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Seriously? It's been over two years since I've posted here? I'm pathetic. Or, as my Moroccan student would say, "I'm suck." I tried to explain to him that, in order to be grammatically correct, he should say, "I suck." But then I realized that I really shouldn't be encouraging him to use inappropriate language (or to be self-deprecating, for that matter...).

In the past two years, I finished my graduate studies (for now, at least; I'm still lusting after the doctoral degree, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now since I applied to eight programs and wasn't accepted at any of them), moved back to Pennsylvania (yuck...this is a sad list so far), got engaged (at least *those* were happy tears), got my first teaching job (good opportunity, but some of the worst stress I've ever experienced), and got married (great to have friends and family here, but the day seriously whizzed by).

Now? It's winter, which I am not so happy about. I'm a warm-weather kind of girl. The coldest I ever want it to get outside is sixty degrees, and the coldest I ever want it to get in my apartment is about seventy. But I live in the Northeast, so I've gotta brave the cold, you know? Ew. If Mom and Kevin lived farther south, I think I'd like to relocate. I think about it every now and then, and the idea definitely holds appeal to me. Maybe I should start to plant some seeds in conversation with them and see if I can convince them to migrate with me. Palm trees, sun, and heat sound wonderful.

It's been so long since I've done this; I feel awkward. It's hard to find a topic, and it's hard to stay on topic. I feel like a clumsy writer. I need to get myself back in practice; writing was good therapy for me. I'm going to stop here for today because I want to do some dishes before Nick gets home...and maybe even start sorting through the mounds of clothes taking over the spare bedroom. I yanked lots of stuff out of the closet because I was thinking about going to the Amanda Palmer music video filming tonight for "Map of Tasmania," and I actually did find/revamp a pretty cute dress, but then I decided not to go (Nick's wrestling team has their first tournament tomorrow, and I didn't want him to miss their last practice tonight). However, the clothes haven't made their way back into the closet on their own yet (wouldn't it be loverly, though?), so I guess I've gotta give them a bit of assistance. While I'm at it, I want to go through all of my clothes and donate some of them, because Carly gave me a ton of *her* old clothes and I can't keep all of those and all of *my* old clothes; there isn't room. Wish me luck; I'm such a pack rat and struggle terribly to part with things. Here goes....
I'm feeling:
listless listless
I'm listening to:
"Move" ~ CSS
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I'm taking a break from listening to a lecture to update. I haven't written in a while, and even though I'm enjoying Quentin Skinner's lecture on Milton's ideas regarding freedom, I'm having a hard time with my attention span (it's about an hour long...).
School is going well, though it's only been a month. I can't believe how close I am to graduation! I did a lot of work and was exposed to many new works of literature (and a few old ones in a new light), but the time just flew. It hardly felt like a program when I compare the time to the four years I spent as an undergrad, but I definitely did a lot in such a short period of time!
I'm taking some great classes this semester. Milton, obviously. I'm also taking a course in James Joyce. I wish I'd taken this class before I went to Dublin so that I could trace the steps of the characters, you know? Oh, well, I guess I'll have to go back someday. ;) My contemporary British lit class is interesting; I love modern British writing, but we read a novel, some history, and a critical article every week, so it's a bit much sometimes. Wordsworth and Byron...well, I think I'll like the class better once we get to Byron. Wordsworth is just NOT my cup of tea. He talks about how amazing it would be if we all lived a simple, rustic lifestyle...but did he live that life himself? Did he choose to be like the beggars he wrote about? No.
Aaaanyway. I haven't got much other news, honestly. Except that Neil Gaiman's got a new book out (The Graveyard Book), and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy -- and have time to read it!
Back to Milton...
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I've only been in class for three nights, and already I've got more homework than I know what to do with. But it's incredible to be back; I don't know why I love school as much as I do, but I do.

