Monday, July 1, 2013

A Tea Post

If you know me, you know I love tea. A lot. It might not surprise you then, to learn that I come from a family of tea drinkers as well. When I came home from school, my entire tea shelf had to be combined with the teas at home, and everything just got stuffed in as well as possible. But it was hard to find things, and I had no idea what was in there. So on Saturday, I decided to clear out the whole thing, and see what we had.

This is what came out of the cabinet 

This is what went back in, after a fair bit of consolidation/poking about and trying to figure out what was in the unlabelled tins...
Unfortunately, we are currently OUT of my favourite kind of tea. How do I do without it, you ask? Honestly? I have no idea.

Oh how I miss you!! (Picture found here

But in poking around in the depths of shelf, I found this:

My friend Rachel brought this back from Switzerland after Christmas break, and then gave it to me. Yes, it really did take me months and months to try it... Shame on me, I know.

Of course, being from Switzerland, the instructions were not in English. But between guessing and asking a friend what a few key words were, my brother and I were able to make a pot!

 It was pretty good, but I think I'll need to use more tea or less water next time. Also, I prefer my chai with honey, but somehow we were completely out, so we had to make do with sugar. I think I'll withhold further judgement until I can try it with honey.

Till then, Tazo remains my favourite.

Picture from the interwebs

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Guilty Blogger is Guilty

I know, I know... I've never been good at blogging regularly, and in all likelihood, no one has noticed my absence (it's totally fine... I didn't notice my absence either...). Hopefully this ABSURDLY long post makes up for it.

In that long period (the last non academic post I wrote was nearly a YEAR ago), I finished two crazy semesters, was nearly killed by my honours thesis, and graduated from college magna cum laude with a BA in Medieval Studies and departmental honours.

In the fall, I took the following:
  • Medieval Latin as an independent study with Professor Joel Relihan (we read Apollonius, Prince of Tyre)
  • Early Islamic Societies (so that poor European medievalist me could become better rounded)
  • Global Englishes (Yay linguistics class masquerading as English!)
  • Western Music I: Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque
  • My thesis
  • World Music Ensemble
  • Chorale
  • Yes, I'm aware I'm crazy. Your point?
Here is my room, as per tradition.

Was my room a shrine to England? Don't be silly! (Yes, of course it was.)

The door behind the Welsh flag leads to my roommate's room. I MISS YOU ROSE!!!
Fall is my favourite time of year, and the most beautiful on campus. I kid you not. We're in New England after all.

The view out my window.

And again.

And yet again... 
The back of Mary Lyon Hall

The view from Chase Dining Hall

And again...

More out my window.

The pond from the back of Balfour

And again...

Behind Knapton

Looking the other way from behind Knapton.


Again, from my window.

Then winter came.

Chapel Field and Peacock Pond
Sunset from Mansfield train station.

Gathering notes for my thesis...

AWESOME birthday present from my AWESOME roomie.

My carrel at the library.
I don't really remember much about fall semester... honestly... it has been overwhelmed by the memory of SPRING SEMESTER AND THE THESIS OF DOOM.

In the spring I took the following:
  • Didactic Poetry (Lucretius' De Rerum Natura) (Latin = Death)
  • Old Norse 
  • WWI poetry as an independent study (It was awesome. And sad. So much Owen and Tolkien and G.B. Smith!)
  • Historical Practices and the Public (what an...interesting class - but very helpful for me personally)
  • World Music Ensemble
  • Chorale
and of course...


Oh joy. Latin homework... and getting distracted by thesis stuff...
When I needed to take breaks... Anglo-Saxon stuff happened. It was all I thought about, apparently.
Most of the books I used were really old. And this one had the added charm of an uncut page! (Which I sadly had to cut, BECAUSE I NEEDED THAT PAGE.)
Was there blood? Yes. Was there sweat? Yes. Were there tears and late night food deliveries and groop panic sessions? Yes. Was there a terrifying amount of tea consumed? Yes (I think I drank my way through 160 bags of Bewley's Gold in less than two months...). Could I have done it better? Yes? Could I have done it without my friends? No. Do I regret doing it? Not at all. 

I came back to my room after a rough day to find this on my board!
My dear Penny sent him to me. His name is Bjarki. And he is huge. And I love him.
My friend, and fellow 3am tea drinker/thesis writer, Hilary gave me this wonderful door tag.

This is the other side.

Product of 3 am thesis session in Meneely. Sleep? What's that.
ALL OF THE KIN KILLING!!! ALL OF IT!! Friendly blighters, those Danes.

The Danish family as suggested by J.R.R. Tolkien in Finn and Hengest. (DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO MAKE ALL THOSE LINES EVEN???? DO YOU!???)
I must confess. This was my computer desktop all spring. It was very motivational. :) 
Well, sometimes this was my desktop instead. Yay wonderful independent study on WWI poetry!
TOO many lost manuscripts! Time do do something about it! Where is my TARDIS, Doctor?

Again with the lost manuscripts...

The finished product of all those sleepless nights, all those tears, all that Latin and Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon (yes I translated from all three languages), all that caffeine (I'm still not sure how I survived that without becoming hopelessly addicted to the stuff), all of those OBNOXIOUS, HAND DRAWN DIAGRAMS, and ALL of that READING is an 112 page thesis entitled "The Life and Times of Beowulf: Monsters and Heroes in the Named Lands of the North".  

Writing my thesis was, without doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done, and while I am not altogether satisfied with how it turned out, it is done. (And, as one of my advisors said, there are only two kinds of thesis/dissertation; the kind that is finished, and the kind that isn't. Mine definitely falls into the former category...barely...)

Spring weekend henna. Proof that I did other things besides thesis writing... (lies. All lies)

And then somehow, it was all over! (Sort of.) But then I had to defend my thesis........ and basically everything that could go wrong did. But I survived... mostly... AND my powerpoint was GORGEOUS. Also I have awesome friends. Way more of them came to my defence than I expected!

Celebration!! Champagne and my wolf, Therion, who kept me company. But... wait... what is that ominous stack of papers...
That ominous stack of papers is all the edits I had to make... cue more tea and tears, and no sleep. *sigh* (And to think I'm voluntarily going to do this all over again with even more stress, sleeplessness and terror for my dissertation. I must be mad.)

THEN. I turned it in. And drank more champagne. And was part of the thesis parade. And then I went back to my room and stacked up all my books... that was scary.

These are the books I used in my thesis... and the binder is FULL of articles... it was a LOT of reading...
Then there was senior week, I did go to disorientation, yay bowling and laser tag (and boo, lots of really drunk people), and didn't go to Rosecliffe (the senior dance/ball/whatever you want to call it). I also got inducted into Phi Beta Kappa! Then there was graduation. But sadly I have no pictures. (At least not yet. Which is probably a good thing... because this post is LONG.) My grandfather, mom and brother came to graduation, as did my good friend Anna who graduated my freshman year. It was a GORGEOUS day, and the whole thing felt surreal (and very warm... synthetic robes in the sun aren't fun...)

Then, in record time, it was time to be packed and gone! 

Good by Wheaton! I'll always miss you!

So closes Book I of my life (or is it Book II?), and the road goes ever on and on! Who knows where I'll be swept off to next!

If there's any class/event/what-have-you that you want to hear more about in a future post, tell me, and I'll do my best to come up with something!