Tuesday, August 31, 2010

1st day of school

Well I have had my first day of graduate school...whew. It is going to be a tough next two years. I am only taking 9 hours, but on top of that, I have to work on my reading list and finish teaching myself French (and by finish, I mean pretty much teach myself French, because I am only on the 2nd chapter). So I have a lot to do.

I am taking both Greek and Latin translation classes. The Latin class is covering Roman historians, so we are starting out translating Livy (Ab Urbe Condita-Book XXI), moving to Tacitus, and finishing up with Marcellinus. The great news is that after translating and reading these works in translation, my knowledge of Roman history will be greatly added to. The bad news is that we are speeding our way through this, so we are going to be translating a LOT. For Wednesday, I already have 3 1/2 pages of translation due.

My Greek class is a mix. We are starting out with Aristophanes, The Clouds. I am really excited about translating this play. First of all, it's considered one of the best Greek comedies, and I've never read it. Second of all, it's about Socrates. I just read the Symposium last semester, so I'm excited to see another view of Socrates. Once we finish Clouds, we will start going through some Pindar and some other Hellenistic poetry. We only have 55 lines due for Wednesday, so I think we will be going through a little more slowly.

Finally, I am taking a class referred to as "pro-seminar." Dr. Usher, the head of the Classics department, described this class as basically teaching us how to be graduate students in classics. We will spend a lot of time talking about various classical authors: who we need to know, why we need to know and read them, where they fall in history. We are sending the professor lists of what all we have read (either in Latin or Greek or in translation), then he will make a reading list for this semester. We will also talk about researching and bibliographies.

I am very thankful for this last class. I am not worried about my translation classes. I love translating, and my Greek is up to speed thanks to this last semester class with Dr. Sypniewski. However, because I had an English minor and was also pre-med, I didn't take as many classics classes as I should have in undergraduate. I had just enough to get a classics major. And all but 2 of those classes were translation classes. So I don't know a lot of classics writers.

And then there is the reading list...

On the website, there is a reading list listed. A very long involved reading list. Which I am thus far tried to pay no attention to because no UVM professors told me to start on it. But as of yesterday, I am supposed to start on it. And it is long and involved. Want to see?

Greek Authors
Author and TextTranslation
Homer Iliad 1, 9, 22All
Homer Odyssey any three books
Hesiod Erga 1-250All
Lyric Poets any 4 complete in CampbellBowra's Greek Lyric Poetry
Drama 2 plays each for 3 of the 4 dramatists and those read in class25 plays
Herodotus 1 bookAll
Thucydides 1 bookAll
Plato Apologyor other short dialogue; Republicbook 1Republic, Phaedo, Meno, Gorgias,one other dialogue
Orators: Lysias in Adams or Jebb's bookSelections from the Attic Orators
Aristotle Poetics, Athenaion Politeia
Other suggestions: Theocritus, Plutarch, Lucian, OT-LXX, NT, Xenophon
Latin Authors
Author and TextTranslation
Plautus 4 plays8 plays
Terence 1 play3 plays
Catullus All
Sallust 1 treatise
Lucretius 3 booksAll
Cicero 2 orations, 5 other works, Abbot letters, de Senectute, de Finibus
Caesar Bello Gallico4 books, Bello Civili1 book
Tibullus 1 book
Propertius 1 book
Horace Odes3 books, Epistles1 book
Vergil Aeneid8 books, EcloguesAll
Ovid Metamorphoses1 bookAll
Juvenal 6 Satires
Pliny the Younger Selected Letters
Petronius Cena Trimalchionis
See how some things say "All" or a certain amount of things in the right hand corner? That's what I can read in translation. The other things, the things on the left, I have to read in Latin or Greek. For examply, check out the Aeneid: I need to read the whole thing in translation, and I also need to read 8 books in Latin.

So yeah...I'm going to be busy.

But on the other hand, it is a good busy! I am so excited about all of this. My best semester of school (grade and everything wise) was sophmore year. I took 20 hours a semester of mostly upper level classes, was an officer in Tri Delta, did MCF, wrote for the paper and the literary magazine, started dating Bech, and loved it. I do so much better being busy! So let's hope the same is true of the next two years.

