I don't feel like writing. Today was too long. You see, Davis started again.
Bright and early I drove the 80 miles to campus, parked in the only available parking lot, hiked to the book store and picked up the books I'd reserved online. The crazy girl behind the desk handed me a giant box brimming with texts.
My jaw hit the floor. Hard.
"You're an English major, huh?" No words would come. I nodded, grimacing, and trying to collect myself. Class was going to begin and I now had to portage this hulking box the entire distance to Olson Hall. What a start!
First class, Intro to Poetry. No, I'm not cheating and taking it again. This is more of a Poetry Appreciation class, which is something I can get behind. My teacher is a reformed hippie named McLean. He speaks Spanish, plays flamenco guitar, believes in the value of "the duende", and recites Ezra Pound.
The apparition of these faces at the Metro.
Petals on a wet, black bough.
I'll like this class if I can get past his crazy rambling about the way his colleagues at the university are "all out to take these writings and pin them down like some friggin' butterfly... you know? Like... the structure of this play suggest that maybe Shakespeare didn't write all those other plays. So what? Like... they are great plays. They're art, man." Groovy. He's assigned everyone from Kerouac to Eliot to Yeats. This will be good.
So you'd think that with the day off to such a marvelous start, it would continue. Not so much.
On the heels of poetry comes one of the greatest poets of all time. Old Bill Shakespeare himself. Unfortunately our university has divided him into three parts. Early, middle and late works. We have to take two of the three for the major. I took Early because it fit with my schedule two years ago.
Let's just say this was a grotesque and violent period from Shakespeare. Between massive wars, rape, incest, infanticide and cannibalism, he covered all the bases that make me want to throw up. Now I'm taking the Late works. Guess what. None, and I do mean none, of the Shakespearian plays I like came during his Late Period either. Apparently all the later stuff is obsessed with death, illness, human failure, loss of purpose, insanity. Terrific! All of the lovely, witty romantic comedies fell in Middle.
To take or not to take, that is the question.
Moving on I found that my Renaissance Literature class is actually not as take-able as I'd hoped. It's another MUST for me, but was only added to the class schedule at the last second. Hey, better luck next time, right?
And remember my huge tub o' books? I was still balancing it on my hip like an insanely heavy, square shaped child, lugging it between classes and wedging it under my desk. I opened it upon leaving my third class to find that the "savvy, motivated personnel" at the UCD bookstore had made a slight error. Two full sets of books were for the incorrect classes. Three cheers for student employees! For just one second I contemplated arson. Then, remembering I was a civilized Super Senior at a prestigious university, I hefted the darn box one more time and stalked my way to the Return section.
Feeling a thousand pounds lighter, I eased into my last class of the day. The professor is one I've had before; in fact, I had him last quarter for a Brit Lit class. This time he's teaching 19th Century British Novel. To the outsider, these two classes might sound very similar. To me... I find them ridiculously the same and, therefore, I am outraged that both are requirements for my degree. Ugh! If I had a buck for every British literature, fiction, novel, poetry, critic and/or essay class I've taken... I'd have at least twenty dollars.
Anyway, Tracy is a good guy. Though, as we were going over the syllabus, I noted that two of the books coming up had been ones we studied last quarter (again with the similarity). It was then that he looked up and made eye contact with me and few others and said, "While it is not technically plagiarism, those of you who have written on any of these books for other classes may not turn those papers in a second time. All work must be original." Interesting. If I hadn't been in such a great mood, I might have decided to re-submit my A paper on Jane Eyre in six weeks. But I'm mature.
Did you know that the women in 19th century Britain could not vote, own property or obtain a college degree until 1870? And men could be granted a divorce on the basis of adultery, but women had to be able to prove their husbands' adultery and beastiality/incest/insanity before they could even file for one. That's fair.
I hiked from Wellman to my car, so far away, one of the last in the parking lot near the train tracks by the freeway. And, as I slumped into my seat (black leather really sucks in the heat, especially in Davis where it was 100+ degrees today at 6:30pm), I imagined how nice it would be to be that little annoying TV-watching kid in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You know, the one who teleports to the other side of the room in millions of teeny, tiny little particles. Yeah, that would have been totally worth it. I'd be tiny, wearing white spandex, but HOME!
So now I am home. Lying on my bed, freshly showered. Irritable. Still an undergraduate. With hair that will NOT grow out after the terrible hair cut I inflicted upon it a couple months ago. No clean jeans to wear tomorrow.
Could I complain more? Be careful what you ask. I'll stop now. There's a husband to eat dinner with (yes, dinner, at 9:45pm... this is my "life") and a comfy bed to sleep in. And tomorrow we're escaping to the mountains with some friends. In the mean time, there's always Tylenol PM and a good book.
Remember, I did just bring home an entire library.