Saturday, February 11, 2006

I'm a Miss This Place

My life is about to change in a big way. I'm finishing up my Ph.D. this semester. Next week, on Wednesday, I start taking my comprehensive exams--three days, a four-hour essay exam each day. First day is a creative writing test; second day is a test on modernism; third day is on Raymond Carver. This means I pretty much know something about every major writer or literary work since 1900. I can recite an entire Ezra Pound poem; I know that all of the events in the novel Ulysses took place on June 16, 1904; Wyndham Lewis was associated with Vorticism; two writers associated with the grotesque are Flannery O'Connor and Sherwood Anderson; John Maynard Keynes was a member of Bloomsbury; Raymond Carver published his short stories in an undergraduate magazine called Toyon, and one of them was a parody of Hemingway's The Hills Like White Elephants; step four of the Carver chronotype is that he demolished the post-war myth that the nuclear family is a safe space; he stopped drinking in 1977.

All of this knowledge will hopefully lead me to graduation in May--anyone who comes gets free Leatha's and can meet all my family. Cheer loudly. I'll probably cry. I'll be leaving Hattiesburg some time after that, but who knows where I'll end up. Illinois or Texas or some other place we don't know about yet. I'll have a new job, and this will be another change. One thing for sure is that Rusty and I will finally be together in the promised land, wherever that might be. I'm looking forward to all that stuff. A Valentine's Day where I actually get to hand him his presents. We'll get to sell all our duplicate CDs. We can save money on plane tickets, get a family cell phone plan, combine our Netflix accounts. It'll be crazy. It might take us a year or two to get used to it. I feel a little weird about leaving Hattiesburg, but I'm excited, too.