Correspondence from Canada: Letter 03 - 02.09.81
Copyright holder(s): Name withheld
Sept 2nd '81.
Dear Maw, Paw, & Al,
I suppose you all think I've had a bit of a brainstorm: here I am, less than a week in Canada, and already I'm thinking of spending all next year in Cairo. There are sometimes I think I'm crazy too. However, after a few days' inquiries the situation is like this: I've spoken to Prof. [CENSORED: surname], and at UNB I'm almost expected to complete the Masters in one calendar year. (This, I am sure, was not the case at Guelph according to the Prof I met in Edinburgh, so it seems that Universities vary.) I've spoken, too, to one of last year's Grad. Students of English, John [CENSORED: surname], also from Britain, who says that it's certainly possible to complete the Masters in a year - he's done it. Furthermore, all the Masters students I've met aim to complete the course in one year. I think I can do it too. The course during term time is hectic, and I'm finally assessed on a mixture of exams, term essays, how well I lead 3-hour seminar sessions (possibly from 7-10pm!!) and the thesis. The thesis I do from May - August/September, and how soon I finish the course depends on how soon I finish the thesis, and make my oral defence of it. It's a lot of work, but John [CENSORED: surname] says the standard is lower than in the UK., so I think I'll manage. Thesis and also term papers have to be typed! Mammy where are you!! Can you get the next plane out?
About the money situation: I've checked and my assistantship is for $6450, and not the higher rate, which has been abolished through cutbacks. However, according to Prof [CENSORED: surname], there may be more money in the 2nd half of the year. This is very much up in the air, and personally I'm doubtful. But I think I can survive on the money I'm getting.
I think my biggest problem as far as Cairo is concerned will be getting a place there, as student or tutor. I've written to the University of Cairo and also the American University in Cairo asking about this. I've also written to Carole, informing her about my change of plan, and asking if she's got any advice. I've received two letters from her so far, posted last week.
The Eng. dept and the people here in Fredericton are very friendly, and I feel I'm beginning to settle easier. At first I felt terribly homesick - but with familiarity comes contempt, as they say. At least I feel a bit happier now.
I've met two more of the English staff - Drs. [CENSORED: surname] & [CENSORED: surname]. Dr. [CENSORED: surname] is the Middle English specialist who looks likely to supervise my thesis, and he seems quite helpful. Dr. [CENSORED: surname] is especially friendly - he's an expatriate Scots from Greenock who graduated from St Andrews, and emigrated here with his wife in 1959. He offered me coffee and we chatted away for about ¾ hour.
I've settled into the "Maggie" now altho' my room-mate hasn't arrived. It's quite something - one of these old wooden houses plus extension. I think it'll be fine there - it's one of the best residences, I gather.
I've written to the [CENSORED: surname] in America about Christmas. If I decide to go I'm going to have to apply for an American visa. I get about a fortnight at Christmas, I believe, starting around as late as Dec. 23rd. It's a rough life!
Anyway, I hope you write soon to tell me what you think of Plan Egypt. I'd like to go. Hope you're all well. Missing you,
Love, [CENSORED: forename].
About the Dunbar notes. If you go up to the oblong, tall box of papers in the eaves of my room and go thro' it, you should find in one of the folders (possibly the beige one, but perhaps not) a bundle of notes and essays on Robert Henryson & William Dunbar. Essays titles should include "The Tretis of the Twa Mariit Wemen & the Wedo" and "The Testament of Cresseid" amongst others. I would very much appreciate your sending these across. I didn't think I'd need them, but I do. Thanks,
PPS. If it's very expensive, send them surface mail. I may not need them immediately.
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Correspondence from Canada: Letter 03 - 02.09.81. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=851.
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