That's really all I've got to say at the moment. I took a break from reading Virginia Woolf to have some French fries (do you need to capitalize the second "f"?), and I ate too much, so I think I'll change into sweatpants before continuing ("What was I thinking?! Jeans have no give!"). And then I'll read for a few more hours before bed. Ahh, the life of a grad student.

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Worst attention span EVER tonight. I read a paragraph and a half of Freud, then start looking around for something else to do. Not good. Not good at all.

I suppose it could have something to do with the fact that Nick's in San Diego for the annual studio trip, and I'm rather jealous of him (I went on the last two and remember how awesome they are...plus, he's there). Since that's where I want to be right now, lying in bed in his sweatshirt with my iTunes on shuffle, working my way through my last ten pages of The Interpretation of Dreams isn't going so well.

Ah, well, off to try again. Perseverance? Will it pay off???

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Have you ever been unaware of how much you'd missed something until you had it again? I took my first dance class in about three years tonight, and I feel so fantastic, so blissfully contented, that I'm on the verge of breaking into tears. Dance is what makes me whole, and I was an idiot to wait this long to get back into a studio. Granted, I love(d) what I did at Studio West, but it wasn't the same as doing what I truly love. And the lyrical class I took tonight is making my spirits soar. I've been thanking God for it all night, because it was exactly what I needed. I only hope that I can continue to make time for it once my homework kicks in...
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One semester down, two to go. Then I'm Kelly Sessions, M.A. Anyway. I got a 4.0! For my first semester, at least. Let's hope I can keep it up once I'm taking an extra class, which I will be for the next two semesters in order to graduate early.

I spent 2 1/2 weeks with Nick over the Christmas break, which was nice. I hate not getting to see him all week, so it was nice to be able to spend a good amount of time with him.

And I'm now back on Long Island, working and counting down the days until I start school again (okay, not literally). Life is boring, actually. It's funny, as I told my mom yesterday: most people would be thrilled to work for 6 1/2 hours, then have an entire evening to themselves to do whatever they want. But I'm tired of it. I have no friends in Nassau County and don't have the money to go shopping or go to a movie. At least I've got my Blockbuster Online membership (unlimited rentals through the mail) and the library for lots of books! Plus, I'm learning to knit, so I've been working on my first scarf. I also dance around the house and have even cleaned and unpacked a bit! And put some pictures up on the walls! But now I'm ready to move on and go back to my classes (and yes, I know that I'll probably be singing a different tune after two weeks of hardcore homework).

Sorry that this is so choppy; I'm listening to music and thinking of other things. I'll end this here for now and try to write more when I've got a greater attention span (will that day ever come??).
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I'm done!!! I'm finally finished with my first semester of graduate study. (I e-mailed my last paper to my professor a little while ago.)

It feels AMAZING to be reading for pleasure without feeling guilty about it. And I get to see my family for Christmas, and enjoy the entire month of January without any homework. Of course, I'm taking 12 credits next semester and will probably want to die, but at least I get a break first!

That's all I've got to say right now, really. Now I'm going to finally read The Last Unicorn!!!

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I miss Nick. It's only been a little over a week since I've seen him, but it feels like it's been so much longer. I had my cryosurgery on Thursday (what fun!) and spent all weekend at home while he was at home in the Poconos working. (Mom and Ed came to visit yesterday, which was fabulous, since I'd started to go crazy with lack of interaction during my recovery.) I'll see him on Friday night, hopefully, so I'm looking forward to that, of course.

In other news...school is great. It's keeping me busy, but everything is interesting and challenging. I actually have to put effort into my assignments, and I'm enjoying that. Plus, I'm looking into Ph.D. programs and am excited about that as well.

I'll hopefully be attending a book reading by the National Book Awards finalists tomorrow night in the city with Josh, as long as they've still got tickets. I haven't been to a book reading since May, when I met Daniel Handler (oh joyous day), so I'm looking forward to it.

