Friday, October 7, 2011

Comparative Art Museums

Dear Ashley,

This is totally random (well, not totally) but the Phila Art Museum looks just like the Budapest Fine Art Museum. This is not my picture, I stole borrowed it from google, but here's the Phila Museum.

Slightly more steps, but the basic architecture was strikingly similar. I said to Ben "Look at this! It's just like the one here!"

And he replied: "That's 'cause I've been gaslighting you both. She's really been right here in Philly the whole time."

I don't believe him. Philly's got some pretty parts, but it's not nearly as pretty as Europe. I love your apartment building! It does look like it came straight out of the lower East side. (The somewhat mythic lower east side of things like Rent, anyway. I've been reading stuff lately about how that neighborhood has gone completely and dangerously ghetto, it's nothing like it used to be anymore, which is sad.)

I really appreciate your insight into my college choices. I think Cornell is still my number one, because more research revealed that they push you to be out in five years, and that it's very job centered. And while they want you to be proficient in your primary language going in, there are no class requirements, which both other schools have. At Cornell I feel like they treat you like a grad student, and basically, you have a committee of supervising faculty to guide you, but you get to do whatever you want from the start without having to go through the "you have to take one medieval, one renaissance, one romantic class, etc." That appeals to me, because I've done all that in my undergrad, and none of those periods in English lit are really my thing, which is why I'm turning to the more broad CompLit field.

*sigh.* We'll see. I'm overwhelmed, so I haven't done more research on UMass or Dartmouth yet, but I will. I think I may need to stock up on chocolate first. Halloween is coming though, so I have an excuse to buy it :) I'm so excited that we'll actually have kids come to the door this year! At home we had exactly 1 trick or treater every year, the same girl, that lived down the road.

I've actually got my costume mostly put together. I'm going as Cosette from Les Mis, and I found the most perfect oversized peasant shirt at the thrift store, and I already have a beret! I borrowed a skirt from my mom, and I plan on buying a handmade broom at Rhinebeck this year anyway, because our plastic one literally falls apart when I try to sweep.

Speaking of Rhinebeck, the gray leftover from your hat, and the teal leftover from my vest was perfect for making myself a pair of mitts to match said vest:

In other news, I've picked up a second job, doing clerical stuff at the accordion shop Ben worked in all summer. They needed someone to do inventory, and manage the ebay listings, to get the shop ready for Christmas. It's an easy enough job, but the shop is a disaster. I spent three days this week just trying to organize and alphabetize the books, to figure out what we need to order, and I'm only half done. Oh well. It guarantees me some extra income for awhile, which is good.

Other than that, nothing too exciting. We're going to see my favorite toddler this weekend, and then next weekend is the Sheep and Wool Festival, so there will be pictures from both, I'm sure. Right now, I think I'm going to stop rambling and try to work on finishing some projects and writing query letters.

Oh! Thank you also for reading my Glen scene. I love how you make everything I write seem so much more profound that I thought it was when I was writing it. Maybe it's just hard to see the connections in one's own work, but I was like "hmmm I kinda like how badass Clare is in this scene." and you were like "I love how it highlights the importance of community and family and ties into the overall theme."

This is why we work so well together. Anyway, really done rambling now. Hope you're having lots of fun adventures and aren't too overworked yet.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

One Street at a Time...

You’ve done a thorough job of pros and cons (of course you have, you're you :D) so mostly I’m just going to throw in my opinion.
Ivy leagues always look good and are almost always out of reach. The biggest pro for them is the networking that comes with going to a school where the alumni form a full time sorority/cult. I’m not saying this as a bad thing – it’s incredibly useful, unfortunately it’s also quite unobtainable for us somewhat realistic folk who don’t want to spend out whole lives (only two-thirds or so) paying off student loans.
Masters programs have their pro’s – is there a required internship at Dartmouth or even a career office that will circulate your resume to non-traditional job markets. This could potentially make it a contender, but still a bit risky…
UMass Amherst is a wonderful school. I don’t know about the English department, but the psychology department was kick ass. This also means that they’re looking for something spectacular on your application. GRE scores, publications, etc. You’ll pay out of state tuition, but it will still be cheaper than someplace like Harvard. I think that it is a serious contender.
Cornell is Cornell. The problem with an accelerated program like that is that you’re getting a very general education which may limit your job opportunities. On the other hand, it is Cornell and sometimes name dropping works wonders…Still a contender, but honestly I’m still a bit more for UMass.
Binghamton is a good school and I think that you’re problem with it is that it feels a lot like backtracking, but it’s not and you’ll probably benefit from being in a familiar area. And as much as the clouds will lead to acute depression they will also motivate you into finishing as quickly as possible. Also, receiving two degrees from the same university shows loyalty and may perhaps open job doors. Plus you know at least one professor who will make you work and actually like it which is almost impossible to find.
So, to sum up, yes to UMass, Cornell, and Binghamton. Also, do a bit more digging for Dartmouth – it may be worth it.
I think the festival sounds lovely and I’m glad that despite the late start you had a good time.
Friday I went to a gypsy jazz concert and it was glorious, but I’ve kind of had a lazy week so not a lot of new and exciting things. Still I can take you on a mini tour up Andrassay Utca (Street).
This is the opera house and its painted ceiling which is beyond words and you could probably spend hours looking at and still take it all in.

I get student discount tickets which I really need to take advantage of, but there are so many options and you know how indecisive I can be when faced with too much choice…
These are some random houses on the street I thought they were pretty freaking cool and so I took photos of them. If they have any significance I don’t know what, but still I hope you appreciate them.

This is Heroes Square. It was erected to celebrate Hungary’s thousandth year in existence and to support the, then, monarchy.

On either side of it are art museums.

They are the reason I was walking on Andrassy, but when I got there they were closed for a while due to some military thing. I’m not sure what was happening, but the music was quite interesting. Military drums are kind of universal and kind of not, but they always make you think of power and I think if the crowd had surged forward I probably would have followed…
I did make it to one Museum – the National Museum of Fine Arts (second in the two museum pictures) – and they had some old paintings from all over Europe. Some very good, some very primitive, but all worth looking at. I wish I’d had a bit more time to check it out, but now I suppose I’ll have an excuse to go back!
Lastly, and not on Andrassy, this is my apartment building. I like it. It feels like it could be in Greenwich village, NYC.

I hope that your query letters are coming along well and that you’re coming up with lots of ideas for NaNo! Can you believe it’s in less than one month?!? Crazy.
~ Ashley