Friday, 21 January 2011

7 Quick Takes (72)

1. Lots of photography. We've had snow, rain, and sun over the last two weeks, so I've had varied photographic opportunities. I will upload some of them.
2. I've been enjoying my classes. Reported Speech is a lot of fun, in the sort of way that fuses theory and grammatical technicality together in highly localized instances.
In my Research Methods class we visited the Rare Books Collection of the library, where we got to browse through old folios of Shakespeare; an old Milton; part of the best Alice in Wonderland collection in the world; the letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (but they didn't take out Christina's for us to see, alas); the archives (fonds) of Douglas Coupland; old versions of Burns. We also got to see inside the Vault.
And who could complain about a Shakespeare and Marlowe course?

3. Recently I have expanded my musical listening habits to include Tchaikovsky and Bach. I have Melissa to thank for Bach: I have Anna to thank for Tchaikovsky.

4. On Tuesday evening I went to an Ecumenical Service at St. Mark's Chapel. It's out of my diocese, so I would not have known about it were it not for Melissa, who invited me. It was ecumenical and so not especially Catholic, which I had expected and sort of hoped for. The chapel space was not what I had expected of a Catholic church; it was not especially ornamented, for instance. There were crucifixes instead of crosses, but some Protestant churches use crucifixes anyway.

5. On Wednesday evening I went to a Centring Prayer service at St. Faith's. It reminded me a lot of Buddhist meditation. (It's interesting to note that that's what I compare it to; I've had more experience with Buddhist meditation in my Religious Studies classes in undergrad than I have had with Christian meditative prayer.) I am a clear beginner, so it's not unexpected that I spent most of the time in the thrall of monkey-mind (a Buddhist term, but if you have any experience with any meditative exercise, I think you can figure out what it means).
What is perhaps more surprising is how long it took me to come out again. I wasn't exactly sleepy, but I was quiet, slow to respond, detached.
There will be other services like this one (2-3 times a month), and I shall likely attend them.

6. Last Saturday I went on a trip across Vancouver looking for materials with which to make a top-secret craft gift. First I went to the Public Library (not really for the gift, though I did take a look for books there that might help me), then to West Broadway, then to Richmond' Aberdeen Centre. This last I poked around a little bit; I was rather conspicuous as the only white guy under 45 in a fairly populated mall.

7. I am concerned about my career prospects. Somehow the job prospects are even worse than we thought they were. ("We" being the English grads. Most of us will not become professors, it seems.) While I haven't given up entirely on the goal of being a professor, I am both aware that I might not get that job after all and that I might not want it even if I got it. So I am on the look-out for new job prospects. I am giving serious thought to a Master's of Library Science (in which having another Master's is a very very good thing); I am also wondering whether there could be work in copy-editing/proof-reading. Finally, I spoke today with my priest's husband, who told me about church-related avenues I might look into.
Somewhat related to this, I am going to treat writing and researching as a full time job this summer. I haven't quite worked out the details, but I'm excited and nervous about this. It will be the first time since high school that I took a summer "off", but I will be very busy (I hope) producing a substantial amount of prose and/or poetry. I want to see if writing is something I can really do after all.

That's all. (I did 7 Quick Takes! Thanks to Leah and Cait for your concerns.)
Jennifer Fulwiler hosts this blog carnival. Please visit her for more.

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