The Goddess of Foof Goes to College

What did I do this summer...? I spent six weeks this summer in a special graduate Children's Lit program at Hollins University!

When asked, I kinda played the whole thing down as "fun" or "gratuitous," but, truth be told, I wanted to work with a specific professor whose criticism I've referred to for, like, a decade… I wanted to polish up some of the critical work I've done on Victorian girls' Künstlerroman novels… I wanted to participate in the Butler Conference, and I wanted to try to write something publishable… all to round out my c.v. for my PhD applications this fall.

Plus, I wanted to do something I'd never done before. I wanted to Go Away to College.

Yeah, I went to Claremont (B.A.) and to Penn (M.A.), but that was different…. I didn't live on (or even anywhere near) campus, I usually worked at the same time, I had marriage/family responsibilities and all sorts of Real Life Things to juggle at the same time. I never got to pack my bags and go to college in the traditional sense… like with dorm rooms and on-campus living and all that. A six-week summer program would be a perfect way to get a taste of all that. So part of my summer experience was pure fantasy… after years of reading about it, I was going to have access to a [Relatively] Traditional College Experience! Just like the Freshman Dorm Gang, and Sweet Valley University, and Caitlin Goes to College and all that, I was setting off into a whole new world, one with hot-plates and roommates and loft-beds and posters and mini-fridges. Scholastic goals and ambitions aside, I had some important decisions to make:  décor.

If you haven't already figured it out, atmosphere is VERY important to the (Cancer/Virgo Rising) Goddess of Foof, and being cloistered for six weeks in a shabby, impersonal, motel-like room without my own special touches would spell certain spiritual despair. So, me being me, I started planning ahead. Early. And at length. I compiled my usual scores of anal-retentive lists, scouring on-line resources for "Dorm Room Must-Haves!" I fretted over Deep Issues: How much should I ship out there? Would there be enough room for all the books I'd need? What if I didn't have enough scotch tape or staples or thumbtacks or paper for my printer? Warnings about needing "extra-long twin bed sheets" threw me into a quandary; I mean, what if I brought all these sheets and they didn't fit right and I had to buy more… ones that didn't go with my other stuff!?

Quite simply, I would not be able to study effectively if I thought my paperclip supply was too skimpy or I had the wrong collection of pillows on my standard issue twin bed.

While I was rather excessive in some areas (I really think I would have been fine with just a couple pencils, but I still felt compelled to bring a bag of carefully-selected glitter-pencils and Pucca pencils and Spice Girls pencils and souvenir pencils from places like the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and the Hemingway House in Key West- I love odd pencils!), I showed incredible planning strategy in others. I am particularly chuffed with the fact that I managed to fit most of my room décor into one manila envelope! Yes! All you need to create the College Dorm Room Atmosphere of your DREAMS is the contents of one simple manila envelope! Or it can be if you horde strange and special postcards like I do.

I schlepped my bags out to Virginny the weekend before school started, and even managed to wheedle a security person into opening the mail room so's I could get to my boxes of books and crap a day early. I arrived in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and by Sunday night, my Quintessential College Girl Room was in impeccable order. I rule! If you don't believe me, check out my summer digs:

The front door to my room. In case
you didn't know what you were in for.

Aw, c'mon in! It won't be THAT bad!

Look in the hallway. As you can see, I
contributed to the General Apartment
Décor as well. And I'll have you know,
my roomies APPRECIATED the Girl

Okay, so, so far, it doesn't look all that
scary, huh…? Ha!

BRILLIANT, innit?! There's my bed (der) on the right, and the wall opposite on the left.
I knew my 18-year-old pull-outs from Star Hits would come in handy again someday!
Ah, 8 different Simon pix… total Eye Candy, and also soooo reassuring during those
3AM panic attacks about original scholastic research….

Other Foofy Tidbits included a mobile I got in Chinatown for about $4, and some pillows, again from Chinatown, that I got for $5 (well, the cases were. I got the pillows from Michael's or Wal-Mart or somesuch, and I don't remember how much they were), and the Boyband Posters I'd been saving for a special occasion, and the stunning bolster study-pillow I scored at Target. And if you look closely at the biggest (and most raggedy) Duran poster, you'll see my MashiMaro-with-Plunger dude hanging up there. My bed is resplendent with a pink chenille spread I got for $25 at the local flea market about a year ago, antique hand-embroidered pillow cases that are at least 60 years old, and, although it doesn't show, an Indian blanket of some kind that I splurged on at Anthropologie once because I dug the colors so much. And note that the 'NSync pillow Kel made for me is prominently displayed as well.


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