Tuesday, May 31, 2016

College is over/ the future of this

Well, I'm done with college. As proof that I was at graduation, here is your first view of my face:
Anyway, because I'm done with college, I am, by necessity of the blog title, done with this blog. Thanks, everyone, for an awesome four years. I know not a lot of my classmates read this, but whatever. I've graduated.
This begs the inevitable question: what next?
I want to go into the museum industry. I might start travel writing; I don't really know yet. I have a part-time job already, and it's great, but it's only in the evenings and I need something to do during the day. I want to work in museums for about a year, and then go to grad school if it works out that way. I don't know. For now, work.
And later, travel. Hopefully. I don't know.
But at this point, I no longer have things I'm qualified to write about, so I'm not going to blog for a while. If I start blogging elsewhere, I'll let you know. But there's a social media tab here somewhere, and you can find me there.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Things I Learned This Semester!

Well, here's the final semester Round-Up! HERE WE GO!


1. Don't write essays the night before. At least do some kind of outline beforehand. Even if you wind up getting a B- on the most important paper of the semester, what COULD you have gotten?
2. The easiest papers you will write are ones that pull in knowledge from other classes. I wrote a paper about the Canterbury Tales that looked at the sex and gender roles in two of the tales. I got the idea because the Ancient Sexualities class I was in looked at constructs of masculinity and femininity in the ancient world. Sure, the tales were written many centuries after Rome was at its peak, but gender constructs still existed in Chaucer's time.
3. Make sure you include what gender your characters are, especially if they're nonbinary. I wrote a screenplay that involves a genderfluid air spirit named Ariel ("genderfluid," for those who don't know, refers to a person whose gender identity is... wait for it... fluid!! So they're not masculine all the time, or feminine all the time, or even in the middle all the time; their gender presentation changes). For some reason, I deleted the sentence that said that Ariel was genderfluid, and in one scene referred to them as "him" (I don't know why). Despite the many other instances where Ariel was referred to as "them," many of the critiques that mentioned Ariel gendered Ariel as feminine - i.e. "Ariel is [description], maybe she [other critique]".


1. Having a roommate you're compatible with makes so much difference in your mental health. If you do not get along with your roommate, it is OKAY to talk to Residential Life (or your RA, or ask a friend to take you to Res Life or your RA) to get a roommate switch. Sure, it'll be a hassle in the short run, but you'll have so many more "crazy shenanigans" stories and so much fewer "my life was awful" stories.
2. Sometimes you need to be the one to coordinate things because nobody else is going to do it.
3. If you really liked a professor, send thank-you notes. Sometimes they'll tell you really nice things that give you really nice feelings.
4. Be nice to people. Even if it's just a smile when in passing. People will remember.
5. Don't avoid your problems on the internet. Just do it.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Update

Well, it's May. I graduate in three weeks and two days.
A lot of my friends who go to other schools are graduating this weekend/ have graduated already. I was struck with a feeling reminiscent of what I felt before going to college for the first time - when everyone had already moved in and was posting on social media about how they'd be starting classes soon; meanwhile, I was still at home, waiting to go to school a week after everyone else. Now it's the opposite feeling: everyone's graduating, posting about graduating, and being all reminiscent about their time in college, and I'm still waiting to START finals. It's weird that it comes full circle. Things happen in ways you don't expect.
Expect a bit more from me this month as I do wrap-up. Thanks for seeing me through college, y'all.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

TUTORIAL: how to work in costume

I may have mentioned before, but my main way of earning money at the moment is by working in costume as a ghost tour guide. I dress like someone from the 18th century (minus the stays/ corset, because those are expensive and I don't want that in my life), so I figured I'd show you how to dress like a woman from the time period.

step one: find a bathroom and use it.

because apparently women didn't pee in the 18th century.

step two: get your 21st century clothes off

apparently women couldn't wear pants in the 18th century, either..

step three: actually get your costume on.

chemise, then pockets, then petticoat, then pin the jacket, then apron, then bonnet, then modesty piece if you have it, then cloak if you need it, then shoes.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Does Jane Eyre deserve the romantic hype?

I know I should have done this post a few weeks ago, when I was actually reading the novel. Also, Valentine's Day was last month, so I probably could have capitalized on that. Instead, it's Saint Patrick's Day, and I'm writing about romance novels. You read the title. We're talking about Jane Eyre. If you don't want spoilers then you should stop reading. If you don't mind getting spoiled about a novel that came out 170 years ago, keep going.

