I read all the things! Again!: MA Winter Term Recap

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The card is right – I did do it. Shortly after submitting the last paper of my winter term, and therefore completing all assignments for the coursework portion of my MA, my partner surprised me with this card (which preceded an excessively extravagant gift) and made me cry, which was nice. That’s how you know you’ve got a good one – when they keep secrets and make you cry for good things.

Other things that are amazing: doing an MA in a discipline you’re passionate about. Term 2 was amazing, just as this entire experience has been. I read 6,970 pages, made up by twenty-one books, two plays, two books of poetry, and a stack of theory & criticism and wrote submitted 32,552 words (about 108 pages by my calculation). Those numbers seem low to me, though. While this term seemed (to me) to have a heavier workload than the fall term, the numbers are, in actuality, near identical (6,923 pages and 30,584 in the fall). Weird.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for: here is what I read in the Winter term:

Here is a list-version, in the approximate order they were read. Favourites indicated by an asterisk(*):

  1. Oedipus the King, Sophocles
  2. The Father and Daughter, Amelia Opie
  3. Canadian Crusoes, Catharine Parr Traill
  4. i is a long memoried woman, Grace Nichols*
  5. Anne of Green Gables, LMM
  6. The Polished Hoe, Austin Clarke
  7. Unity (1918), Kevin Kerr
  8. Emma, Jane Austen
  9. Hold Fast, Kevin Major
  10. Autobiography of My Mother, Jamaica Kincaid*
  11. Heave, Christy Ann Conlin
  12. The Pagoda, Patricia Powell
  13. Kiss of the Fur Queen, Tomson Highway*
  14. A Small Gathering of Bones, Patricia Powell
  15. Hiroshima, John Hersey
  16. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Brontë*
  17. Return to Arcadia, H. Nigel Thomas*
  18. Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro
  19. Cereus Blooms at Night, Shani Mootoo
  20. The Children of Men, P.D. James
  21. land without chocolate, Faizal Deen
  22. Olive, Dinah Mulock Craik
  23. What We All Long For, Dionne Brand
  24. Tongues on Fire, Rosamund Elwin
  25. North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell

Fun observations about the list above: (1) Anne is a (way) better author than Charlotte. Sorry, Charlotte, you can’t win ’em all. I haven’t read any of Emily’s stuff yet, though, so she’s still in the running to be Literature’s Top Brontë; (2) Elizabeth Gaskell was both the first and the last author I read for my MA – happy coincidence since I had never heard of Gaskell before and it would appear that she is a big deal; (3) The Tempest is the most alluded-to text in literature and therefore should be prerequisite reading for any English or Lit program; (4) The Taming of the Shrew is one of the most adapted plays of all time – I’m pretty sure both Emma and Tenant are adaptations/retellings.

I also read a heap of poetry as part of the assigned reading for the first-year course I TA’d:

  • “On an Occasion of National Mourning,” Howard Nemerov
  • “History Lesson,” Jeannette Armstrong
  • “The Convergence of the Twain,” Thomas Hardy
  • “The Iceberg,” Charles G.D. Roberts
  • “The Lost Worker,” Billeh Nickerson
  • “Erosion,” E.J. Pratt
  • “In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations’,” Thomas Hardy
  • “Dulce et Decorum Est,” Wilfrid Owen
  • “Munition Wages,” Madeline Ida Bedford
  • “The Second Coming,” W.B. Yeats*
  • “The Hollow Men,” T.S. Eliot
  • “Höfn,” Seamus Heaney
  • “Darkness,” Lord Byron

And a couple of short stories:

  • “Jesus out to sea: a Louisiana lament,” James Lee Burke
  •  “Diary of an Interesting Year,” Helen Simpson

So, that’s it, I’m done now. Well, the coursework portion, anyway. I begin my professional placement next week, which gives me the opportunity to work for a literary magazine publication for six weeks as part of my program. Amongst other things (showering, dressing like a real person every day), this means that for the first time in nearly ten years, I will have regular work hours. Wish me luck!

 

 

Dear March Madness: I win!

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March Madness,
YOU HAVE BEEN DEFEATED!

I had a collection of images selected for this post, but I edited it down because I feel that the one below captures the true essence of how I feel right now: proud and sweaty.

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March Madness is OVER as of tomorrow when I hand in the last assignment I have due this month! Seminars? Check. Proposals? Done. Papers? Written. Books? Read ’em all! Micro-Teaching Session? Nailed it. Mini-Lecture? Delivered. Guest Lecture? Slayed. Essay Marking? Well…I’m still working on that one…but it’s started! The rest of my marking is done so I’m calling it a win!

Only two more final papers to write and I will be finished all of my coursework for my English MA. Bananas.

I Read All the Books: My Reading List from My MA Fall Term

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Some 6,923 pages and 30,584 words later, the first term of my English MA has come to a close (nailed it).

I thought, in case any of you were interested, I might provide a list, for your perusal, of the books and short stories I read for my classes.*

Below is the list, in the approximate order in which I read them.

  1. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
  2. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (selections)
  3. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  4. Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? by Anita Rau Badami
  5. Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  6. Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
  7. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  8. No New Land by M.J. Vassanji
  9. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  10. Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
  11. Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
  12. Black by Thomas Dekker (selections)
  13. Epic by John Eldredge (selections)
  14. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan Culler (selections)
  15. All Inclusive by Farzana Doctor
  16. The Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin (small excerpt)
  17. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  18. Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood (selections)
  19. The Hungry Ghosts by Shyam Selvadurai
  20. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  21. Tell: Poems for a Girlhood by Soraya Peerbaye
  22. Maus by Art Spiegelman
  23. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

And now for the short stories:

  1. “The Demon Lover” by Elizabeth Bowen
  2. “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
  3. “Rappaccini’s Daughter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  4. “The Sandman” by E.T.A. Hoffmann
  5. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  6. “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James
  7. “The Signalman” by Charles Dickens
  8. “The Dead” by James Joyce
  9. “The String Quartet” by Virginia Woolf
  10. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  11. “The Conscience of the Court” by Zora Neale Hurston
  12. “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
  13. “When Mr. Pirzada Comes to Dine” by Jhumpa Lahiri

*Not included are the books I read for research; their name is Legion for they are many.