Tag Archives: English

Two Things: Research Topic and Costume

And we’re going to do them backwards.

I’ve picked my research topic (and my title) for my Jane Austen paper about Emma. Here we go…”The Frivolity of Frank and the Frankness of Mr. Knightley.”  I was pretty pleased with the title.

Behind that punny title is a look at the discourse between Frank and Emma and Mr. Knightley and Emma and what it reveals about the men in her life.

Also, here’s a look at my Halloween costume! I don’t know if I have ever been prouder (except maybe in relation to the title of my Jane Austen paper)

Pineapple-The Sassiest Fruit

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bleeg blah blorg

I should re name my blog “Miss Woodhouse Goes to College and Never has Time to Do Fun Things (like knit/crochet, blog, color, watch Bones).”

This month has been so crazy. My part time job is starting to get really busy. I feel like I am either going to class, doing homework or catching up on sleep.

So here’s what I’ve been up to.
1. Making lots of money and spending lots of money. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Last year with one super-part time job I felt like I had just enough money to do all the things I wanted to do. And now when one super-part time job and another more time, but still part-time job, I still feel like I am only barely getting by. But I am making like three times as much.

2. Reading about nepotism and popes: Which is just about my favorite thing in the world. Barberini, don’t get cocky though, the Medici still have my Italian heart.

3. Applying for summer jobs

4. Applying for study abroad in Florence!

5. Learning to budget money. Which is becoming a new obsession. I SPENT 50 DOLLARS THIS MONTH ON FAST FOOD. too much money when I am on a dining plan.

6. Reading a lot of Contemporary Art Theory and thinking about Hitchcock and voyeurism. (who am I kidding? I always spend a lot time thinking about Hitchcock and voyeurism. or voyeurism in general. It has become like my go to topic for research papers. Especially in relation to the Catholic Church)

7. Watching a lot of Hitchcock.

8. Being excited and then forlorn about the Phillies. This is honestly probably the number one reason this month has been hard. While a usual 50% of my time is devoted to school and like 25% to fun and another 25% to sleep/eating, during postseason I feel like 90% of my time I spent thinking about the Phillies’ stats and checking up on games and what not. So I had to squeeze sleeping/eating/school/fun into 10% of my thinking time, which was only made harder by midterms. I am still really upset about the Phils’ lose. you probably shouldn’t talk to me about it. I am kind of welling up right now.

9. Talking about Judith paintings with a guy friend of mine. Which was kind of a surreal experience. First, this guy has no background in art history whatsoever, and has never studied any sort of feminist theory. I mean he is an engineer. But he has the most insightful things to say about the paintings and was so interested in what I knew about the paintings, and how they changed from the Renaissance to Baroque to later depictions. I was just pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, at Agnes, I forgot how useful and charming men can be. But for realsies, I do not miss men in my classes. I cannot imagine talking about the masturbatory impulse of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice in a room with a bunch of college guys. Though, my Jane Austen class would probably consist of mostly young women even at a coed school.

10. making plans for a halloween costume. hint: it soon will be coming to FRUITion. PUNS BLOWING UP YO MIND.

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Filed under Art, College, Film, Hobbies, Literature

OMG SPRING SEMESTER

Actually the scheduling process is going pretty well. Here’s what I imagine I will be taking:

History of Photography with KSmith
Methods in Art and Art History with KSmith
British Literature Post 1700 with Dean Diedrick
European Women since the Middle Agnes with KKennedy

I wish I could take two English classes. But because I usually take post-1800, 300 level classes, I needed to take pre-1800, 200-level classes. But they are offering a grand total of TWO, and both are at the same time as Methods in Art History, which is a class that is super important that I take this spring and before my senior seminar. marp. I wish I had a time turner.

Also a possibility: auditing Trickster Theme in Classical Lit with JAbbot. the cutest professor alive. Just as a classical literature class, it is kind of useless in my double major. But I love Classical Literature and tricksters!

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WHOO! I am an official double major

This is one of those things that Agnes really needs to make easier. But we are really into paper copies of things. And inefficiency. There is whole process involving cards and planning. It seems a little silly. But it is done and it is official.

I don’t really know the benefits of this but now I get to say “I’m a sophomore and an English Literature and Art History major,” instead of “I’m a sophomore and I am planning on majoring in English Literature and Art History.”

Also I suppose I should get around to changing my blog title to just “Miss Woodhouse Goes to College”…

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identity crisis

Weird things are going on up in my brain. It is nearly three AM when I am starting this post, what else is supposed to happen?

