Study hard

As strange as it sounds, mid term has arrived. I actually know now what mid-term assessments really mean. I had to take a few tests in various literature courses, as well as in my French and English language classes. Along with those, I submitted my first essay yesterday. Although I also study English at home, I never actually had to write an essay in English before. I mainly had to give presentations. Lots of them. I gave presentations in English and wrote long papers (15-18 pages) in German. And of course I had exams in the end of term. But here it’s the other way round. I already had to give a presentation in my one and only German literature class and I will have to write two more essays for my English classes. The one I handed in yesterday was about The Italian. Although it wasn’t easy, I had fun writing about this novel. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is a Gothic novel and I’m totally new to this genre. But I enjoyed getting into it and doing the close reading thing. I had to write about the ambivalence in The Italian and concentrated on the contradiction of darkness and light, the motif of the veil and the two coinciding oppositions of superstition vs. reason and appearance vs. reality. Naturally, there was a time during the writing process where I cursed the whole thing, but on the whole I loved doing it. I like to read, obviously. I also like writing. I study literature, what’s not to like?
One thing is actually bothering me. There’s not enough time for discusing all the books I have to read. In my two Jane Austen seminars, I already had to read a lot of books, like Evelina, A sicilian Romance, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, The Watsons, Lady Susan. Needless to say, I already knew the ones by Jane Austen (which are the last five). I read them again, nonetheless. However, we only had one class to discuss each of them. How is that even possible? It is not. Because of this, we can only scratch on the surface of it and maybe talk about one specific topic. It’s a shame. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it but I would like to do more. Today we also talked about two great poems. One was by Coleridge called “Christabel” and the other was by Keats called “Lamia”. I am not very good in analysing poems because I never get what they are really about. But I love reading them out aload – the language is just beautiful. They’re pretty long but it is worth it. But again there was too little time to talk about them properly. It was just so interesting and the 50mins passed by so quickly. Well, I hope there will be nice suggestions for the essays and I can outperform myself. 🙂
Oh, I also met the great actor Andrew Scott (or more likely, Moriarty in the Sherlock series) today. He came to UCD to receive an honour title from the Arts Society. It was great. Unfortunately, he didn’t want to give away any spoilers of the 4th season.

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