I read Jane Eyre as part of a Gothic Literature course. The basic plot summary is that Jane Eyre survives an abusive home and a terrible school (though it gets better) and becomes a teacher at said school, once she's done with her education. At 18, she puts an ad out for a change in position, and gets a response from someone at Thornfield Hall. She becomes the governess for a girl named Adele, who's the ward of a mysterious man named Edward Rochester. Rochester (and his literary cousin Heathcliff) basically invented the trope of the romantic lead being "tall, dark, mysterious, and handsome." Despite being 20 years older than Jane, the two form a vaguely romantic relationship. Blah, blah, romantic conflict, blah, blah, turns out the strange noises that Jane has been hearing in the attic are NOT a servant - the strange noises are ACTUALLY ROCHESTER'S FIRST WIFE!!! *CUE DRAMATIC MUSIC* Jane finds this out on HER WEDDING DAY TO MR. ROCHESTER!!!! *CUE MORE DRAMATIC, SOAP-OPERA MUSIC*
Turns out Bertha (the crazy first wife in the attic) has been crazy since the honeymoon, and there was absolutely positively no way for Rochester to get out of the marriage he was conscripted into. So he kept her up in his attic, instead of trying to relate to her as a human being who might just have some issues with communicating her anger. Jane freaks out, and wants to leave instead of being Rochester's mistress. She cites power iniquity, miscommunication, personal finance, and the existence of a crazy wife in the attic as her main reasons for wanting to leave. She takes off in the middle of the night.
Jane gets taken in by St. John Rivers (pronounced sin-jin) and his sisters Diana and Mary. A year later, they find out that Jane is their cousin, and their mutually estranged uncle had left Jane 20,000 pounds. She wants to split it evenly and, even with having 5,000 to her name, is quite well-off. Jane insists she doesn't want to marry St. John and leaves to go find Rochester again.
Turns out Rochester's house has been burned down by Bertha. Bertha died. Rochester lost his left hand; one eye had come out entirely and the other had extremely reduced vision. Within ten days of Jane's return, they get married for realsies.

So, is this romantic?


Five Reasons Why Jane Eyre is Definitely Romantic

  1. Romantic tension out the wazoo. First Rochester could be getting engaged to Blanche Ingram! Jane could be getting engaged to St. John! There's imagery reflective of Beauty and the Beast in Act 1, where Belle/ Jane has to go home for something (in this case, because her abusive aunt is dying and specifically asked to see her), then Beast/ Rochester asks her to only stay out a week, but she winds up staying out longer. All the fairy tale imagery here (and there's a metric sh**ton) means FAIRY TALE ROMANCE???!!
  2. Rochester can only feel his true and best self while with Jane! Jane cares about Rochester despite his flaws! #RelationshipGoals
  3. They deliberately choose each other, despite class differences, age differences, power differences, and LITERALLY ANY KIND OF DIFFERENCE (except racial/ regional) that you can think of.
  4. About halfway through the novel, Jane saves Rochester's life. That's definitely romance novel material, right?
  5. At the end, Jane and Rochester work together for their relationship. She helps him get places, and helps out in pretty much every sense. Rochester wants to do more to provide for her, but the most he can do is own a house and have a really good bank account, which is all Jane needs at that point. They really do seem to care for each other, despite the variety of power and age dynamics in their relationship.

Five Reasons Why Jane Eyre is Definitely NOT Romantic

  1. Can you say, "ROCHESTER IS TWICE JANE'S AGE?" Rochester is 20 years older than Jane, who is 20 years old when they get married for real at the end of the novel. He is literally a generation older than her, which can result in all sorts of weirdness.
  2. Speaking of power dynamics, that's basically what this relationship is based on. Rochester has literally every power over Jane for most of the year Jane spends as Adele's governess - he's her employer, he has money, he has social standing, he's male, he's physically bigger and stronger than Jane is. Only when he loses most of these and Jane gains some money do they seem like they're on any kind of equal footing. Jane also never actually calls him by his first name, even at the end of the novel. She always addresses him as "sir" or "Mr. Rochester," even though they're married and have a kid together. He's never Edward to her; that's less a thing of the times than it is a possible indicator of power iniquity.
  3. Rochester has his secrets and has problematic timing when he reveals them. He wasn't planning on telling Jane about Bertha until they had been married a year. He only told Jane about other relationships he had after Bertha and before Jane to prove the point that he wanted to get away from Bertha. Also, HE KEPT HIS INSANE WIFE IN HIS ATTIC.
  4. Say it again for the people in the back: ROCHESTER. KEPT. HIS. CRAZY. WIFE. IN. THE. ATTIC. If Jane had started to irritate him, what would he have done to her?
  5. Also, he sometimes flirted with other people to see if he could make Jane jealous. He also dresses up as a gypsy at one point and tries to "read fortunes" with the real intent of "reading Jane's emotions to see if she actually likes him." That can be read two ways: romantic conflict because of the repressed emotion, or "Rochester is a grown man and needs to learn to express his feelings to women instead of dressing up in ridiculous costumes and asking stupid questions."


