Tag Archives: study abroad

Study Abroad and Puccini

I turned in my study abroad form to Agnes Scott! And early too!

This isn’t the form that tells me if I am going, it is the form that tells me if I’m allowed to go. Because I am applying to go abroad Spring 2012, I won’t apply through International Studies Abroad until summer-October of this year.

This is to say, I’ve become addicted to Puccini. I’ve never liked opera a whole lot. But Puccini’s aria “O mio babbino caro” is featured at the beginning of A Room with A View, which I’ve seen over a hundred times, so I figured I would check out Puccini. And the result is: I love him. Plus his name is Giacomo, which is my favorite Italian name.

This would also be a good time to introduce to you….In Santa Croce with No Baedeker, a study abroad blog from miss woodhouse! Right it is super unexciting as I will not be in Florence for over nine months, but if you want to keep up with my preliminary actions and the hijinks that are sure to ensue as I try to get a passport and student visa, check out it!

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crushin on the caravaggio

In the art world, just like fashion, there are trends. But I think in fashion, the trends come and when they come back they are “retro.” But in art, sometimes things aren’t in vogue from the time they are created to four hundred years later. Well, Caravaggio is hot hot hot right now. And I have jumped, leaped and galloped onto the bandwagon. There are few contributing factors to Caravaggio’s recent renaissance.

I have this weird thing for Judith paintings.

July 18, 2010 was the 400th anniversary of his death. And Romans love anniversaries!

He only  has about eighty paintings that are confirmed by him. And then there are all these other copies or originals that we just don’t know. Because Caravaggio worked on commission, he sometimes painted similar subjects multiple times, just in different sizes for different prices.

Sometimes one of the copies all of the is confirmed by art historians as a real Caravaggio and basically everyone freaks out. They even wrote a book about one, The Lost Painting which I highly recommend.

The real zinger though of my crush on Caravaggio is that it may be persuading me to study abroad in Rome and not Florence. Florence makes total sense for my love of the Medici and their artists (Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo) but the Counter Reformation is  so dramatic! And Caravaggio and Counter Reformation makes sense to go to Rome. Plus from what I’ve heard, Rome, because it is more tourist-y, is more accommodating toward English speakers, while Florence it is a little do or die.

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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

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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advisers! and Barcelona

Yay! I now have an adviser in each of my intended majors. Professor Smith, my assigned major for Art History [how did Agnes know that I would love Art History so much!?] and Dean Diedrick, my much beloved professor of American Lit, Post-1700, for English Literature.

Now I’m working on getting approved for a non-Agnes approved study abroad program. Really that just means that I pay the school in Spain instead of paying Agnes and them paying the school. But it makes it harder to get into. Thus I am also applying for an Agnes approved program.

The first program is in Barcelona. I really want to go to Barcelona.

  1. They speak Catalan there. I am really interested in studying Catalan literature in graduate school and it has a really specific that is hard to get in the United States in an undergraduate program.
  2. I want to go to the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain, near Barcelona.
  3. And I like the idea that in Catalan, they don’t have the annoying lisp sound that they have in normal Spain Spanish. [BarTHElona]

In other news, I’m applying to be a Writing Center tutor. So many applications! I thought this ended once I got into to high school, but that was all a lie.

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Morocco: Where I plan on becoming like any other woman, only more so.

Casablanca reference. Catch it.

[that building is a minaret apart of the largest mosque in the world outside of Mecca]

Meknes, Morocco. Hopefully my location for 6-12 weeks this summer!
This is a mausoleum in Meknes.
But I’ve always loved Morocco culture. I did a project on it in 7th grade. I had to make a “float” on like a wagon and it smelled like a kebab. Will did Algeria I think? Which is cute because they are right next each other.
But it had music. and obviously I chose…
back to this trip and Meknes.
I’m so excited. Even at the prospect of it. I have so much to do; before I can even apply I need to get a passport. So even if I don’t do it, I’ll get a passport.
I’d be staying with a host family, so I don’t think I would take Arabic, at least I went for 6 weeks, because Moroccan Arabic is so different from Formal Arabic.
I would take the first three if I go 6 weeks, and all five if I go 12 weeks:
  • Gender Studies: A Case Study of Morocco
  • Exploration of Culture and History
  • Archeology in Morocco
  • Islamic Civilization and Artistic Expression
  • Beginning Arabic I

But what I am really excited about is: planning my soundtrack.

Kearney family tradition states that you HAVE to have a soundtrack of sorts for any trip. Whether it is planned meticulously on a series of mixtapes or if it is because you let Julianna pick out the music and she only picked one CD that every one likes.
And since I spent the greater part of senior year and this semester feeling like Zooey Deschanel in Almost Famous when she sneaks Bookends into her house under her coat by listening to Simon and Garfunkel by the gallon, and since Kate Hudson goes to Morocco at the end of the film, my soundtrack is going to be a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, The Who, The Allman Brothers and David Bowie.
That would probably be my soundtrack of my life anyway. Anyways Taylor Swift doesn’t really fit a) in that group or b) in Morocco.
Updates will continue to come on all Morocco plans, but I can’t really do anything until I get a passport, which I am planning to get over the Thanksgiving Break!
Happy Halloween everyone! Pictures of Peacock Flapper tonight!

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