Andare, Partire, Tornare


I demand Chocolate martinis

Well, I just got back a few hours ago from State College, where yesterday I had to take my slide comprehensive (second time around - I failed the first one by two slides). The trip up sucked, because 270 was totally jammed with traffic, and it added a few hours onto my trip. But I got up safe and sound, and ended up staying with two very good friends of mine. I slept ok, and got up at eight the next day to head on over to the department to sit for the test. First slide out of the gate - Masaccio's Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, a slide I know very very well! I ID's it...and had to stuggle to find something to say about it. It was that way for most of the rest of the test. I was identifying slides fairly easily, but when it came to actually making a coherent statement about them, I would end up writing sentences that didn't seem to make any sense. I know that I did write some correct information down, but if that's enough to pass...well, I'll almost be surprised if it is. By the way, one of the professors, who is a total pain in the ass, picked a Velasquez that NOBODY frickin' knew. It was one that you'd have seen only if you had taken her Spanish Baroque class, which, guess what...not many people do because she's a terrible teacher. It was Vulcan's Forge, and I think I called it something absolutely stupid like "St. George appearing to an Armorers Guild" because there were men making armor in it. She also put up some obscure french chateau that she said was fair game because "it's been in a lot of movies. LIke the Leonardo Di Caprio one, Man in the Iron Mask." ARRRRRRRGH!

On the other hand, I do feel a trifle smug because I ID'd a Rembrandt that I didn't know solely because one of the figures in it looked like a figure from The Night Watch. Another bit of a shocker, though, was this: in a move that I suspected might happen, Dr. Z (american architecture, and a very excellent teacher) put up a slide for the WTC. It kind of threw everybody for a loop, because it was an intrusion of grief on our little academically focused minds. It was a gorgeous slide, too...the towers at sunset, all gleamy and golden and looking like they would be there forever. I understand that he feels it was a tribute, but it really didn't belong there.

So to recover, we all went down after the test to La Bamba, and had Burrito's As Big As Our Heads. Clever advertising slogan, no? And that evening, we went to the Big Easy and I tried, but did not drink a chocolate martini. (I didn't drink it because, no matter how delicious, I couldn't justify a six dollar and fifty cent drink. Even if it did have chocolate covered coffee beans in it.) Plus, I managed to have a seventy-five dollar fine taken off my library card by the simple expedient of showing them the book, and letting them know I didn't steal it. And I got filled on the office gossip, too. So, despite possibly ruining my academic career, I had a good time.

I am exaggerating, a trifle. Technically speaking, if I don't pass this time, I'm kicked out, but that doesn't actually happen. I'd just petition the dept (that is, write a letter) and take them again. But I don't know if I can frickin' go through with this again. It's really hard on the nerves. One of my friends failed her doctoral exams recently, and is about to retake them. She's in a bad space right now, and is thinking of just giving up if she doesn't pass them this time around. I know how she feels. It's so easy just to surrender it all, especially since I have a job, but I don't want to be smug, or let all the work I've done to get this far go by the wayside.

I'm just wiped. I may put up a list of the slides on the exam, just for shits, but I can't bring myself to do it right now.

5:47 p.m. - 2001-10-14


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