“Dr. Cleto,” or a post about big life things

This past year has been like running a marathon at sprint speed. So here are some of the big things that have happened:

~ A little over a month ago, I successfully defended my dissertation “Bodies of Stories: Disability and Folklore in Nineteenth-Century Literature,” which means that I have spent the last several weeks making my family call me “Dr. Cleto.” They have borne this graciously, and I will probably stop soon. My dissertation spanned the long nineteenth century, with chapters on William Wordsworth’s balladic poems, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, George MacDonald’s fairy tale “The History of Photogen and Nycteris: A Day and Night Märchen,” and Arthur Machen’s novella The Great God Pan. Bizarrely, I’m especially proud of my Wuthering Heights chapter, which is deeply ironic, considering that I kind of hate Wuthering Heights, but I also find the story really fascinating. In any case, it was the perfect text for thinking through chronic illness, hauntings, and legends, and I’m really excited to turn it into an article and send it out into the world. I’m incredibly grateful to my generous, brilliant committee for guiding me through the process and to my writing group for helping me survive the process. In a wonderful twist of fate, my colleague, business partner, and academic twin, Brittany Warman, defended the same day, which resulted in this picture (and in us literally running in circles around the OSU English building and screaming, but it’s best not to dwell on that part.)

Dr. Brittany Warman and Dr. Sara Cleto at the height of dignity.

~ Last April, I got married! I imagine this is news to no one, but it is a good excuse to post wedding pictures again, so here we are. It was a wonderful day, I got to spend it with all my favorite people while wearing the biggest, most ethereal and ridiculous dress, and by the end of it I was married to the kindest, funniest person in the universe, so all in all I’d call it a success.

Did I mention that our photographer was a wizard?

~ Last May, my husband and I went on an incredible honeymoon to Japan. This was literally our dream trip, and now our dream trip is to go back! Highlights included:

  • midnight karaoke in Tokyo
  • a pilgrimage to the location of the final scene in Your Name: the iconic red-railed stairs! It’s right next to the Suga Shrine, and both my inner folklorist and geek were utterly delighted to see that other fans had left ema (small wooden plaques) with drawings and text from the film
A collage of images including us on the red-railed stairs, ema with illustrations from the film, and a still from the film.
  • visits to ryokan, or traditional Japanese inns with incredible food and hot springs
  • All. The. Food.

~ I have moved to the DC area for the year! I lived here from 2010-12 while I was getting my Master’s degree in folklore from George Mason University, and I’m looking forward to haunting the museums, theaters, and vegetarian restaurants again.

Here’s to more adventures, and to blogging more regularly!

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