Monday, June 28, 2010

First Day of Class

Did you know...
...that The Canterbury Tales was not written by a man named Edmund Canterbury?  But rather by a fellow named Geoffrey Chaucer who was, of all things, English?



Today was our first day of class, which is held in the delightfully named Linsly-Chittenden Hall on High Street.  Dr. Patterson started his lecture on Chaucer and I felt for all the world that I was a freshman in class at Rhodes College again.  It was a complete and satisfying return to something I haven't done since 1999, which is sit in a literature class and take part in an intense discussion of a work as substantial as The Canterbury Tales.


After an hour and a half, Dr. Patterson gave us a break.  I instinctively walked down the three flights of stairs and out onto the stoop outside the side door before I realized what I was doing--I was taking a cigarette break!  Never mind that I haven't had a cigarette for over two years.  All those many semesters ago  I had conditioned myself that when the professor says "We'll take a fifteen minute break," that's when you go out and have a smoke.

Here are a few pictures of where we are having class.  That large Victorian building half-obscured in the background is the Linsly-Chittenden building.


Here is a broader view of our quad, which is called Old Campus.  If you think it looks like an older, slightly redder version of Rhodes, then that's exactly what I was thinking.


You may notice there are a lot of high school students in the pictures.  There are hundreds of them here for some sort of summer program, and they are all in the quad of the Old Campus kicking around soccer balls (badly), or slopping in the puddles.  In fact, there are three different groups of people that you see around the quads and on the streets.  There are the aforementioned high school kids, tourists walking around with cameras, and finally real Yale students.  I'm trying hard to look like a Yale student.

In class today, I realized that my knowledge of medieval Europe is somewhat wanting, so I decided to get caught up on the readings that Dr. Patterson assigned us.  I went to the Sterling Memorial LIbrary, which is the largest of Yale's 23 libraries, and did a little bit of work.  When I was done, I snapped this picture.


So there you have it--a little glimpse of what I did today.  And now I must get back to work and finish my reading.  You see, I never did learn all of those kings and queens of England and must be able to distinguish between Edward II (weak and unpopular) and Edward III (regal and charming.)  

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