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Arthur or the Angevins?

January 18, 2011

I can’t decide which class to take.

Better to have less commuting or less homework? Better to study medieval manuscript and document culture or political and feminist theory applied to medieval texts? Better to learn Old French or Middle English? Better to take from a very renowned professor who looks like she stepped out of the Ascot Races or a very renowned professor who forgot to open her eyes? Oy vey.

I attended the Arthurian literature class this afternoon (Middle English, non-Ascot). The French of England is scheduled for an audition with me on Friday afternoon. So far Arthur has performed well. I dashed into class two minutes late after delivering paperwork for a different class to the office five floors above without an elevator. To tell the truth, there is an elevator, but beneath my mild-mannered graduate student facade, I am actually speedier than an ancient university elevator. Apparently, however, I am not as interesting as evidenced by the way the professor sniffed at me when I gave her my name. Five points from Arthur (and twenty points from me for being late). She did actually remember my name a half hour into class, though. Ten points back to Arthur. Currently I’m taking ten points from the Angevins for having at least a dozen hours of reading before the first class.

So guess what I learned? Brutus of Troy, the great-grandson of Aeneas, is purported to have founded Britain. Brutus, ol’ boy! And where have I been that I didn’t know this? It’s like when I found out after all those years that it’s not the Bishop Brick but the Bishopric. Oh.

Anyway, after offering her a sacrifice of blood and wine and prostrating himself on a deerskin on her altar, the goddess Diana came to Brutus in a vision and prophesied the British Empire—way back in the 11th or 12th century BC. And all this time you thought it was the product of hegemonic colonialism!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Vaughn permalink
    January 19, 2011 5:55 pm

    It’s too bad The Ascot Races didn’t forget to open her eyes. With champagne in hand, that would have made a great picture for her bio page.

    I think you’re being awfully generous to only take 10 points for 12 hrs of reading before day 1. Also, Angevins? Who’da wha’? sounds like a cross between canned little fishes and something Slavic. Couldn’t possibly be British, and consequently, couldn’t be pertinent to your studies.

    Wiki-ed it, and you were right, I was wrong. Even the map wiki of the Angevin empire shows the British Isles are orange (meaning part of the empire). But, I searched that whole page for “Wogan” or “Browne” and she didn’t show up. Then I looked for Erler on the wiki page on King Arthur and couldn’t find her either. So, wiki wasn’t much help in making a decision.

    All that’s left then is to go by the pictures (also heavily weighing in that part about less homework). Ascot Races looks like high society and the real deal, but I’m worried, Sharon, that her hats might be a little distracting. Eyes half closed looks like she has more knowledge than she can handle and is just waiting for an eager student like yourself to free her of some of it. So, I vote for Arthur’s class.

    …but please don’t let me sway you…

  2. January 20, 2011 9:23 am

    Thanks for covering the wiki research for me. I hadn’t got that far. Actually, you know what is even a bigger draw than the hat? Her British accent. I could totally go for a semester of that. But if there’s three times more reading, and the reading isn’t guaranteed to play out with a British accent in my head, it may not be worth it. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Jenni permalink
      January 28, 2011 5:18 pm

      Go for the hat (and booze) lady! Hats aren’t distracting, they’re inspiring! I look at droopy eyes and start dozing off…i’d miss the entire semester.

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