After pasting the text of my BSI paper into the handy app at Wordle, I got a picture featuring a word cloud of the most-used words in my paper. It looks a little something like this:
While writing this, I kept entertaining the thought that I was actually composing two separate papers. I have one section about Thomas and Joyce’s reaction to religious and pagan models of the bard, and I have another about their interactions with the Welsh and Irish languages in their stories. When I received the comments on my first full draft from my advisor, she also noticed the break.
It is too late to split the papers in two now, since I’m giving a presentation for the BSI students, mentors, and some other people on Monday. This will be a more informal presentation in that I am not reading my paper/papers, so whether or not I have one or two papers doesn’t matter so much.
Still, it’s funny the way things work out. I’ve written loads of 5-12 page papers, but only a few longer ones, and there is definitely a learning curve. Organization becomes my main battle once the paper passes about sixteen pages, and the one I have for BSI currently clocks in at twenty-seven. (Which means the last few pages are an organizational nightmare.)
Ah well, one can’t expect to grasp every skill at first (or even fourth) try.
Okay, I just don’t feel like detailing the pen-returning adventure. Suffice it to say that there might have been a car chase, a reunion, and the return of inadvertently pilfered property. And ninja moves.
This Sunday marks the end of the first week of BSI. Butler Summer Institute is a nine week program that allows students from all disciplines to conduct an independent study over the summer with a faculty mentor. Butler University provides housing and a stipend; there are also various lunches, informational sessions, and other get-togethers. I think we might get to do practice GREs. Next week is a research ethics module. Ugh. Much more fun will be the volunteering project in the works.
My first week looked a bit like this:
Monday–Move in. All day. BSI dinner in the evening.
Tuesday–Move in during the morning. Research in the afternoon. Discover UT kitchens doe not include microwaves.
Wednesday–Library in the morning. Lunch with the rest of the BSI participants. The library again. Give myself a ballet class. Research for the rest of the day.
Thursday–Research in the morning. Take a ballet class from a DVD with some other Butler dance majors who are on campus. Play the piano. Research for the rest of the day. Walk to a restaurant with my roommate and a friend for dinner. Research.
Friday–Research in the morning. Take a jazz class and give a ballet class with another Butler dance major. Play the piano. Research for the rest of the day.
Saturday–Visit the farmer’s market with my roommate. She has been spoiled by the farmer’s markets abroad but still managed to find some asperagus that wasn’t too expensive. Walk a bit in Broad Ripple. Do research and laundry. Bike to the nearby St. Thomas’ for Mass. Research.
Sunday–Breakfast in UT, then bike to Hubbard and Cravens’ coffee shop to research and finish annotating my last primary source! Write a blog post in stilted sentences.
Stilted, stilted. Time to delve into Anglo-Celtic literary tradition! Exclamation point not sarcastic. Quite sincere in my love of Dylan Thomas, even if James Joyce still requires many, many pretzels for moral support.