Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

I'm a first year graduate student at Tufts University in the Drama department.

Friday, November 25, 2005

A Brief Thanksgiving

I'm back in MA. Erik and I wound up leaving Thursday night (of last week) for NJ, and so we left last night after Thanksgiving dinner #2. It is good to be home, and nice to have quiet time and catch up on some work.

I had a pretty busy week. I hung out with Mike, Lauryn, Megan, Amanda, and Riss, and still managed a few quiet nights at home. I saw my dad a lot, and my other grandmother took me sweater shopping. I saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire twice, once on IMAX. I played almost every Super Nintendo game we own. Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, well, they both were, as I ate with my mom's parents, and my dad's family. It was also on the quiet side, which was very nice. Erik and I had some of the Turducken, so we weren't very faithful fishitarians yesterday. I have to say that it was damn good, though. I also had crab about 8 million times. My grandmother made her special crabcakes for dinner Sunday, I had delicious crabmeat cheesecake with onions and mushrooms for lunch Tuesday, and Wednesday and Thursday my uncle had his special crabcakes out. I'm kind of kicking myself for not bringing a few of the left-over cakes back. Speaking of left-overs, we have a ton. I kind of wish we only had healthy food, but its too yummy to resist.

Overall it was a really nice week, and I had some very calming realizations about school. My main plan now is to finish up my MA at Tufts, and then next Fall apply to several PhD programs in Comparative Lit. If I improve my GRE scores I might even be able to get into Brown or Princeton, or maybe Harvard. (Yeah... right.) I realized I don't belong in an English department, because my major interests are contemporary Japanese and nineteenth century Northern European drama. I.e. languages that are not English. But I still want to specialize in drama, I just don't feel like I'm learning very much at Tufts. I also have a concrete plan for my Masters Thesis. I want to focus on nineteenth century northern European drama. I have two ideas. #1 is the same as my Senior undergrad Thesis: the influence of French comedy on Wedekind's Lulu Plays. My thesis was crap and I didn't explore the ideas nearly as fully (or as articulately) as I would like. #2 is a study of the "dance of death" as represented in the dramatic literature of that period. Here is an example: In Strindberg's Miss Julie and Ibsen's A Doll's House, the two female protagonists each perform increasingly feverish, sexual dances that illustrate their psycological move toward death, real or symbolic. (Nora doesn't actually die, but she completely abandons life). The great modernist composer Stravinsky's The Rites of Spring actually featured a ballerina dancing herself to death at the original performance. I believe Dali also has a painting (or several paintings) feauturing a dancer with a death-mask. Why all these images? There has to be a fruitful thesis behind all that.

Over the week Erik and I finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and tonight we're going to begin Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban, so I better go finish up my homework reading before he comes back from the grocery store.


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