Hi everyone! Today marked the end of my first half semester of university. In my third year I’ve been working harder than I ever have. I’ve also experienced a level of stress I never thought possible, until now. In the past five weeks I’ve attended online lecturers and seminars with varying success. Some weeks I’ve been concise with my points and discussions with other students and other weeks I’ve wanted nothing more than to close the internet tab containing the Zoom meeting I’m attending.
Welcome back talks and lots of housekeeping about mid-term assignments. I clarified my Dissertation title. Week 1 was great, I was up to date and got a lot of prep work out of the way.
It was an odd week. I spent most of it trying to read a Arthurian legend in Welsh, which, despite being Welsh myself, proved to be very hard. Once I’d grasped the story I needed to do a presentation about it. It was a group presentation where neither of the other two students in my group added anything to the presentation and both didn’t show up to the seminar where we were supposed to present. Therefore I spent the rest of the week ranting to my housemates about how other people don’t care about their degrees. My other module focused on the Arden of Faversham and seeing as the main female in that play is also named Alice, there was a lot of confusion in the seminar where it seemed that my lecturer thought people were talking about me instead of the murderess.
A lot of Arthurian romance was read. A lot of Arthurian romance went unread. There is only so many times I could hear the words ‘chivalric code’ before slowly turning insane. For my 16th century module we looked at Edward II. Every time I read a history play I end up going down the rabbit hole of English kings so I did waste a lot of time looking at my favourite kings: Henry VIII and Richard III. I spent some time reading through books for my dissertation but in hindsight I probably should have done more.
Venus and Adonis in 16th century. The whole week was spent talking about why this Shakespearian poem would have been potentially pornographic to its initial audience. I spent the whole week trying not to inappropriately laugh at my lecturer saying words such as ‘edging’, ‘delay gratification play’ and ‘horse genitals.’ What I learnt this that Venus and Adonis is a highly unsexy poem about a woman trying to seduce a child. In Arthurian literature we looked at my main man: Gawain. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight remains as the best piece of Arthurian literature I’ve studied. I had my first meeting with my Dissertation supervisor in week 4 and it made me feel so much better about my ideas and plan. I chose my mid term titles and started my research.
I’m glad I starting the reading for Week 5 in late July. Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur is over 1000 pages and is the life and death of King Arthur written in Middle English. Was this harder than the Welsh? Yes. Did I finish it? No. I read around 45% of the text and engaged in the seminar where I could but realised that I needed to work better on my reading planning. In 16th century literature I looked at Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s blood bath. I hated this play but the discussions we had around it were really in-depth. This week I wrote the beginning of the introduction to my Dissertation. I am now 380 words into my 8,000 word count and I am very excited. Now my Dissertation is up and running I feel slightly less stressed than before but I know I have a lot more work to put in.
So there is a little breakdown of my first five weeks of university this year. There have definitely been moments where I felt completely overwhelmed with my workload and reading but overall I’ve managed to stay relatively up-to-date with my work. The next half semester is the run up to Christmas (the most wonderful time of the year) and I always seem to either love university or can’t wait for the break to come. The next five weeks of university will bring mid term deadlines, final essay prep, I have a literature review and presentation for my dissertation and a second presentation in my Arthur module. I’m going to be busy but I’m looking forward to getting that work done! How has your last five weeks been? I love looking back and seeing how what I’ve achieved.