It’s that time again when I write about what happened and what I did during the previous month.
So here is what was going on in my life during October!
- Getting back into the scholastic routine and feeling productive
- Learning new subjects (I like most of the classes I have) and discovering better what I really like
- Seeing Ginger and Chubby again after a long time (see below for the details)
- The chilly turn of the weather in the very last days of the month
- The huge workload which includes interminable (and boring) theoretical readings
- Stressing about the choice of argument for an assignment (a taste of what’s to come with the thesis)
- October thinking it’s September and giving us more heat and humidity, ugh
- The traffic problem escalating to a national crisis – as it always happens during the first weeks of school (thankfully I never arrived late for my lectures)
Where I’ve been
- Istituto Italiano di Cultura: The Italian Cultural Institute in Valletta celebrated the week dedicated to the Italian language and I attended one of their events: two talks about the creativity of the Italian language in the fashion industry and in the names of shops and restaurants. The last talk, given by one of my professors, was especially amusing.
- Cat hotel: On one weekend, Matt and I took a walk along the promenade in Marsascala, right up till the hotel site which lays in ruins, where many stray cats live. At last, we saw the two usual friendly cats, Chubby and Ginger, after several months. The last time we saw them, we had to call the animal welfare because Ginger had bad eyes. We were happy to see him healthy again and especially happy to know that he doesn’t hate us for letting him get captured for a short while. 🙂
What I’ve been watching
- Swedish movies: I watched more Swedish movies in the first half of the month, particularly Astrid Lindgren movies. My favourites were The Children of Noisy Village and Karlsson on the Roof. I also rewatched the first Swedish film I ever saw, the Academy Award-nominated Evil. Love it!
- Italian Neorealism: One of my university courses is on Italian cinema, starting from the 1940s genre known as Neorealism. I watched Bicycle Thieves twice, once in class and another time with Matt, and I loved it, so heartbreaking. I watched some parts in class – and still need to watch them in full – of Ossessione and Rome, Open City. All these films are super sad, almost depressing.
- Animated movies: I finally watched The Simpsons Movie as well as South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. I also watched Sausage Party, a heavily-criticised Seth Rogen movie. They’re all hilarious and extremely naughty, especially the last one. But I don’t care, I laugh at almost everything and I love all kinds of puns.
- Ed Wood: One of the best films I saw this month was Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, a biographical film about one of the worst film directors ever. I had never heard of him before but I became curious about him. On the Halloween weekend, we saw two of his movies: Glen or Glenda and Plan 9 from Outer Space. They’re really badly made but they have a certain charm and I can’t help but admire Wood for trying to tackle some serious issues (though he still fails).
What I’ve been reading
- James Joyce: The first author to be studied in my English ‘The Modern Novel’ course was James Joyce. We studied the short story ‘The Dead’ from Dubliners and also his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. While I liked the short story, I found the novel much more difficult, although I still appreciated the themes of Irishness and art vs religion.
- Frankenstein: I finally finished Mary Shelley’s novel, right on Halloween! I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. The start was slow, but by the time I reached the middle part, I was intrigued and read it much quicker.
- Fantastique: Another Italian course I have is about genre/popular literature and we’re focusing on one genre, the fantastic. Fantastic doesn’t mean fantasy; it’s more characterised by doubt about whether an occurrence in a story is fully supernatural or not and that doubt doesn’t need to be clarified. I read two short stories: The Sandman by E.T.A. Hoffmann and La Vénus d’Ille by Prosper Mérimée. I also had to read Freud’s The Uncanny. Freud… Meh.
- Currently reading: I just started Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince… help! I soon need to start D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow; I checked the page count and almost fainted. To those, add the various readings I need to catch up with all courses and prepare for my assignments. Help!!
- October plan: I posted all that I had planned, except for one post. The second Sweden post was tough to complete, but the most difficult thing to do was the 1816 Gothic tales post. I had intended to write it in summer as an anniversary post, but I didn’t find the time to read the primary texts. By some miracle, I managed to publish it before Halloween was over! Kinda proud, haha.
- November: This month is famous for NaNoWriMo (good luck to all participants!) and NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month. Since I can’t do NaBloPoMo (for obvious reasons – study), I thought of dedicating all my November posts to the subject of blogging. The plan is to publish 4 posts, once a week(end), however, it’s more of an idea than an actual plan. I choose to prioritise my studies over blogging and stating it here makes me feel less bad about ‘abandoning’ my blog. My conscience is clean!