Tuesday, May 3, 2016

He Never Knew When To Quit: After One Year in Iceland

Welcome back, History Fans!

I apologize for keeping everybody hanging, but this semester was about as intense as you can imagine. Taking four courses, one seminar, working part time, and trying to maintain some resemblance of a social life is no easy task. And some of my classmates even went abroad for some conferences! How brave!

It is now Day 2 of having zero obligations and I already don't know what to do with my time. It's like when I first moved to Bloomington and lived with Mike and Jessica and didn't have a job for like four months. Except with worse restaurants.

So some of you may be curious, while most of you do not care, what I thought of my first year of a Viking and Medieval Norse master's student. I LOVED IT, OF COURSE! Iceland is a spectacular place to be. Reykjavik, despite its crowded and party atmosphere, is a really wonderful place to live. But it helps being surrounded by so many amazing people and studying what I love. This month will be strange, as I say goodbye to some of those people who have come to mean so much to me, some for good, some for a few months. My classmates, housemates, and the handful of people I have had the absolute privilege to interact with here have had an enormous impact on me, even though I keep a pretty cool exterior!

And guess what?! I do NOT study Vikings here! THEY LIED TO US! Instead, I have been focusing on the kings' sagas, the historiography, reception, with some literature and history thrown in. And of course I am thrilled to be in the midst of it all. I am excelling beyond my wildest dreams, although I dread the end result of that Working with Manuscripts exam.

This summer, I will be staying in Reykjavik (except for a small stint in June, set aside for some good, old United States debauchery) to work for the brilliant Emily Lethbridge on the Icelandic Saga Map.  Aside from getting to work for an amazing scholar, I get my first taste of being underpaid for my academic contributions! Seriously, though, I am stoked beyond belief to be able to be a part of this project. And I will either completely botch the job or go way overboard and be a really annoying brown-noser. Either that, or I will pass gas in the Arni Magnusson Institute and get kicked out, or, even more likely, get fired for a terrible pun. For now, though, I will begin researching in June, mapping out 19th century explorers' progress through Iceland! PRETTY NEATO!

In the meantime, I will continue working at sandwich shop, take some well-deserved naps, and try to figure out how to move to Denmark in the fall for my third semester. And of course, count down the days until my beloved Erik Fox arrives. But I can see my resolve already cracking and will probably end up at the library tomorrow and begin working on my thesis idea. Can't stop now!

That's it for now, History Fans. I hope to see as many Hoosier classics as I can while I am there, June 16-21! I'll try to keep you updated with any summer skullduggery or forays into the wilderness. 

Until next time, know what I mean?


Unknown said...

Hey, interesting post. I'm thinking about applying to this program in a few years but I'm not sure yet. Is it difficult to live there? Can you tell me more about it? I didn't want to send you a message on facebook so this is it haha

Greetings from Chile! :)

Zachary Melton said...

Hey, sorry. Nobody ever comments on these things, so I totally overlooked your comment. I can give you the run down on the program, just email me - zackyjmountain@gmail.com