This blog’s official title is “miss woodhouse: the english major.” Technically I’m not even an English major yet, sense I deferred declaring until I had time to fill out those annoying little major declaration cards, which was not going to happen in the midst of two research papers (A and B+ whoo!) But I feel like I’ve been preparing to be an English major all my life. Even when I thought I would major in History or the crazy three weeks when I thought I would go to UGA to study botany and soil science (my guilty intellectual pleasure), I always came back to English Lit. There’s never been anything I’ve loved more.

The closest I ever came to switching was with Classics and my hatred of translation and inability, after four years, to remember exactly what the ablative does squashed that dream. I’ve mentioned on here before that I am planning on double majoring in Art History but that was because I can. I came into Agnes with a whole semester’s worth of AP credits, and I do better when I take five classes instead of four, so it makes sense to try and get the most out of my college education and double major. But Art History has never been a part of my identity. That’s why I’ve never considered changing the blog title to “miss woodhouse: the english and art history major.”

But now I am looking down the road at the rest of my life and in five, ten, fifteen years, I see myself using my Art History degree more, working in design for PR or advertising, or in a museum. So should I start identifying as an Art History major first and then an English Lit major? I don’t know. Once again my penchant to plan to exaggerated lengths is causing lose of sleep.

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Childhood favorites

I wanted to look at how my view of some of my favorite books from childhood have changed. But I realized this is hard for a lot of books I read when I was little.

My number one favorite book of all time until I was about 12 and really got into Jane Austen was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I knew everything about the Alcott’s and I read all of LMA’s books. But Little Women was always my favorite. I used to read it once a year, sometimes more, from age 7-12. And I don’t think I’ve read it sense. This isn’t because I don’t like re-reading books. I reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Emma each about once every six months. I am so afraid to go back and read Little Women because I am afraid that I’ll realize that the characters I love and based my life around for so long will come off as trite and dull. Also I know that Little Women doesn’t have anything more to offer. I needed Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy when I was a little bookworm girl with few friends, none who cared about books as much as I did. And now I need the March sisters to stay where they are in my mind, as long lost friends I can remember fondly without worries of disappointment in the future.

Other favorite of childhood that I have reread is the Anne of Green Gables series. I had a little bit of the problem with disillusionment as I reread Anne’s story, when I realized how annoying Anne Shirley could be. But some how Lucy Maud Montgomery’s stories seem more organic than Little Women in my mind. Realizing that Anne is annoying and pretentious when she first comes to Avonlea to me just means that I am growing up, and can see Marilla’s logic. Also Anne grows up more without leaving herself behind. Jo March seems stuck in her ways, and has to find a world to accept them. So the one that seemed appealing to a headstrong eight-year old is a lot less appealing, and a lot less realistic to a young woman who has seen how adapting can help all parties.

Then there is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I cannot explain how much I love this book. My mom  bought it for me when I was young, voraciously reading anything. But I could not get through this book. I’m pretty sure I read the first chapter twenty times. Then one day, when I was about ten, I read the whole thing is about a day. This book is the most realistic view of growing up I’ve ever read. Each time I read it, I love it more and more. Francie Nolan, our heroine, doesn’t have a singular “a-ha” moment realizing that all is wrong with her life before and now she can fix it and get the guy. She simply grows up in inches at a time, and even regresses at some points. Whether is it when she realizes her mother loves her brother more than she, or when World War I is declared and she is determined to remember everything about the moment she heard the news. The book is not only a story about Francie but the world around her, including her parent’s story, a story that Francie may not explicitly know all the details of, but as the book describes Franice “Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie’s secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father staggering home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more.” The book is the something more of Francie’s story, that she doesn’t even know how it will end. I love that Francie doesn’t end up with a guaranteed husband, just the hint of it, and we don’t even get assurance that the marriage, if it happens, will work out. We just know that Francie is strong and will be okay.

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update on research, life, latin.

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been so busy with research and Latin conventions. The crazy college life is what I am living.

Research in Victorian Literature is going really well, I’m looking at how Catholicism and Theater are related in Villette as catalysts for Lucy Snowe, the heroine going from a passive audience member in her own life to the lead character. In Modern Poetry I switched back to Auden after too much research that resulted in nothing for Mina Loy. Now I am looking at the combination of Christian vs. Pagan images in “In Sickness and In Health” by Auden and how it relates to Marriage v. Carnal Love argument.