you decide. Tell me in the comments. Or don't.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A new semester!

Well, here I am, a week and a half into the new semester, and it's time for a Real and Proper Update on classes and life in my last semester of college.

First, I'm taking my second required senior capstone. The course is called The Gothic Tradition, which is far more up my alley than I thought it would be. Usually I can't stand horror and paranormal things (says the person who tells ghost stories professionally), but this is neither of those things. Well, it is a little. At this point, though, the style often feels reminiscent of 18th-century Scooby-Doo, but that's the time frame and establishment of the genre that allowed Scooby-Doo to happen.

I'm also taking Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which makes up entirely for not taking Greek this semester. Since Middle English is closer to Modern English than Ancient Greek is, studying Chaucer is a bit easier than studying Homer, or Plato, or Xenophon. It still takes patience, though. Things would have been pronounced differently than we might think of them today, though. At the time Chaucer was writing, you didn't waste time writing unnecessary letters, so words like "knight" would have actually been pronounced with a "k" and "gh" sound.

I'm taking Creative Writing too, which I'm only about half-enthused about. We're doing poetry right now. I can't stand poetry. I need the expansive detail that prose allows. GAAAHHHH! Well, college is supposed to be a learning experience, right?

Finally, I'm taking Ancient Sexualities. We've only spent time discussing sexualities and the discourse surrounding it, mostly through reading Michel Focault. I don't like Focault. He writes too much and says too little. (Apparently that's a French thing.) It would be more interesting if he were more direct, but I've still learned things: For example, we can't say that Achilles and Patroclus from the Iliad are hella gay (even though it's easy to read them that way). "Hella gay" wasn't a thing in 900 BCE Greece. They didn't have the same concept of relationships and sexuality as we do now.

That's what I'm taking, and hopefully it'll be an interesting semester!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Favorite Things from January

Because I'm a blogger and I'm only posting three times a month now, I feel like it's best to update you on a few things I like. Let's get into it!

yarn things

firstly, I recently bought myself a YARN SWIFT for maybe $30 on Etsy. It's simple enough; you use it to wind large skeins of yarn into balls without the skein getting really messed up. I got a lot of yarn for Christmas and it was super helpful to have the yarn swift. I was able to start winding yarn from Christmas last year that I didn't get to because I didn't want the headache of trying to wind all of it and getting it all snagged on the back of a chair or something. but now I have this, and it's great!

I also really liked going through my old yarn; this month, I've realized that I have way too much yarn that's not going to go into any project. So I decided I'm going to make a blanket (or five) for someone who needs it more than I need that yarn. I know it would probably be better to give really nice blankets out of really nice yarn, but acrylic blankets are better than no blankets at all.

book things

I started (but did not finish) two books this month. The first is Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, which a friend of mine gave me for Christmas last year. It was the perfect size to carry on the Metro for the first few weeks of my internship. I wish I had thought to bring it for the second half, because having such a small book would have been helpful in a crowded Metro train. The book is a nonfiction one about the development of the English language, which is actually more interesting than you might think. Linguistically, English is a hella weird language, and there are several reasons for that. Check it out if you're curious!

The main reason I didn't get more into it was because a good friend of mine (TheReviewingFangirl over at BooksMoviesandMore.Net) mentioned the series Outlander. When I was fangirling over All Souls last summer, she was fangirling over Outlander. Around Fall Break, we swapped. I know, I'm awful, because it took me until Jterm to get to reading it, but I like it so far. Now that I've actually got time to read for more than 20 minutes during Jterm break, I'm eager to get more into it.

writing things

I haven't well kept my "editing novels" new years resolution. HOWEVER, that's partially because I've been writing and editing a tour for a tavern during my internship. That was pretty cool. The main takeaway I got from that writing experience was more of an academic writing hack: to write out everything in an outline (or print it, or whatever), and then cut up all the sections and lay them out on the floor. It's easier to visualize everything if you can see it laid out like that.

