I’m now 30% done with my Master’s degree. This last class, Folklore in American Literature, was not my first choice, because I was anxious to do more hands-on history stuff, and I’ve already taken another lit class. But it turned out better than I expected. Our instructor was still working on his Ph.D., so not actually a professor. Great guy whose goal seems to be preserving Pennsylvania German folklore. It’s ashame that he needs a second job working at Burger King to make ends meet.
Best part about the class was stumbling upon the only children’s book written by Conrad Richter, one of Pine Grove’s few claims to fame. It’s called Over the Blue Mountain, and is based on a Pennsylvania German weather superstition similar to that of Groundhog’s Day. If it is raining on July 2, when Mary goes over the mountain, then we will have six weeks of rain. No rain, then we have a dry spell. It’s origin is from a Catholic feast day known as the Visitation of Mary, when the Blessed Mother, pregnant with Jesus, traveled (over a mountain, perhaps) to visit her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. I recommend the book, especially for anybody who’s lived in Pine Grove, as you will recognize the setting. And it’s short.
Oh, and during our last class, we mostly just watched Beauty and the Beast and Shrek.