30 April 2007
It's been a while since I've updated (as always), but the grad school life has continued on with all of the usual intensity, fun, and anxiety!
Virginia has been a very newsworthy place lately, and the Virginia Tech tragedy has had a great effect on UVa. as well. Many many many of the undergraduates here (and some of my graduate colleagues) knew people at VT and the events have left everyone a bit numb, a lot anxious, and incredibly sad. I know the effects have been far reaching, well outside the state and the country. It is especially disconcerting for me, as I will be starting to teach in the Fall here, and thinking of the responsibilities I'll have to try and keep my students as safe and as comfortable in the classroom as possible has some extra meaning to it now. Virginia, the nation, and the world are united in prayer and concern!
The semester is winding down, and the end of my first year is in sight! There is so much to do! I have final papers to consider, and in a few weeks I'll be heading off to Michigan for my first professional conference. I've been to two smaller conferences, but this will be my first biggie. Wish me luck!
Grad school has really been a wild learning experience, and I've had a lot of fun. I've had my share of ups and downs as well. Harsh critiques of work, a sense of competition and the general intellectual anxiety that comes with this type of endeavor is certainly present. But, I was so happy to find, that mixed with all those things is a sense of community, a communal intellectual drive, and the excitement of new work.
I got some good news too. I won the first year essay prize for some of my work on Petrarchism! Very exciting, not only because of the accolade, but mainly for the money! The poor grad student life affords us very little for the decadent lifestyle we like to live!
Now, people like to make fun of me for this, but I really do love going out to the Virginia countryside with some of the people here and seeing the vineyards here. Central Virginia is a great wine producer and it’s a fun, bucolic, and really cheap thing to do to go tasting. A friend and I did it yesterday and it was the perfect break before the storm!
Good luck guys!