In other writing news, I have kept up with the resolution of "writing a journal every day." I bought this journal from a Papyrus store last summer, and I finally started writing it more. It's really small, which is really handy. If I didn't have five other journals waiting to be written in, I would probably buy it again.

makeup things

I wore makeup a lot to work this month. It wasn't super fancy, mostly eyeliner and sometimes eyeshadow or mascara. I got two new eyeshadows in December that I wore a lot.
One was called Indian Summer from Maybelline. It's two-toned and very muted; one color is for the main part of the eyelid and one is for contour. In this case, the main color was slightly lighter than my eyelid and the contour was quite a bit darker. That made it ideal for everyday things.
The nicer one is also from Maybelline - it's 30D (Golden Star); it's a gold color with a dark blue contour color. I've got 0% credibility for mixing colors from huge eyeshadow selections, so I really like how both of these were just straightforward: FIRST THIS. THEN THIS. NOW LEAVE. Since Golden Star was more shimmery, I didn't use it quite as often as Indian Summer, but check them out wherever you get Maybelline things.

I also bought a bunch of eyeliner a million years ago from the drugstore - just a few pencil shades from Wet and Wild that are $1. I typically use either the dark brown shade, Pretty in Mink, or the dark blue shade, Deep Ocean. (Apparently, Deep Ocean's foothold into the Blue $1 Eyeliner World has been replaced by "Like, Comment, and Share," which is a terrible tie-in to the social-media-blue color of the pencil. I haven't used the lighter blue shade yet, but my dark blue eyeliner is nearly out and it makes me sad.)

SO HERE ARE MY OPINIONS! I wasn't sponsored by any of these. I hope you liked it.
See you next month!

Monday, January 25, 2016

What Am I Doing in Jterm?

So this January term, I didn't move back into my dorm. Instead, I stayed home, boarded the Metro on Monday morning, the 4th, and went to an INTERNSHIP! I'm working at a museum and it's been very interesting thus far. Like, genuinely interesting.
It's also been giving me research frustration, because there are only so many ways you can put your search terms into JSTOR before you start seeing the same things that you KNOW aren't what you're looking for. But that's what in-house libraries are for, right?
It's been an interesting month, for sure. I've learned a LOT of history things (I expected that, but still). The most frustrating thing so far is the number of snow days that have made me work from home. The city owns the museum, so we have to do what the city does. Since the city has been closed today and was closed on Friday, we've been closed too. I'm running out of things to do that are work-related. It's frustrating.
I'm hoping that the city is open tomorrow, just so I can actually DO something. My bus isn't running tomorrow, but the Metro is. I'm just hoping I have somewhere to go. It's irritating to have too many days off.
It's been a really cool month for sure, though. :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

What Posting Schedule Can You Anticipate This Year?

Well, it's a new year, which means it's a new time to figure out what I'm doing with the year ahead. This includes what I'm going to do with blogging.
To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this URL once May is over and I graduate. It's been a fantastic four years (both blogging and not), and I've kind of dated this time frame by saying it's for my college years. So there's that.
I don't know if I'm going to keep this blog going or make a new URL for something that's more relevant to my life as a whole, in the future, or if I'm going to keep this blog, change the URL, and... then what? I don't know.
Until the end of the semester, at least, I'll try and post at least three times a month. That seems to be manageable at this point. That's all you can reasonably expect from me, I think, but I may try and post more often than that. But senior year and all means I'm going to be finishing up graduation things, so three times a month is the best I can assure you for the next few months.
It's really real, though, the fact that I'm about to graduate. I haven't really internalized it yet. But here we are.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Years' Resolutions

Well, 2016 is here, which means I'm going to have a lot of things I want to do. Here are a few of them.

  1. Write or edit one of my novels at least three hours a week.
  2. journal every day (and possibly read spiritual things too)
  3. read at least one new book a month that's not for class
  4. exercise effectively and eat well
  5. Get a job.
  6. built my savings account to where I can actually live on my own.
  7. finish a large, long-term knitting project.
  8. Don't buy new things (i.e. makeup, notebooks, pens, yarn) without using up the old ones first.
  9. Try and move out by the end of 2016. I don't have any housing lined up for the future aside from living with my parents (nor do I really have the bank account for it just yet), so I need to work on that.