Monday, 14 September 2009

Day 3/99: Needles, picnics and ancient Egypt

Nothing rabidly exciting today - started off by meeting Claire on the way to a talk on The Arts and Humanities at Princeton, which was more hilarious than I expected (like the Creative Writing professor making a joke about urine samples), got my meningitis jab (a steal at $102), went to the picnic that they held since the dining halls were freshmen-only tonight (got a bread roll, three chicken breasts, potato salad, two cookies and a whole bunch of grapes - though I refused the iced tea on principle).

I also decided to try and call on my next-door neighbour (we're adjoined by the bathroom corridor), and discovered why I haven't met him yet...

..nobody lives there. I now effectively have access to two rooms and my own bathroom, so win.

One of the main academic things I'm doing at the moment is selecting my course choices - I had the Student Advisory Fair tonight, where other people tell me about the choices they took, and I have a meeting with my Dean about it all tomorrow morning. I've pretty much decided on three of them - a Junior Seminar on views of history and geography in the first millenium BC (for which I'll write a 30-page paper), a seminar on Greek democracy and a 9am beginner's Latin course with a professor I had described to me tonight as "one of the best Latinists in the world". I could leave it there - Oxford only ask me to take three courses - but the normal Princeton load is four or five, and I did enough Latin over the summer that LAT101 should be fairly easy-going.

One of my two main choices for a fourth course is The Ancient Egyptian Body - basically an art history course - with a new, youngish professor, which is fairly undersubscribed, so I'll get lots of class time. The difficulties are that I don't know very much at all about Egypt, nor art history, so I can't tell whether I'll be qualified. Another one is Classical Roots of Western Literature: it's taught in the Comparative Literature department by something of a genius who apparently speaks nine languages, and consequently is a lot of work - 200 pages a week on top of everything else (compared to 60-90 for the Egypt course), and student reviews of it online talk of having to read Dante's Inferno in a weekend. That's 432 pages in the Penguin Classics edition.

There are a range of other courses I could take - introduction to art history, or a course on how the Queen of Sheba's been portrayed from Biblical times to today - but they don't grasp me as much as those two do. Hopefully it'll become clearer, as I get more advice from people, which one is best for me.


  1. You should really take over that second room for yourself, if possible - it would be so awesome. You know we're all still hoping to be able to get the key to your room in 59 while you're away (it could be a library!).

  2. I'm planning to switch the two rooms' bins when mine gets full.

  3. Aww, so pretty. I'm glad you arrived safely and are doing well, it sounds like you're having fun. I'm jealous that you have Target and Best Buy, they're awesome! Yeah, you should totally take over the next room if you can. Hopefully no one'll move in there for a while. :)

  4. Has anyone moved into the room next to you yet? I obviously have a vested interest!

  5. They have - someone else called Robert. Also, apparently a "Robert Day" used to run the Undergraduate Student Government's all very confusing.

  6. I hate to point it out (actually, I'm thrilled to do so, but that's not really a saying) but that jab would have been free on our lovely NHS.