Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I set out to practice my Spanish (which I'm learning both in preparation for the Ph.D, which requires that I have a reading knowledge of two foreign languages, and as sort of a side project). But I only looked at the online exercise for a few seconds before deciding that it was too much to ask of my poor, tired brain at 9:30 at night.

It was a good day, but a busy one. I worked on Spanish a little this morning, taught a rockin' class (except that I had to chew out the same group of people three times for talking too much while others were talking, and I forgot to give the reading assignment for next time), graded writing exercises, read two critical essays on Riddley Walker, and made a rough plan for my own essay on it.

And I finally requested my third, and last, letter of recommendation today. This professor is making me jump through extra hoops: I have to write him an email to suggest things I want him to emphasize in his letter. "Don't be shy," he said. You might think that tooting my own horn would be an easy task for me. But I sat down to make a list of all my admirable scholarly qualities, and quickly realized that I could only come up with insipid generalizations about things like "my intellectual curiosity." Blah. Nobody gets accepted to grad school based on that crap. I had to read over all of my essays from the class I took with him last year, on rhetorical theory. I think I finally developed a reasonable, and reasonably specific, list. But I'm going to wait until tomorrow to send it off. Let it incubate.

For now, all I want is to make a cup of hot chocolate and sit under a blanket with my cat and read Main Street, with its cozy quaintness.

Don't tell Sinclair Lewis I called his satirical rip on small-town life quaint.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11/01/2005 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

I thought you already spoke french! right? or am i getting old and my memory faint.

11/05/2005 10:45 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

You're right, I speak some French - un peu. Not enough to be considered a "reading knowledge," though. So I'll have to take French classes while I'm working on my Ph.D. I'm hoping to avoid taking Spanish classes then, too, by studying up now.

11/06/2005 11:18 AM  

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