Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Make a Study Abroad Trip Considerably Less Fun

If you want to make a trip to Ireland less fun than than walking through a field of cacti barefoot, all you have to do is write a paper on any work of James Joyce. And my class has a requirement of three Joyce papers.

Travel Tip: Before you sign on for a study abroad trip, make sure you won't be studying something insanely and unreasonably hard. Like James Joyce.

Let me just say something about James Joyce: Some of the people on this trip are a year or two older than me, have already read Ulysses two or three times, have already taken a Joyce class, and are still having massive issues with these stupid papers. I'll be honest: when the program director warned me that this trip was going to be hard, I was like, psshh, I'm good at writing papers, I'll figure it out, I got this. I had nooooo idea it was going to be this hard.

Thankfully, I've got a crew of English majors here with me to bounce ideas around. The problem with that is that I have no idea whose idea is whose and, frankly, I'm beginning to suspect that this current paper is based off of mostly other people's ideas. Aaaaaaarrggghhhhhhhh. See, now it's a matter of pride, integrity, and self worth.

I got through my first paper, based on Dubliners, okay, thanks to the English Major Think Tank. But this is paper is entirely different and about a hundred times more infuriating, a feat I thought impossible.

Ulysses Tip: Study The Odyssey before you study Ulysses.

Ulysses Tip #2: Avoid studying Ulysses if at all possible.

...okay, okay. You don't have to avoid studying it. In fact, it's really interesting and you ought to take a look at it. It seems like garbled nonsense, but Joyce's notes and manuscripts show that he wrote every single word on purpose and for a specific reason.

What is the reason for each word? The world may never know. But you can definitely take a guess.

Here are a few photos of my notes in the text (and keep in mind that I don't usually like to write in my books):

After all that intense reading, I was starving. And hunger inspired me to make the most beautiful omelet I've ever made...

Unfortunately, I'm still not entirely sure what I'm going to do about this paper. But tonight I'm going to sit down and really try to figure it out. Paper's due Friday morning. Wish me luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment