Sun is streaming through my window, I’ve changed back into my pajamas and have a hot cup of tea and orange slices beside me (the pancakes are already in my tummy). No complaints on this side of the Atlantic. It’s a beautiful morning–one too good to sleep away even after only getting a few hours sleep. Earlier this morning I met Caro and Jennifer in Clifton Village to watch the Olympic torch pass over the Suspension Bridge and it was just–fun. Groups of school children were there waving their ‘Union Jacks’ while BBC Bristol filmed the excitement of this ‘historic’ moment. With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee less than two weeks away, the Village shops had changed their window displays to picnic baskets complete with tea things, streams of more British flags hung in the doorways, and pictures of the Queen (on plates, books, postcards, shirts) were readily available. As Caro would say, “I quite like British culture.”
Yesterday was the ‘dissertation symposium’ where I, along with the other English MAs, presented my dissertation proposal to several of my professors to get an idea of the validity and strength of my topic (the consensus: I have a ‘rich’ topic, but no argument (yet)). And with that, the academic year was officially over. My routine of reading and ‘learning’ won’t really change all that much as this dissertation needs to get done somehow, but it was odd to finally arrive at the last official date on my calendar. The year is winding to a close and though I’m here for another month, I keep wondering how it suddenly passed so quickly. Some months didn’t pass by quickly at all. Strings of days were punctuated only with trips to the library and cups of coffee, but time is sneaky. I’m convinced that the more I’m enjoying myself, that faster it goes. I visited Cambridge last Saturday (gorgeous city–photos to follow), and among the ancient, particularly by American standards, colleges and chapels the new clock Corpus Christi Clock seemed evocatively out of place. On our tour we learned the clock was installed in 2008 with the purpose of emphasizing the relativity of time. And I’m beginning to see the point. How can the same measurement of hours and minutes pass with aching slowness in the grey walls of my former cubicle, and here, melt away without even eyeing the clock? The universal question.
I, for one, need to use the hours of this next week to read four unfamiliar Hardy novels and develop my dissertation topic into an argument. But please, reader, don’t hold your breath in edge-of-your-seat suspense (as I know you all are). It will get done.