Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Pre-Post

First, I would like to say 'thanks' for all the encouragement on my first post!

Second, I'd like to disappoint you by saying: here's another one!

I think I'm calling this a pre-post, too. I somehow neglected to realize that I still have another TWO AND A HALF WEEKS before I leave. So there might be, how you say, just a few more pre-posts.

Right now I'm supposed to be writing my personal statement (bahahahahahahaha). I even printed out the first draft and did some by-hand editing the old-fashioned way (you know, while playing my gramophone and doing the Jitterbug). But then I realized I haven't updated my lovely readers (if anyone has the stamina to be dedicated to this insane blog) on the Oxford sitch. I've been doing a little bit more in the way of preparing for the trip (scattered applause)! Aaaaaaaand by that I mean I've gathered some things I will need in a pile on my bedroom floor. It's not pretty, but, you know, it's something. Currently on the pile are a duffel bag, my aforementioned travel guide, a folder, and some vitamins. There's some link between those items, but I haven't the time or the psychological wherewithal to figure out what. But apparently I'll be very organized and… healthy.

In other news I've been trying to prep for the courses (called 'tutorials') I'll be taking when I get to old Ox-ford. For example, to prepare for my tutorial on Arthurian legend, I read The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, a fictional novel about the Arthurian court that may or may not even adhere to the traditional interpretations of King Arthur legend which I will need to use in class. But that's okay, it was a good waste of time. An 880-page waste of time.

What a flattering book endorsement.

I'm also taking a course on Shakespeare's tragedies (you only take two tutorials a semester), but I've done nothing to prepare for that. I mean, I could say that reading DFW's Infinite Jest has been prep for, say, Hamlet. Come on, you know. When good old Hammy is holding that skull in Act V and he says "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest."

Poor Yorick, indeed. Anyone? Anyone? Come on.

A bit of a stretch, I guess.

What I HAVE been doing is watching the Sassy Gay Friend series repeatedly on YouTube. I highly recommend them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnvgq8STMGM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwnFE_NpMsE&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKttq6EUqbE&feature=channel

I really hope those links go to the correct place and not somewhere embarrassing. Like my old choir concerts.

Okay and, prompted by the excessive ads on YouTube, can I just take a detour here and ask if there is ANYWHERE, ANYMORE on this EARTH that I do not have to be harassed with advertisements? (You can rest assured that I pronounced that the British way.) But I digress.

And now I finally come to the point of this post: travel advice! From all of you! May I take a poll?

I'm wondering if, since my trip is kind of short (only about 2.5 months), I should just explore the British Isles really, really well, instead of traipsing all over mainland Europe (although the temptation to visit Norway is extremely strong). Please advise.

Furthermore, I am a huge nerd and have been planning to visit all sorts of medieval sites. Which means all of you will be reading about Sutton Hoo and Anglo-Saxon ruins and frieze relief studies of churches for the next three months (sparse applause, coughing). But I doubt that's very exciting for anyone else… SO, if YOU could visit Britain, where would you go? Seriously?

Would you go see the Queen?

Would you visit Scotland, the moors, see the Highland games?

Would you bar crawl up and down the Isle?

Shopping in London?

Camping in the Lake District?

Concert-hopping in Ireland?

Come on, folks, I need some ideas! This is the final hurrah before serious thesis-writing, grad school-applying, and then….the G word: GRADUATION! Let's make it exciting.

Shoot me your thoughts in that handy Comments section.

Gotta go. Time to pull out my hair over word-choice for the statement of purpose.

Love ya,

R.L.

P.S.: Allow me to explain the hodge-podge of pictures on the left. They are currently travel pictures on my Flickr account, the product of a writing program to which I applied. Eventually it will be filled with England photos, but for now, enjoy South Dakota. And my sister three years ago at the Norwegian Day Parade in Brooklyn.

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