My apartment has a central heating system, and they keep it WARM in here! That's fantastic because I'm usually cold, but I can sit around in November in a tank top, usually, and feel comfortable. And I don't have to pay for fuel. :D

I'm still lonely here, of course, but I'm working on making friends from class, and I've got a few friends still in Suffolk County (who aren't exactly local, but nearby enough that I can see them on occasion), so it's working out okay for now. It's hard, but I know that I'm incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity (and the inheritance to pay for it!), so I'm trying not to be self-pitying. It doesn't always work, but I'm trying!

And on that note...I've gotta finish analyzing a critical piece about Herman Melville's Typee, work on a bibliography for my Chaucer class, and type up a proposal for my 12-page Life Writing paper. Oh, the joys of being a graduate student.
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Okay. So. I'm delaying my venture into the outdoors because it's been raining all day and the puddles are up to my ankles in some places and my feet have only just dried from being outside this afternoon. I've gotta go grocery shopping in a little while, but I'll type this up first.

Life's good lately, just busy. I'm managing to still love school, even as they pile the work on us, and will actually be increasing my course load for the next couple of semesters. I figured out that, if I take an extra class next semester and an extra class in the fall, I can graduate a semester early. Whoo-hoo! Sure, I'll probably want to kill myself for the better part of the next year, but I'm hoping that it'll be worth it. My advisor gave me the go-ahead today, so it's good to have some support in it.

Nick's coming out to visit tonight. (!!!) Needless to say, I'm very excited about that. I love having him here. It's partially because I'm very much in love with him and always look forward to seeing him, but it's also because it's nice to have company here. I'm still working on the whole "friends-in-Nassau-County thing," so he's the only person that ever visits me, and I really appreciate it. It makes this empty apartment more bearable for a while.

Hm...what else have I been up to? Not much, just keeping up with homework. I've gotta finish a "short paper" (6 pages) for Wednesday, along with finally making my way through the final passus of Piers Plowman. Next semester is going to be hell. Wish me luck!
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So. Life is busy lately, which is good. I was hoping that I wouldn't have sooo much down time that I felt increasingly lonely, and thank God it hasn't really been that way. Sure, I miss everyone. Immensely. But I don't dwell on it as much as I thought I might because there's always something to get done.

I've managed to unpack a ton of my clothes, dresses, coats, socks, etc. and placed everything in/on its respective closet, drawer, or shelf. My books are about halfway done (I still need to buy another bookshelf or two! lol). The cable is connected, I'm paying my bills in a pseudo-timely fashion, I've taken the trash out (and need to take some boxes down today from kitchen stuff that I've purchased), and I've done at least 5 hours of homework since Wednesday. I also interviewed and found a job at a local Arthur Murray dance studio, and I'm extremely excited about that. He's starting me out as a Specialist, which I don't really mind since I think it'll be beneficial to start at the bottom and learn the Arthur Murray way of doing things as I go along. Sure, back-end dancing is much more "fun," but I know how much it benefited me at Richard and Lyn's studio to learn as I went along and observed all the company policies and such, and I'm sure it'll be the same way here. It's awesome that he's willing to work around my class schedule, and I got to meet a few of the people from that club while I was there the other day, the office manager and one of the instructors, and they were both very friendly, so I'm hoping for the best as far as this is concerned.

I was talking to Nick the other night, and he said, "I don't know if *you're* more excited to be working at a dance studio again or if *I'm* more excited about you working at a dance studio again." I think he just loves the idea of us dancing together...and while I train at Arthur Murray, it'll help me to improve my level of dancing and gain some more professional experience while he continues to do the same at Studio West.

In other news...ahm...I hope that my other textbook comes in at the university bookstore soon, 'cause I've got a ton of reading to do in that one as well (at least it's not in Middle English!!!). I'm also supposed to go shopping with Mike later today at the Smithhaven Mall, which is quite a trek for me, but it'll be worth it to see him and get to hang out with a friend for a little while this weekend.

Hm...I haven't got a whole lot else to say right now, just that I miss everyone but have also found myself insanely busier than I'd expected and anticipated. I'm so thankful to God that things are going well so far!
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