Weekend Reading: Finding your Happy Thought

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that it’s been a grim December so far. Between the Higher Education strike which started the month and the General Election which interrupted everybody’s Christmas cheer, the internet has been weighed down by Gloom.

But not here. Here in my little corner of the internet I’m thinking only of happy things. Fluffy clouds. Bunny rabbits. Boxes of biscuits and bars of chocolate appearing mysteriously at my door. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Do you need a kitten? Here you go:




Luckily I don’t have to work hard to find nice things to think about, because I’ve been receiving happy news all week. Want me to share some? Ok, here goes…

Congratulations are due to my wonderful Classical Studies MA students, who this week have received their final results. A big shout-out to Jennie, Pauline and Sarah; Sam, Liz and Eve; Michelle, Leonard and Pauline; and Alex and Saphiya. It was a pleasure to supervise such excellent dissertations – and knowing about the health problems, caring issues, disabilities, house moves and employment troubles that have stood in the way makes the achievement all the more amazing! I look forward to seeing what you’ll do next…

Congratulations, too, to all the OU Classical Studies MA students from other groups whose dissertations I marked – there was some fabulous work! Special mention should go to Ian, who pushed through huge problems to achieve a remarkable result, and also to Helen, who’s planning tea at the Ritz to celebrate an MA completed – with the help of the W.I.! – despite two broken arms.

I’d also like to dedicate a round of applause to one of my most talented former A340 students, the wonderful Sandy, who won this year’s Kassman Essay Competition with her essay on assessing the material evidence for Constantine. You can read her story on the OU Classical Studies blog.

Finally in my List of Good News, my little baby nephew, who was very sick, is now out of hospital and on the mend.

So if the state of the world is getting to you, come and visit my little corner for a while. It’s nice here. I’ll even save you a virtual biscuit…


biscuits 3




This week’s links from around the internet



From Classical Studies Support

Things a Classicist Should Want for Christmas – Classical Studies Support




Breaking ancient eggs – The Independent 

Forgotten empire that rivalled Rome – New Scientist 

Elgin’s casts – The Guardian 

Warrior grave – Live Science

Gender and ‘Eurydice’ – The Justice 



Comment and opinion

The truth of lost Athena – Greece Is 

Troy and manuscripts – The British Library 

Frontinus – The Wrong Monkey 

Laodice – Time Travel – Ancient Rome

The Roman long-distance timber trade – Heritage Daily 

The history of Saturnalia (1) – Sententiae Antiquae 

Renaissance men of antiquity – The New York Times 

Jung and Mithras – Classical Wisdom Weekly



Podcasts, video and other media

The peace unravels – The History of Ancient Greece 

Numa Pompilius – Mare Nostrum



Other stuff

Ancient History between the wars – a workshop in Jan – Newcastle University 




13 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Finding your Happy Thought

  1. Basically good news all round.

    I hope all the graduates maintain basking in the achievement of completing the world’s second highest qualification as long as possible before the inevitable ‘what am earth am I going to do now. I miss studying so much’ kicks in. For me it is talking to the family (they seem a nice crowd) and box sets, although I am constantly anxious I should be reading something or analysing a paper somewhere.

    Also, such good news about your nephew – excellent.

    Can I have the plain chocolate iscuit on the bottom left please – although the top left looks scrummy as well.


    1. Oh, a few people have started talking to me already about what to do next…! Well, at least I understand the problem (being on Degree Number 7 myself)!

      Yes, you can have those, as long as you leave me the white chocolate. My virtual generosity has its limits…


      1. You deserve so many pats on the back from so many of us – only not all at once or that’d launch you into orbit!

        Fantastic to hear of so many OU successes. Gargantuan congrats to everyone. Such inspiring stories behind so many achievements, too. Wonderful!

        Quick heads-up on the next step on the study ladder for anyone interested… Quite a few universities now offer part-time, distance learning PhDs in Classics and related disciplines. As, of course, does the OU. Worth checking them all out. Should all be easily discoverable online. If in doubt ring up and ask 👍


  2. for all the undergraduate and postgraduate readers+ fans etc.. This website inspired me and a few others to actually persue classicall studies… so Cora Beth is too modest.. 🙂 good luck everyone and enjoy..


  3. Cora, you provide a breath of clean, fresh air to a world, or at least a country, which has been suffocated recently by murky and unwholesome business. Thank you for your uplifting generosity!


    1. Thank you, Martin! I think the internet and the media tend to amplify the bleakness – but there are lots of inspirational people out there, achieving great things against overwhelming odds. And I’m lucky enough to work with them! Best job in the world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s