And if this post totally bored you...I am sorry. I know that you probably have no interest in the Classics. But I had to take a break from food pictures!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

recent reads...

For the past month or so, I have been borrowing my mom's kindle. I actually was not a fan of the kindle before. I claimed I would never use one or like one. But I have really enjoyed using my mom's kindle and reading the books on it. Maybe not enough to get one, but enough to change my view on them.

The main reason I borrowed the kindle was to read, "World Without End," by Ken Follet. This is the sequel to "Pillars of the Earth." This book is set in medieval England in the priory of Kingsbridge. There are some parts that are a little too descriptive (and by descriptive, I mean slightly vulgar), but otherwise the book was really good. It is really long (I think like 800 or so pages), and it's one of those books where there are 7 or 8 plots going on at the same time. A lot of the focus in this book is architecture and medieval business. Oh, and the plague!

Seriously, if you like medieval England, I would strongly suggest "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End."

I also read the whole "The Girl..." series by Stied Larsson. They are addicting! You can ask Bech...I read this series in less than a week...I just couldn't put it down. Again, these are also pretty long books. They are translations of Swedish books. Sometimes that is tricky, because the names of people are places are all Swedish. But other than that, the books are amazing.

The story is about Lisbeth Salandar and Mikael Blomvkist. Mikael is a journalist who Salandar, a private researcher, is helping with a story. The first book is about a family mystery, and the second two deal more closely with Salandar's past. These books are exactly going to go down in history as great literature, but they are really addicting and good.

"Little Bee" is a WONDERFUL book! Everyone should read this book! It is about a Nigerian girl who comes to England. It is a backwards story about her relationship with an English family.

The best part of the story is reading Little Bee's part of the story (an English lady is the other narrarator):

"...and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means I survived."

Finally, I read "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." This book is one of those sweet, happy stories that you feel totally satisfied with when you finish.

The Channel Islands are the Islands between England and France, which belong to England. Guernsey is one of these islands. During WWII, these islands were occupied by the Germans for almost the whole world. One night a group of Guernsey people, after secretly eating a pig (which was illegal during the occupation), create a literary society as a cover. So then the group has to really go through with the society. And in turn, they learn to love reading and books and each other.

The whole book is told in letters, which I didn't like at first (it felt a little "Babysitter's Club" to me). But by the end I loved the style. I would strongly suggest this book. You will LOVE it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Vermont food

I've already talked a little about the food here, and how amazing it is...I thought I would share some pictures. I mean, really, what would my blog be without pictures. So here we go:

A typical farmer's market meal. Bech made homemade buns, we used Vermont cheese, and grass fed beef, plus a yummy organic tomato!

I got this beautiful tomato from Half-Pint Farms. I hope to buy some good heirloom tomato seeds so I can grow some of my own next year!

Maybe you think I'm weird for going on about that tomato, but look at it! How beautiful is that? God is pretty incredible, and He has created so many beautiful fruits and vegetables for us to enjoy!

Another "local" salad: Vermont local feta, arugula from Digger's Mirth Farm, cherry tomatoes from (where else?) Half-Pint, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Last night, we created another yummy salad. The shrimp was grilled with a spicy dry rub, added to more arugula, tomatoes, avocado, and a spicy orange homemade vinaigrette.

We're heading into fall, so I can not wait to start making good soups out of the root veggies and squash. I am sure there will be tons of pictures of food to come...! But I will try to put lots of pictures of Vermont scenery on my blog as well.

Friday, August 20, 2010

new post...with pictures!

Well, we have internet at our apartment, sort of...It goes out a lot, which I hope will straighten out. But I'm going to try to get some pictures up online while it's working.

Here's our living room...I have most of those pictures the way I like them. There is a picture that Bech is matting tonight that will go in the corner, a little to the left and above the print of the woman in a chair.

Our bookshelf doesn't quite fit with everything, so we settled on this configuration. You can't get into those bottom four squares of books on the left without moving the couch, but we put books there that we don't use very often.

The curtains are not supposed to look like that...I just haven't gotten the hardware to hang them yet! And I'm not watching "That 70's Show"...I actually hate that show! But I had it on mute as I waited for the 3rd Harry Potter movie to come on afterward.

I just painted my dresser "Mint Whisper," which is a really light blue, and I am in love with it!

