12 August 2009

Birthdays, Pies, Jobs, Academe

Yesterday was my 24th birthday. This seems neither too old nor too young for me, but somehow the wrong age anyway. Then again, I am the girl who when quizzed on her age by strangers sometimes still accidentally answers that she is 18, an age I have had the pleasure of not being for many years now.

My birthday was good for a lot of reasons. I spent the morning at the library looking at old photos, then took a long walk. I got a card from my mother, many calls and emails from friends and family (including a priceless voicemail from my brother in which he admitted that he 1) had initially forgotten my birthday 2) didn't know how old I was at first and 3) didn't know what city I currently live in), and went out for a ridiculously delicious dinner with Bron.

The best part about my birthday is that I'm gearing up for a lot of changes. Soon I'll be leaving one of my library jobs (the unpaid one), which is sad, because I really adore the work I do there--leaving so I can have that time to work on graduate school applications, including revising my master's thesis from last summer (more on that in a moment). I've also recently quit my job at the cafe, which is somewhat less prudent financially, but personally is like a dead weight lifted from my shoulders.

I'm excited about the fall and having a little more free time (or, at least, self-scheduled time). I baked a pie last week (peach pie with cornmeal crust) and realized how little I've had time to bake in the past year.

I've been surprised as I've started looking over my research and writing for my thesis just how much I love the topic I chose, and just how much more I have to say about it. The fact that I still have so much enthusiasm for Sigurd is galvanizing--in some false small way it makes me feel justified for wanting to undertake a PhD, like my ability to resurrect enthusiasm for a project I had spent so much time on and then not looked at for months is somehow proof that I'm cut out for it. Truth is there is no way to prove that I'm cut out for anything, except to try it on, give it a good go, and see if it fits.

I'm also considering submitting an abstract, based on my thesis, to NEMLA. The deadline is at the end of September, and there is a panel on spatio-temporal shifts in 19th century literature that I think my thesis would speak to well--there's a large section in the beginning about Morris's ellision of landscape, mythos/storytelling, and past-ness that I was planning on fleshing out more.

It's just too bad I can't think of a plausible way to tie the project to the panel on "The Politics of Meat in the 19th Century Novel."

According to Bron, there are quite a few of us baby Academes-in-training who are hoping to hop to NEMLA this year. Are you?