I'm delighted to report that I passed my doctoral qualifying exam! And with that, I've earned my master's degree, so I can call myself a Master of Music (it sounds so official, doesn't it!) What's next? I have two semesters of coursework left, including this one - I'm taking classes on early music notation and Martin Luther and the German Reformation, an independent study on English Reformation sacred music, and am serving as the TA for a freshman seminar centered around the musical performances happening on campus this semester.
With the qualifying exam out of the way, I can now start thinking seriously about my dissertation topic, and to that end, I'm heading to England this summer! I went once as a child when my mother wanted to visit her old school friends (she did a semester at Oxford in college), but I didn't much care about cathedrals or libraries on that trip. I'm ridiculously excited to have a whole summer to do pre-dissertation research and try to find both a dissertation topic and the resources to support it.
To that end, I have some questions for you, my dear blogging friends, many of whom are in England or have been there recently.
1) What should I be sure to do? I'll be based in London but also doing a lot of traveling to various archives and cathedrals. What's worth seeing, and what's free or nearly free?
2) What are the tricks to packing for a few months abroad? I know I'll need plug adapters, but beyond that I'm still rather unprepared for this trip, and could use all the advice I can get!
3) If you're in England, would you like to meet for tea and bookish conversation? I'd love to meet any bloggers in person!
4) If you live near one of the big academic libraries - like Oxford or Cambridge or Canterbury or Durham - might you consider letting me stay with you for a night or two? Or do you have friends who might be willing to help out a young musicologist dying to see some music manuscripts in person?