usually get along and form bonds of their own. I mean, I know that this is the basic concept of friendship here (I have a friend, and you are another friend. I like you and I like my friend. You would like my friend. Etc, etc) but I spent last weekend on Cape Cod with a group just like this, and it was the vibe was fascinatingly one of friendship all around. Bates kids from different class years, friends from high school, friends from college, friend’s friends from college…a true smorgasbord. Anyways, I guess what i’m trying to say is that a)I really enjoy hanging out with all of these old friends and new friends as well as b)it’s cool to get a taste of the future, while still being able to relish in the fact that I have 2 years of school left.

Side note: Please, Boston, STOP WITH THE 90 DEGREE WEATHER!!