And finally, our bedding, which I still absolutely adore. It seriously makes me happy every single morning.

That's all I've got of the apartment so far. We were cooking dinner when I took the pictures, so the kitchen was a mess.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Well...we've been in Burlington for over two weeks and still no internet! The problem is that we need a modem to get on the internet in our apartment. But the modem guy hasn't delivered the modems to the housing office. So we are just waiting on him!

We are able to get on the internet in the UVM library, so that helps. Right now, Bech is at work, so I am at the library checking email and such.

Speaking of that, Bech got a job! Yay! Our plan has always been for Bech to find a part time job, so that he can be working on ceramics the rest of the time. He wants to apply for an MFA program when I am done with my program, so he needs to be working on his portfolio. He is going to be working about 25 hours a week at a cafe down the street from where we live. It's called The Firebird Cafe, and it's really cute. He started yesterday and really enjoyed his first day there.

This Sunday, we got to visit an organic dairy. A couple from church (in fact, the only other young couple) is here in Vermont interning at an organic dairy until November. They invited us over for lunch and then a tour of the land. We saw cows, the bull, calves (which are sooo cute! they run up to you and nuzzle and lick you with their scratchy tongues), pigs (much cuter than you would ever imagine), ducks, and chickens. We are actually going to be able to buy some of the chickens to eat in a few months!

We have definitely been enjoying all of those aspects of Vermont. There are tons of farmers markets here! You can literally go to a different one each week. Our favorite so far is the big one in Burlington. It's every Saturday morning. In the late fall and winter, it will be every other week, and will be inside a building. But for now it's in a large park area right by Church Street. There are so many good things to buy. I bought some fresh goat cheese a few weeks ago. My favorite booth is half pint farms. They have the most amazing heirloom tomatoes! We've also been getting fresh corn, arugula, green and yellow beans, grass fed ground beef, eggplant, cucumber, parsley, and peppers. Seriously, this farmers market is amazing! I can't wait to bring my parents here!

I have a random funny story. The blood bank here is right by the school. I have seen the signs all of last week when we went to the library. This Monday, when we were on our way home, I asked Bech to stop there. It has been over a year since we got back from Malawi, so I wanted to try to give blood. Bech ended up deciding to give too.

They were pretty busy, so right when I got done actually giving the blood, Bech has just then been pulled back to a separate room for all of the weird questions they ask. I felt fine and didn't have any problems while they were drawing the blood. But as soon as I walked over the waiting area and sat down, I knew something was wrong. So I walked the 5 feet to the closest bed thing, and asked if I could lay down.

And then I fainted. In front of everyone there. And of course I had a skirt on.

When I woke up, I was on the floor with people around me. Luckily a man I have deemed "The French Doctor" (because he was wearing a white coat and had, what I think was, a French accent--although he doesn't have to be a doctor, he is probably just some sort of technician, and Bech thinks his accent was not French--but "The French Doctor" sounds a lot more exciting!) caught me before I hit the floor. And my first question was, "Did my skirt fly up?" The answer was, thankfully, no, because "The French Doctor" had caught me on my way down.

So all in all I was fine, although very embarrassed, and Bech unfortunately missed the entire thing!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

update from up north...

so we're here. we've actually been here for a week and 2 days! and i would love to post and show you all life up here. but we don't have internet in our apartment yet :( it is actually really frustrating, because it is not due to us at all. the housing office is supposed to give us a special modem, but they don't have any in right now. so we are without internet.

i do have internet on my new phone, and that is helpful. but if you've ever used your phone to check email and such, you know there's a lot you can't do that way. right now we are at the UVM library checking mail.

we are mostly unpacked, which feels great. really i should say we are all the way unpacked. we worked really hard the first few days here to get everything all together.

our favorite thing so far is definitely the food up here! we have been to two farmer's markets and have been eating amazing things. the tomatos are great up here right now. and we got some grass fed beef for a great price, so we have had hamburgers twice. i am sure there will be plenty of food posts in the next two years! (sorry, mom!)

right now we are in the process of looking for jobs. i am going to try to get a part time job while in school. i have applied to three stores (2 this morning) and hopefully will hear back soon!

well our meter is running out, so i better go! i will post again (with pictures!) when we have internet.