I think month-by-month is the only real way to try and get things back into order.
- MARCH -
Amanda spent the first two weeks of March sick with a sinus infection, so I was chiefly worried about her as she finally had some time off after the Tulane meet for drill. In my own neck of the woods, I was busy most of the time with studying for Archaic Latin or Comps, although as hindsight would show I spent a touch more time studying for Archaic Latin than I should have with Comps looming a month away. Amanda and I had settled in to living together well by mid-March... I think I was getting used to living with someone again after being alone in my apartment for a year and a half, while she was getting used to living with someone she didn't hate and didn't have to skirmish for space/food/sleep/quiet/alone-time for the first time in a year. But it worked out perfectly. It was never any real issue in the first place, just something new and fun.
There was a warm snap in the middle of the month, with a week of 65F+ temperatures. We took it upon ourselves to spend some time outside, be it drinking coffee outside at Starbucks or heading up into the mountains to shoot. My fellow souls afraid of the real world (which is to say, Classics grad students) revived happy hour on Thursdays after Archaic Latin for the month up through Comps in April, but alas despite dragging Amanda into our angry and angsty world, it peetered out too soon yet again.
As the month wrapped up, spring break rolled around to find me lamenting my inability to go visit Texas and all the great people still there as I had to slug through finishing my CAMWS paper and cramming for Comps. Amanda went home to Vegas, which meant the caffeine-induced binge of Latin verse continued without any end from morning to night... but it 'tweren't enough, as it were.
- APRIL -
The start of April found me pissed off to a very high degree, as I got my first non-A-grade on a test since beginning grad school... and it was in fucking Prose Comp of all things: a fucking B-. B fucking minus. Fucking. In all honesty, I just plain fucked up on it, and I more specifically fucked up on it because I had spent all my study time on CAMWS and Comps and not the elementary stuff for Prose Comp. But that's life... if you have enough time for everything, you're not actually doing everything.
So, the first week in April was my fuck-up of our only Prose Comp. midterm and my not-fuck-up of our second Archaic Latin midterm. The second week of April was CAMWS, which wend its way to Cincinnati this year. Continuing the tradition of someone tagging alone each year, this time around found my Dad driving out from Albany to spend the Thursday through Sunday with me. He came to my paper, but didn't much mull around the convention as much as my Mum did three years back. We went out to plenty of good dinners and talked when I wasn't seeing old friends like Dr. Vail, Dr. A, and the quickly-met new Baylor department faces. Alas, Dr. Froberg didn't make it out this year, but I hope to see him either over the summer or in the fall if I can make it down like I did last October. My paper went well; the best it's ever gone, if I say so. I think for the first time I impressed people not with the fact that I was young and giving a paper (and being rewarded for the effort) but rather than my paper accomplished something and genuinely impressed them at an intellectual, academic level. I had a good half-dozen people come up to me afterwards and talk about my Gothic spirants paper, and they kept coming up to talk about it for the rest of the weekend. Hell, some of their friends they told about it came up. Much ego stroking was had by Bill, much indeed.
But the story of the month was the weekend after CAMWS... Comps. If I had a brain back in the fall, I'd never have sent in an abstract for a CAMWS convention a week before I had to spend three hours proving that I had, in fact, learned everything about everything about Latin. And the fact that I spent the previous week stressing about giving a paper and then relaxing across the country ended up showing through. It was a raining, gray, dreary day when I took them, but by the time I was done and back home I felt decently good about them. We had our last happy hour right afterwards, with Jessika, Henry, Stephany, and me wiped after our tests, and Jonathan, Jason, and Amanda there for moral support. The next few days were decompression, and then that Thursday, I got the dual news: I didn't pass Comps, but the department wanted me around next year for my PhD anyways. I went into the chair's office angry, tired, and honestly confused. He proceeded to tell me that I had fucked up on my poetry (Virgil and Horace, to be specific), but that the work I had done on the rest of Comps along with my years of classwork and TAing had shown them all that I was clearly qualified to start work on my PhD in the fall. Which kept me confused, but at least a smidgen less worried. And just as fucking pissed off, considering the people I had on my grading committee weren't the people I had submitted... Knox was the only one on my list, with Schuy replaced by Jackie due to his being in Germany for the spring, and Noel (the chair) putting himself on the committee in the place of Dr. Gilbert being "too busy."