Also, I literally just got back from the Eta Sigma Phi (National Latin Honor Society) Convention. Mostly it was a lot of annoying, seemingly pointless, bureaucratic meetings, but I did go to a really cool seminar about looking at modern Poetry in the context of Classical works.

Well, I’m off to go write my research proposals.

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instability as a positive/a gateway

The Steeple-Jack by Marianne Moore

Dürer would have seen a reason for living
in a town like this, with eight stranded whales
to look at; with the sweet sea air coming into your house
on a fine day, from water etched
with waves as formal as the scales
on a fish.

One by one in two’s and three’s, the seagulls keep
flying back and forth over the town clock,
or sailing around the lighthouse without moving their wings —
rising steadily with a slight
quiver of the body — or flock
mewing where

a sea the purple of the peacock’s neck is
paled to greenish azure as Dürer changed
the pine green of the Tyrol to peacock blue and guinea
gray. You can see a twenty-five-
pound lobster; and fish nets arranged
to dry. The

whirlwind fife-and-drum of the storm bends the salt
marsh grass, disturbs stars in the sky and the
star on the steeple; it is a privilege to see so
much confusion. Disguised by what
might seem the opposite, the sea-
side flowers and

trees are favored by the fog so that you have
the tropics first hand: the trumpet-vine,
fox-glove, giant snap-dragon, a salpiglossis that has
spots and stripes; morning-glories, gourds,
or moon-vines trained on fishing-twine
at the back door;

cat-tails, flags, blueberries and spiderwort,
striped grass, lichens, sunflowers, asters, daisies —
yellow and crab-claw ragged sailors with green bracts — toad-plant,
petunias, ferns; pink lilies, blue
ones, tigers; poppies; black sweet-peas.
The climate

is not right for the banyan, frangipani, or
jack-fruit trees; or for exotic serpent
life. Ring lizard and snake-skin for the foot, if you see fit;
but here they’ve cats, not cobras, to
keep down the rats. The diffident
little newt

with white pin-dots on black horizontal spaced-
out bands lives here; yet there is nothing that
ambition can buy or take away. The college student
named Ambrose sits on the hillside
with his not-native
books and hat
and sees boats

at sea progress white and rigid as if in
a groove. Liking an elegance of which
the sourch is not bravado, he knows by heart the antique
sugar-bowl shaped summer-house of
interlacing slats, and the pitch
of the church

spire, not true, from which a man in scarlet lets
down a rope as a spider spins a thread;
he might be part of a novel, but on the sidewalk a
sign says C. J. Poole, Steeple Jack,
in black and white; and one in red
and white says

Danger. The church portico has four fluted
columns, each a single piece of stone, made
modester by white-wash. Theis would be a fit haven for
waifs, children, animals, prisoners,
and presidents who have repaid
sin-driven

senators by not thinking about them. The
place has a school-house, a post-office in a
store, fish-houses, hen-houses, a three-masted schooner on
the stocks. The hero, the student,
the steeple-jack, each in his way,
is at home.

It could not be dangerous to be living
in a town like this, of simple people,
who have a steeple-jack placing danger signs by the church
while he is gilding the solid-
pointed star, which on a steeple
stands for hope.

We just read this poem about a New England town with a church that has a crooked steeple in Modern Poetry. I usually link to the poem if I am blogging about it, but I loved this poem so much that I wanted the whole text on here. I would recommend getting a published version though because I believe the indentations are a different, and that’s important! Because Prof. Trousdale brought up the Durer allusion in the poem; and the concept of crookedness as a postive/gateway to human truth because the danger sign put up because of the unstable steeple both removes danger and points it out, I thought about art and architecture that actually has crookedness designed into it, purposefully or not.

Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse-Albrecht Durer

Salome-Aubrey Beardsley Art Nouveau and Contrapposto!

Leaning Tower of Pisa-an oops crookedness

Fred and Ginger House-Post Modern Contrapposto

Fred and Ginger, Postmodern Contrapposto

^^^In Prague! Which is my leading candidate for replacing Barcelona as my study abroad location for junior year! It really does have the coolest architecture, art nouveau/art deco/and this stuff! Everyone I know who has gone has said it is their favorite city ever. and I am always looking for a favorite city!

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Filed under American, Art, Hobbies, Literature

research time.

So this semester, now that I am in 300 level classes, at least for English [which by the way, I would NOT recommend to first years, two 300 level classes second semester, but I am having the time of my life in both of them, and I would regretting not taking either, so I’m glad I didn’t take my own advice. Still, a lot of work though], I have to write research papers.

