What did I do this summer...? I spent six weeks this summer
in a special graduate Children's Lit program at Hollins
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
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
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
Candy, and also soooo reassuring during those
3AM panic attacks about original scholastic
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.