Fuck it all. So, I'm in line to take my Comps again in August, and start the PhD right afterwards and into the fall. On the plus side, the fact that Colorado made a good offer to keep me around after August meant that I could settle on it for certain, resign my lease through next summer, and get Amanda and me squared away for certain living together until she's commissioned next spring and sent out to "live the dream" for four years. Maybe six.
- MAY -
In a strange turn of events compared to every year since I graduated high school, the month before the end of the semester was my hellishly busy time of the semester. Jackie, who has so soundly fucked me on my Comps, was teaching both of my Latin courses; and with Jessika along with me in Archaic and Henry in Prose Comp., she cut us some slack and turned down the tone for us in papers and finals. I wrote a (surprisingly good) paper for Archaic, and somehow didn't need to write one for Prose Comp.; you can't write one for Prose Comp., but that usually won't stop a professor from finding a way. Finals in both classes were gimmes, and the course grades came out A's in both... Prose Comp. was a requisite for me feeling better about my fucking up the midterm, and Archaic Latin was a pleasant surprise after I had computed my having a B+ in it.
After finals were done with, Amanda and I took to the skies and flew out to Vegas to spend a week with her family. Her sister was emo, it was hot, and we didn't have any time to ourselves, but it was still great to be outside of a schoolish setting with her and just lounge together for days on end. Our fun was short-lived, however... once we were back in Colorado, it was only a couple days before she threw on her khakis and was off for a solid month aboard the USS Nimitz: destination, the Persian Gulf. More specifically: Denver to Chicago to London to Bahrain to the Nimitz off the coast of fucking Iran. And of course, the Navy forgot to pay for the tickets (and of course again, she found out about this at the Denver airport counter when they refused to give her a boarding pass until she coughed up the $1300 for the ticket), which meant it was now Denver to DC to Frankfurt to Bahrain, to the Nimitz off the coast of Dubai. Somehow, she managed to get there, and there she is to the moment I'm writing. With any luck, she'll be back in America sometime around the 19th-20th of June, but if the boat's busy "showing America's power" off the Iranian coast, who knows for sure when a helicopter'll be spared to ferry her back to Bahrain to come home. I'm worried terribly about her... it's something indescribable to watch someone you love go to the most dangerous part of the world. I pray she comes home safe as soon as she can, even though the logical part of me knows she will.
In the meantime, I spent a week or so alone in Boulder, sleeping in our brand-new bed alone and being bored out of my mind. The bed, incidentally, was a fun aside in early May... we had been sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor since January, after we broke the frame of the futon celebrating deciding to move in together. I wonder how we managed to do that... ;-) Anyways, we found a good price for a frame without a mattress 20 minutes away down in Broomfield, but even in its broken down state, there was no way we could get it back in either my car or the car of anyone else we knew. So, it was to U-Haul to rent a bigass truck (a technical term!) for all of a hour to schlepp the monster hither and anon, and then throw it together.
Anyways again! After the week or so in Boulder, I came on back to Albany to visit the parents, and the new four-month-old Bichon, J.J. It's hard being home without Gracie, but J.J.'s a fun puppy, and I like him. It's strange to be around a Bichon that's full of puppy energy... he weighs only seven pounds and he jumps into you hard enough when you're sitting on the ground to knock you over. Not to mention the fact that he chews everything that is or is not nailed down as he teethes, resulting in every door in the house closed all the time to keep him from electrocuting himself on computer cables or peeing on beds. Good times.
- L'ADESSO -
So, that's the past several months in a nutshell. It's been a good first half of 2007, I tell you what. Things haven't been all "good," per se; some of it's been downright crappy. But Amanda's made it all worth it. And I've nothing but hope for the next half of it.
Valete, omnes amici mei! Ego salveo si vos salvetis!