I aim to travel over to Smith (which is a few hours outside Boston, Massachusetts) towards the end of September and hope to stay for around one month. I really enjoy travelling in America and although I've been to Boston once before, I'm looking forward to seeing it all again. Being Irish, I've always felt a connection with Boston for some reason.. I think it must be to do with the Kennedys;) But I honestly cannot believe how lucky I am and am so grateful to my funding body!
Getting this Travel Grant has really spurred me on in terms of study. I had a very successful meeting with my supervisor last Friday and I think we are at last on the same page. I am honestly loving my PhD so much at the moment. When I cast my mind back to last year and how utterly depressed I was in my secretarial job.. it feels like I am a completely different person now (a different Self - or am I reading too much SP??). I know that the way the economy is right now means that no job is guaranteed and I may well have to go back to admin once I finsh up; but I am just so happy to get these opportunities to find out more about my favourite poet of all time :)
Again, I think it's important to note here (from a graduate student-lifestyle perspective) how necessary it is to spend time with friends. I had been working flat out getting ready for my Transfer of Status viva and then a bunch of friends and I decided to go to a music festival in Kilkenny and it really was a great idea! Too much alcohol was consumed, songs were sung and fun was had but if you can't balance hard work with serious fun, then what is life for?! Here are some photos from my weekend as I realised I haven't posted any pictures of myself or my friends so far on this blog!
A view of Kilkenny Castle, from the main street of the city.
Two of my best friends, Gavin and Catriona catch up on Royal Wedding gossip on the Saturday of the festival!
Gavin and myself pose for a quick photo:)
We all had a brilliant weekend and saw a lot of great music acts. Some were relatively unknown and then others like Beth Orton and the Drive-By Truckers did not disappoint! All in all, it was a great weekend and really left me happy and refreshed, ready to return to the sometime loneliness of study:)
This weekend however, I started reading A Lover of Unreason: The Biography of Assia Weevil which really upset me. Being a Sylvia Plath devotee through and through, it was very difficult to wade through accounts of Ted Hughes and his bad treatment of Sylvia. So much so, it made me care very little for Assia, less so for Hughes and angry for Sylvia. Such thoughts and feelings have no place in an academic realm so I do try to suppress them. "A Lover of Unreason" is tough reading and quite upsetting, to be frank. I thought about doing a book review of it because I'm sure there are people interested in Assia that have not read her biography. If there is interest, I will do a review but if not, I feel like casting this sad tale and marginally manipulative book aside.