This was a beautiful weekend and I kept every window open for about 10 hours. Most of the day was spent out on the front porch listening to birds singing while studying and reading. My indoor cats sat on the various window sills, pseudo-hunting. Poor kitties... they want to pounce on those robins and the damn screens are in the way!

The breeze moved the curtain onto the other side of the half-table, creating a silhouette.

When a brown recluse spider came down from its web and landed on my laptop, I decided to head indoors, but not before taking this picture of my garden table:

A bird has a nest inside this little birdhouse. I thought it would never happen, since it is not high off of the ground. I enjoy studying outside, but soon it will be too humid.

The semester is coming to an end and I am determined to be well prepared this time. I will have papers and projects completed this coming week so that I can devote the last remaining weeks studying for exams. Therefore, my kitchen table looks like this:

I am working on a paper (rather, the idea of a paper) for my 'Major Works of Drama' class and don't want to choose a typical topic. Therefore, I am researching 19th century women who wrote 'closet' dramas. Of course, I will discuss the patriarchal constraints under which they lived and wrote. The following books are excellent research materials:

During my evening bath, I always read in order to wind down and get into relaxation-mode. My current bathtub book is "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf. A few years ago, I had to read it for a class. Now, I am revisiting the novel on my own terms! I am enjoying it much more the second time around.

Lately, I have been thinking that I don't do enough of anything beside studying and writing. My husband is stuck in another state working (indefinitely, it seems) and I am alone with the cats. To keep from getting (more) depressed, I have decided to do something I used to enjoy... cross-stitching.  I began a project when I was in New England, but I put it away and haven't worked on it in 8 months. It is a scene of Old Sturbridge Village .

This is what I've done thus far.

... and this is what it will look like when it is finished.

The house I stitched can be found in the center of this photo. Do you recognize it? My treetops aren't quite finished yet! I usually stitch on linen, but this project is on 18-  count Aida cloth. I think stitching on linen makes a smoother appearance.

It is getting late, so I bid you 'Goodnight!'

As mentioned in my "About Me" page, I am a college student, majoring in English with a Writing minor. Today, I registered for the Spring 2010 semester. I am nearing the end of a long journey. The Spring semester will be the last full time semester I will need to graduate. I will need to take one more Spanish class in the summer and then I will be done!! It's taken a long time, with many major life changes along the way. I began the degree in August 2004.

I have learned so many things while taking the courses required for the degree. Since a Baccalaureate degree is interdisciplinary, I have taken courses that I otherwise would not have chosen to take. One of the most unusual things that I learned in my Sociology class is that when you are at a restaurant, do not complain about your food and ask for it to be taken back to the kitchen to be fixed. There is a high probability that the food will be tampered with (read: spit on...) or worse!

When I heard that, I doubted whether it was true. But, studies (what studies... where can I read them) have been done to show that restaurant workers are often very unhappy in their job and will resent customer complaints. In their frustration, the food may be spit on if you send it back to the kitchen. I am still not convinced of this, as it seems to be a stereotype.... and I don't like to categorize groups of people based on an assumption. But, who knows? In any case, my husband and I make fresh meals and never go out to eat. OK... not entirely true... there is a Thai restaurant in our hometown that we go to once in a while. Their Fresh Spring Rolls (not fried) are delicious and filling.

Taking English literature and Writing classes has opened up a world of discovery for me. I have read Chaucer in Middle English and by the end of that semester, I was able to get through the  Canterbury Tales without too much difficulty. I became familiar with the vocabulary and actually enjoy the vocabulary quizzes. It was a fun challenge!

Through the years, I have discovered that I love nineteenth-century British literature. Jane Austen's fiction and Virginia Woolf's non-fiction essays are favorites. George Eliot's  Middlemarch was also one of my favorite stories, but I haven't read any of her other works. The plight of women prior to 1920 was brought to my attention based on the themes of the stories and essays that I have read. In particular, the Married Woman's Property Act of 1870 and how it affected women. I also became familiar with the Victorian servant class (and the classes within the servant class.)

I am merely skimming the surface in this blog post. My awareness and life perspective has changed immensely since beginning my English degree plan. In the writing classes that I have taken, I read the essays of E.B. White,  William Zinsser and Virginia Woolf. I admire their writing styles and hope to become as concise a writer as they were.