That seems to be the main difference between 200 and 300 level classes, at least at Agnes and within the English and Classics department,  that in 200 level classes all of the papers are focused on a single, primary source. Like last semester, in American Poetry, I wrote a five-page paper on “Paradoxes and Oxymorons” by John Ashbery, who is sort of the Postmodernist answer to Auden and Eliot. But I didn’t do any real research. I listened to a view podcast interviews with Ashbery, and a reading by him to help me determine how to interpret the punctuation, but other than that I really just looked at Ashbery in the context of America Poetry, so my main secondary source was really the primary source of “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman.

[whoo shout outs to my favorite poet and my least favorite poet! Auden and Whitman, respectively]

But this semester in 300 level classes, we “react” a lot to pieces and then build off into research papers through these reactions. I’ve discussed my Mina Loy paper before, and now I’ve been completely converted to a 20 page paper about her in the context of Imagism, Futurism and the Lyric tradition, so I thought I’d share a little bit about my research process, specifically for poems, which for some reason I feel I’ve written a lot more about and choose to write more about.

So what I always start out with when I research poetry is an outline. Not necessarily of my paper though. Instead I usually outline the poem, identifying characters and their descriptions, metaphors, any pattern in meter or rhyme, and what all these things maybe have to do with the larger meaning of the poem.

This is the “poem outline” of “Sketch of a Man on a Platform,” and the first bit reads:

1. Subject-Man
a. Descriptors
i.      “absolute physical equilibrium” line 1—average, sure of himself, solid
ii.      “you stand so straight on your legs” 2—not moving? Stationary, stagnant
iii.      “among men you accrete yourself” 5—making self larger as a reaction to competition in other men, possibly impotence under assumed power and stability

So I started off with the subject of the poem–the man, and listed the descriptors the speaker notes about him and what these phrases could mean. Later I broke down the metaphors in the poem and the speaker’s characterization of herself through the judgments she makes on the man.

I also do a “thesis outline” where I break down my basic argument and list possible sources of information and directions my working thesis outline could go. I feel like this works better than a “working thesis” because it encapsulates more possible directions for the paper before the research is completed.

For the actual research, I am loving lined index cards. I write the source on the back, the point that the article/book/poem relates to on the top, and on the body of the card how my point is strengthened by specifics in the article, not always quotes, but the ideas and concepts in the passage I am reading.

One thing that I don’t really do, that I believe most college students take advantage of, is the word processing program for my outlines/note cards. They easily could be typed, but I feel like they are somehow more organic when I physically write them down. I like the physicality of scribbling something out really quick and messily writing down a brilliant a-ha moment. But the outline does provide some basis and organization for my thoughts, which before in high school was more just scribbling until I stumbled upon that brilliant a-ha moment. Now at least I can research, and sometimes even start writing before I completely have my thesis molded to perfection.

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april 1. come she will 2. is the cruelest month

“April Showers bring May flowers”

tulips!

My meteorological question of the day. Where does it rain the most in April? I guess England and the Northeast? Because things bloom in April here, and it rains a lot in March. I guess because Georgia’s winter ends in late February/early March and by the end of March it is full on spring. Well, key to this proverb is that April is a time for new beginnings! and I am completely craving spring time.

I wanted to looked at how April was portrayed in one of my favorite and poems and one of my favorite songs because in Modern Poetry when we were looking at “The Wasteland” I kept wanting to sing this song by Simon and Garfunkel, which of course turned out horribly because I usually try to do both harmonies at the same time and of course fail.

In “April Come She Will” Simon and Garfunkel sing about a girl who, after she comes in April when streams are swelled with rain, and by September, she has up and left him and he is nostalgic about her. It is telling that the love starts in April, opposed to January the “start” of the year because it returns to a pagan concept of the calendar based on fertility opposed to science, that the man and woman are able to be together in fertile times, but the man is unable to harvest his love and keep it through the winter and thus is only left with his memories. Supposedly this song was based an English nursery rhyme that Paul Simon’s femme du jour would sing absentmindedly.

In “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot opens with his now-oft quoted like “April is the cruelest month” referring to the renewal of life coming from ground [lilacs] disturbing the dead who are buried and don’t want to wake up. I’m pretty sure this is just about the saddest thing ever.

Though both works suggest and are open to a cyclical nature in life and renewal, they both also start in April, the time of fertility and renewal and end in images of winter/dead/absence without an explicit point towards renewal, the April works are rather depressing.

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