A Correction

Yesterday, Medb made a comment about yesterday’s post. She informed me that I had forgetten the support of my friends.

She’s absolutely right, and I’m not being fair to my friends. I struggle very much asking for help, but have little problem offering it. I suppose this is hubris but whatever the reason, it is something that big brother Duncan would hit me in the head for and tell me to accept that help.

He’s right too, but it’s ironic because he’s just as bad if not worse, he’s just had longer to get wiser. For a bit, though, I’m caving. I’m throwing myself into books and recharging. I’m not avoiding Latin, though I am avoiding the organization of the class and the need to take charge in the study group.

I am extremely angry and bitter at the Centre for Medieval Studies right now. I was not angry at all when I was not accepted for a PhD here. I knew it was a hard competition and though I was not happy, I could see that others might have presented better options for CMS.

I don’t feel that way about the MA application. Dr. Orchard, whom I have a lot of respect for hinted that I could still apply for an MA here, which as it would take only a year would fit nicely timewise. I could have focused on Latin and Old English, and thus while a second MA was not overly important, the skills of a year thrown into languages would have been very useful.

They said no to me again and this time I’m pissed. I’ve hung around with their MA students for two summers now. I know who they have accepted. They are good people and have the makings of fine scholars.

But they’re not better than me. They do not have more credentials. They have less experience. I started the study group in the Beginning Latin last summer. I never really tooted my horn on that, but I’m going to now. Sarah, who taught the class, has told me and many of the people around the Centre how helpful that the study group was. She told me yesterday that a girl I met at Kalamazoo, Hilary, had gotten up in this year’s Beginning Latin and said exactly what I said last year. I’m not surprised, I told her exactly what I did last year and how it helped. She told me she thought that was a great idea at Kalamazoo and that she’d probably do that in the program.

This is good. I find it ironic however, that her and her fellow students, many of whom will be taking the MA program, are benefitting from my idea. I find it especially ironic, given that I started a study group in the MA summer Latin, and once again I was the leader, the instructor, the tutor, the prime force behind it. If I do not go, nothing gets done. The irony comes from the help that my construct gave to many MA students over a couple of years at CMS.

But the powers that be at CMS do not think that I’m good enough for their program.

I don’t actually know that. It is possible I got unlucky and got put out because of numbers. That does not appease me however, as I know what I need and I would not have overly taxed them. In fact, I might very well have helped them, given I’d have continued the study group over the year.

But at least I can take comfort in the study groups themselves. I can take a lot of pride in leaving a legacy. I feel good that there are people who have and will do better because of my idea.

“In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river ran,
Through caverns measureless to man,
Down to a sunless sea.”

It seems like Coleridge wrote that for me at this point. I have created something that is worthwhile in my mind, and yet it exists in the sunless sea of my anger right now.


Well, I’ve finally decided to start this, convinced by a variety of happenings. Who knows how well I’ll continue to keep this updated, given my track record with any kind of diary, blog, or journal previously, but I’ll try it.

I have entitled this journal The Wanderer, which seems a very fit title to and for me. The title comes from the Anglo-Saxon poem which is at: http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a3.6.html in Old English or at http://faculty.uca.edu/~jona/texts/wanderer.htm in Modern English.

I do find myself adrift right now, a fact which has little to do with the many miles I have driven this year, over 24k thus far. No, it has much more to do with my uncertainty and frustration with myself and my life right at this point. I find myself not knowing what it is I’ll be doing after 22 August. I have no job lined up and no current academic prospects for the 2004-2005 year. This is extremely frustrating to me, as I felt, perhaps arrogantly, that the transition from the MA level to PhD opportunities would not be as troublesome as they have turned out to be.

While I am certain I’ll find a job teaching at some level, I worry that this will be a setback in my academic career. While a setback in and of itself is unimportant, they’ve happened before, I worry about the loss of momentum. I have never truly completed anything previously, and I worry that this is the start of the incompletion of my current goal, that being the attainment of a PhD and the career of a professor. I truly feel that I am supposed to be a professor, it fits me in so many ways that I was not able to realize earlier in my life. It is also a career that is a fitting tribute to my parents and grandparents, to whom I owe the opportunity to pursue this. Dad feels that I’m resilient and perhaps I am, but I do not know if I could bear to fail in this.

This would be less troublesome if there were any stability in my life in other ways, but that is not the case either. Recently divorced from a fine woman who I wish in many ways I could have stayed with, I am unable to commit to another fine woman who deserves so much more than I can give. I have thus excluded myself from the comfort and stability of a partner, which is troublesome not only to me in the short term but frightening in long term as I wonder if I can ever truly be a partner myself.

Thus I begin this journal on a somber note. The optimist that I am will I’m sure show it’s head soon but this is a cold rainy day following a very discouraging weekend with no place to call home in sight.

“Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa?
Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga!
Eala þeodnes þrym!

Where is the horse? Where the young warrior? Where now the gift-giver?
Where are the feast-seats? Where all the hall-joys?
Alas for the bright cup! Alas byrnied warrior!
Alas the lord’s glory!

Opinions and fiction of person misplaced in time.

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