The Return of the Palatine Medea

It’s been a hot minute since I posted here! It’s been a very busy 3 months behind the scenes: in addition to starting a full-time job as a managing editor (hello, semi-decent pay and retirement fund), I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my dissertation and preparing for my defense.

But first, a super fun bit of news: a couple weeks ago I was delighted to be a special guest on Hanksy Panksy, a fantastic podcast hosted by Sam Siegel and Luke Patrick (who just happen to be two old friends of mine). We watched and discussed the 2014 movie Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, and had an absolute blast speculating on the substance of Dwayne Johnson’s nipples and talking about the ancient myths that form the basis of the movie. You can listen to it anywhere you get your podcasts. I highly recommend the Hercules episode and, really, the whole podcast: In Season 1, they watched every Tom Hanks movie in chronological order, and now in Season 2 they’re watching every Dwayne Johnson movie in order. Just be warned, it’s not for children’s ears!

At the end of this week, I’ll be heading back to Iowa to defend my PhD dissertation. It’s been an exhilarating, terrifying, and surreal process to complete what is, essentially, a book, and send it out to (potentially) be torn to pieces by my committee. I feel a bit like Inigo Montoya—I’ve been in the grad student business so long, now that it’s almost over, I can’t believe it and don’t really know what to do with myself. (I guess it’s appropriate to feel like someone from The Princess Bride, considering my dissertation topic.) And while I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, I’m simultaneously baffled by the idea that 200 pages of rambling about ancient novel heroines and beauty and morality is going to get me out of school at last.

The last seven years sometimes feel like a blur, but most days they feel like an eternity. I’m amazed and delighted that they are coming to an end. So cross your fingers, dear reader, that my committee is kind in their questions and feedback, and that these last few yards of the road out of grad school aren’t as painful as the miles behind me!

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