I have finally managed to craft and shape my first Erdrich paper into something I’m proud to put my name on (though, at 16 pages, it has managed to stretch to twice its assigned length); it’s typed and ready to go for Wednesday. Now I’ve got exactly a week till the next one’s due. Alas, fall break, I hardly knew ye.

A week after that second paper, I have to give a presentation on a poem I’ve not yet chosen demonstrating a literary critical approach of my choosing – that I’ve also not yet chosen. I really want to do New Historicism – I feel compelled to champion it, since the rest of the class (professor included) seems to find it lazy and somewhat irrelevant – but then I’d have to choose a co-text in addition to the poem and I’m not sure I want the extra hassle. Somehow, October became absurdly assignment-heavy.

November brings a short, informal talk on Indian reservation life and a longer presentation on Victorian spiritualism and a story I have (again) not yet chosen. Hear ye, anyone more familiar with 19th century lit than I: I’m open to suggestions for really good short ghost stories of that era. Bonus points if written by a woman. (Think along the lines of Since I Died, by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.) After all that, I will likely seclude myself to churn out the ~40 pages’ worth of papers that are due the first week of December; with luck I’ll emerge with brain and hands intact.

I’ll settle for getting through till the end of this month, though; a break in assignments, a first annverisay (Eee! I’ve been married for a year! Eeeee!), and, with any luck, some answers in a currently troubling situation that could determine the next few years. Waaait and see, I guess.

So, there it is. I’m tired, but I’m happy. When I come home after 8 or 12 hour days spent teaching and learning, my mind and body are exhausted, but my soul has wings. This twelvemonth has given me a lot of very precious things.

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