Monday, July 27, 2009

The end of the day

After our visit to the gardens, we all went our separate ways. The rainy day had turned hot and sunny, so I took my books into the Rewley House garden to read and take notes. On another bench was the formidable Dostoevsky scholar, who has gray hair cut in a bob and very stroobly, and wears a striped top with a patterned skirt. Her brain, however, is very big. After a bit, she stretched herself out on the grass and went to sleep. A bit later, I stretched out on the bench and did the same. Very soothing to have the hot (by English standards) sun on your face, a cool breeze, and birds chirping in the distance as you try to contemplate your essay.

I sat with Emma and the scholar at dinner. At the bar beforehand, a bony fellow student revealed that he was studying Dostoevsky and that he had been to school with the scholar. "Of course, she was head girl and all of that," he said. At dinner, her braininess became even more evident. I'm planning to attend her sampler lecture on Russia tomorrow and will discover whether or not I could ever possibly make it in her class. I think she does not suffer fools gladly. Emma is brilliant but also very kind.

After dinner was quiz night, and feeling a bit like an anthropologist, I joined a group and we did our best to answer trivia questions: name the countries indicated on this map of Africa, name the actors who played James Bond in the following movies, from what books do these first lines come (thank goodness I did well on that one), and a slew of trivia ranging from the philosopher of utilitarianism to the tests run with a sphygnamometer (sp?) (blood pressure, it turns out). Our team was second from the bottom, so my knowing a couple American answers overrode my disgrace at naming Julius Caesar as the character ripped untimely from his mother's womb (you knew it was McDuff).

They are are a funny bunch, but I'm enjoying their company.


Judy said...

Was the philosopher of utilitarianism Malthus?

It wasn't Mill, was it??

Caroline said...

It was Jeremy Bentham - we got that one right, no thanks to me. Malthus figures largely in the Darwin story, though.

JUdy said...

Bentham!! Of course!!
Malthus and Darwin...hmm..interesting.

"and here is a fascinating carnivorous plant" - "Caroline" you have really gone off the deep end.