Today is a Good Day.

I'm in a great mood today!

[Interesting cause yesterday I was really grumpy]

But anyway, here's why.

First of all, yesterday I did a really good job on my Spanish test. It's "Civilization and Culture of Spain," so I'm not just learning grammar anymore. I have to use it to learn all about Spain since before the U.S. even existed. Considering that I'm not even very good at American history (and that's in English), this is not my easiest class. It's actually my shortest class (50 minutes compared to 75 for every other one) and it takes the lonnnngest. It takes me forever to get through a chapter if I actually make the effort to understand it, but I forced myself to do a good job for this test, and I'm pretty sure I aced it! I wont get my grade for a few more days, but I only skipped one 2-point question, and I felt really good about all the others. Yay. :) Now I just need to buckle down for the next section...

Second, as of last night I gave up on winning anything for the Victorian art essay contest that I entered, because I was told that we would be informed about that sometime before the award ceremony, which is tomorrow. Since I hadn't gotten any email as of last night, and new the ceremony was soon, I was a little bummed to know that out of only 23 entries, I wasn't even in the top ten! :( I finally stopped hoping that there would be any good news, and when I checked my email this morning, here's what I found:

You finished in the top ten of the MOA’s Victorian art essay contest. We will be awarding prizes for the top entries on Thursday at 7 p.m. In the Museum of Art Auditorium on the museum’s lower level. We would love to have you there to accept your prize – a certificate that you can redeem for an unframed 21 inch Giclee print from the Museum Store. Thank you so much for your participation in this contest. More than anything, we hope you had a meaningful experience with the Royal Holloway exhibition and the painting you wrote about in particular.

YAY! I've never "placed" in any sort of writing competition before, so I'm happy, and super excited for my free print! 21 inches is pretty dang good, and an $89 value to boot! Definitely couldn't get a print out of pocket for that much, that's for sure. Tomorrow I get to find out where I placed, and I'm going to be very impatient until then. [I'm pretty sure it wont be the iPod-winning first place, but that's ok]

THEN, today after class I got to talk to my mom who had great news- She got a job! If you've kept up with my past posts you know that my parents have both been out of work for a while, so this is very exciting! She will be team teaching a 3rd or 4th grade class of "speakers of English as a second language" or however you say it "politically-correctly" now. I'm happy for her, because she is a fantastic teacher and those kids are super lucky!

Also, I'm feelin' good because I finally figured out a thesis for a paper I have to write for my Northern Renaissance class. ahhh, sigh of relief! I wanted to do something interesting because for my actual thesis (to be written and presented in front of way too many people next semester) we have to expand on a previously written paper and I don't like any of my old ones. It's been frustrating because it seems like every idea I come up with has already been done. Since the first version is due in 2 weeks and I still didn't even have a topic, I was beginning to despair!

But then I came across the painting Death and the Maiden by Hans Baldung Grien and I had it! [Get ready for some Art historian-ness] In the early Renaissance (and kind of always), people were way into images of Christ, Mary, etc. Christ is often shown with all his wounds, from the nail marks in his hands and feet to the gash in his side [and often they are even spouting blood in a lovely, unrealistic arcing stream]. Something else typical of Christ is that his right hand is often shown in a sign of blessing with two fingers held up like this. So what I want to know, is why does Death sport these same symbols in this painting??

Observe. Death is making the blessing symbol with his right hand (same as Christ), there's a gash on his right side (also the same for Christ) where his icky skin decays, and (its hard to see in this pic but I promise its there) he has a hole in his other palm! How weird is that? So, now my job, in about 8-10 pages, is to talk about why the artist did this, because there is no way it was coincidental... And the more I think about it all, the more it seems so obvious! But I will resist going on an art history rampage on my blog, because I know that might not be very interesting to everyone. Let me know if you want to read my paper when its done. ;)

Well, there's a quick glimpse into my life at the moment, hopefully all these good things last and I can actually get my paper done!

Now if only that blasted fly that's been buzzing around here would just GET OUT! yargh!


Kelsey said...

That paper sounds fascinating! Send a copy my way when you are done.

Emily Hope said...

I want to know! By the time you are done with the paper we will be neighbors again and you can tell me all about it!

Elisabeth said...

Congratulations on the essay contest! That's exciting!

Symantha said...

YAY that's so exciting! Congrats! And YES I would like to see that paper...that actually sounds very interesting.

Francesca said...

Yay for all the good news! I would def. like to read your paper when it's done. I'm not good at interpreting art!

Rebecca said...

Me too, Me too! What an assignment-8-10 pages on an interpretation. I also want to see the print you've won hung up in your apartment! I just got a book of greek mythology today so that I can better understand much of the art that was centered around it.

alliecloyd said...

That's an awesome topic. I'm taking a class entitled "Art in the Prado" and we're focusing on el Greco, Velasquez, and Goya. Super interesting stuff. We just sit around and talk about paintings! I love it. I'd love to read your paper when you're done with it :-) or even a rough draft!