I spent the weekend in Bologna visiting my old landlady and seeing all the old places I used to haunt in my two years here. It was such an emotional experience actually because so many of these places were tied up with the way I thought back then, which came rushing back to me when I revisited them. It was like seeing myself five years ago (and to be honest not being too impressed with what I saw!). They city is still beautiful. Really. I love it so much and have such affection for it. If it was ever possible to live there I think I would.
Lecture today was much better, in fact I would say quite good. We'll have this prof for the next two classes, and then we've got Michael Winterbottom from Wed to Fri. I'm rather looking forward to that. There is a funny dynamic in the classes because some of the students have done some pretty serious work and would be quite qualified for an in depth discussion of certain philological points etc, but there is no real desire to get into issues. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe they (i.e. the profs) don't want to bother; maybe they are afraid they'll look unprepared (which some of them most certainly are). Finding the balance, that's the key.
This is also interesting from the point of view of thinking about how I would put a course together, at whom I would aim it, and how. So for that I'm glad I'm here.
The hives are beginning to clear, and it's about time. My God. I looked like an leprous outcast for a while. Now I look like a leprous outcast on the mend. I was even reluctant to take the train to Bologna on Saturday such was the state of me. But it seems to be calming down a bit. Thank God for cortisone.
I'm almost afraid to go near the library such is its power to frustrate. I get enough of that in my study.