Brief post from the wasteland of Real Life

You’ve probably noticed, but this blog has slipped off the radar a bit. Without going into dreadful personal detail, last year hit me hard, academically and personally, and I’m only just getting myself back on my feet again. If for some reason you’re interested in my personal antics, I’m still at highlyeccentric.

The pertinent stats: I came out of it with Hons. First Class – good enough that I can be reasonably confident of an Australian Postgraduate Award when I decide to go back, but not good enough that I can be cocky about overseas scholarships. My thesis could’ve been better but it could’ve been much worse, and I’m very pleased with my final essay on Yvain.

I’m sojourning in the Real World for the time being. I have an alarmingly secure job, with all the nice salary and perks and things Arts graduates aren’t supposed to get, particularly not during an Economic Crisis. I’m also quite enjoying it, but my brain’s mouldering.

Which brings me to the selfish point of this post. In taking a few years off, I declared my intention to read up on the ‘canon’ of English Literature, such as it is. Although I’m very well read in certain areas (teenage fantasy, for example), there are huge chunks missing, and as it looks like I’m definitely a lit person rather than a historian, I’m told I really can’t get by in life without Reading Literature.

Some time last year (around the middle of the year, I believe), someone in the blogosphere – an English department Academic, American, and I think female – was talking about how students could prepare for some sort of English Department PHD entrance exams. (I don’t understand the American university system very well, or this may have made more sense to me.) These exams came with reading lists for the ‘canon of English literature’, and said blogger linked to examples of practice exams from at least one university website. She recommended that prospective students read the reading list and prepare themselves by reading through the old questions and putting together bullet-pointy sort of answers (so, standard exam prep, really). It’s also possible that she was recommending students read up on these before interviews?

At any rate, I’ve lost the link. I’ve no intention of studying in the States, but I recalled that post and thought these reading lists & exams might give me a bit of structure to the way I spend my time off in the real world. Does anyone a) remember the blogger and the post? or b) not remember but know what I’m talking about anyway?