24 April, 2008

End/Beginning of Term

Tomorrow marks the end of Week 1 of the summer term here at York. This week and next week feature no classes, but all the exams from the previous term. I'm not sure why they don't do them right after term, when it's all fresh. Either way, I wrote my palaeography exam today (because I promised I would), and I think that's the last exam for me. I have more fun studying to research than to take an exam.

However, this means I can now set up another advisory meeting, and I'm not feeling too bad about it. I should have ~4,000 words to say about St. Katherine of Alexandria, ~3,000 words to say about the vocabulary of foolishness in the Dictionary of Medieval Latin, a lecture abstract about Margery Kempe submitted to an upcoming conference, and newly-revised arguments about why I want to move away from literary studies. I'd like to think that's not too shabby.

I will probably make a visit to the library in Toronto one day while I'm home, since it's orders of magnitude bigger than the library at York. I may be on vacation, but I owe it to myself not to pass up the opportunity.

Kalamazoo is fast approaching, and I'm as excited as ever. I do hope Irina Metzler's book on medieval disability can be ordered from Routledge at the conference discount, but we'll just have to see.

21 April, 2008

Being in Britain

I am now gainfully employed! I have a job at the local spice shop/Indian grocery, working part time. I won't start till I get back from my trip home, but they said they definitely want me and they're cool with waiting. That also gives me time to pick a schedule and apply for an NIS number so I can actually get paid.

I'm so excited!! It's kind of fun to be excited about going to work again. This isn't just a source of funds - I'm genuinely happy to be working at this place.

In other news, today is the Queen's birthday. There was a 21-gun salute in the park. Now, I expected something like, say, shoulder rifles. Not cannons. Cannons are loud, by the way. Very loud.

In other news, I got an email today saying I've been offered a space in my res for next year. I don't have to move! Woo!

On the whole, it's been a good day. :D This calls for country music, possibly with dancing around in my room.

19 April, 2008

Laugh-inducing Linguafunnies

"Hoo-hah" here means something a lot like the North American "hoopla" or "hooferah." And when someone says they'll "come knock you up," they just mean knock on your door.

And they make fun of us over "pants." Tsk.

14 April, 2008

Philosophia siue sapientia?

Today I'm sitting down to write my abstract for my Margery Kempe paper. All I have to do is bang out 200 words of what I plan to write, and then I can forget her for a month or two. Longer, if I decide to go with the long-established custom of writing a paper the week before it's due to be presented.

I'm also starting to assemble my thoughts on St Katherine of Alexandria, of whom a half-dozen vitae were written in late Medieval England. She was pretty popular, and remarkable for passages where she asserts her right to rule in her own right. Relevant to me, she gets into an argument with Emperor Maxentius, who waxes "wroth and wod" several times. The language used to describe Katherine's wisdom and the emperor's great anger is very interesting.

In the Legenda Aurea version, there is a fascinating digression on the types of wisdom and how they all apply to Katherine. It's almost Scholastic in tone and the way is neatly divides and categorises the species. All of a sudden, I feel the need to consult with David, and I'm blessing the times in the past we've talked about Scholastic philosophy, and also the Book of Twenty-Four Philosophers, which this passage also reminds me of.

It's strange. As much as I despise doing philosophy, I'm absolutely drawn to it in contexts like this. I'm far more interested in what this passage is doing here than I am by the rest of the story. Given the context of 13th century English hagiography, what the heck is "Philosophia enim siue sapientia diuiduntur in theoricam, praticam et logicam" doing in a life of an early-Church martyr? Why? Now I'm actually excited to have read these stupid vitae.

And finally, I'm a couple days late on this one, but check out this strip from the awesome comic Get Medieval. It's totally about my research! Woo!

01 April, 2008

Warm water, I tell ya!

Today I had to use a public washroom. Joy! The sinks only had one spout!


It only ran hot. I burned my hand. Actually burnt.