The second year doesn’t mess around. A semester has come, gone, and left me wondering if it wasn’t all just a very literary dream. The best kind of dream. I’m certain that I know more about Old English, Geoffrey Chaucer and the Renaissance than before, there’s no doubt there. But there’s more to it than that.
This semester has had no breathers, or intermissions where you can go and buy a pack of M&M’s. There has been no excuse to not be busy. No time when you can say “Yep, there is no more work to do”. As you can imagine, the most significant points on the course were the pieces of assessed work. For the first half, the Old English online tests loomed ominously in every week; each one done in the sweaty-palmed knowledge that there’s really no excuse not to get full marks on all of them since we’re allowed to look at our textbooks whilst doing them. And as long as you promise not to actually ask for any proof, let’s
pretend say I did get full marks. Hehehe, suckers.
The second half was joint-dominated by my spoken Chaucer presentation (on the link between ‘gentilesse’ and ‘trouthe’ in The Franklin’s Tale) and, of course, the 3000-word essay (on the portrayals of Death in Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Donne’s sermons and Milton’s Paradise Lost). Naturally, any piece of serious work requires serious research, and the library is the place where such research lives. But it’s a sign of the times that the most help for my work didn’t come from texts of the solid, papery kind: it came from the library’s computerised matrix of online publications, e-journals and robo-magazines.
What else? Well, I’ve been to most of Leicester’s museums, a 1920s-themed night at Firebug, Birmingham’s German market, Halloween at the Student Union, several bar crawls, every film society showing, seen the Abbey Park fireworks, Ben Okri’s creative writing lecture, a special lecture on medieval lovesickness, another special lecture on manuscript analysis, had two hours of Languages at Leicester Italian every week, met up to do an additional weekly Italian language exchange on the side, visited two debates on the issue of the Palestinian state and written them up for Tingo, visited a debate on Europe starring MEP Roger Helmer and written that up, entered a short story into The Ripple…
Enough, we’ve all got places to be. Have a good Christmas, y’all!