Wednesday, January 11, 2006

School Daze

Okay. So I'm sure you're all overly anticipatory about my first day back in college. Let me tell you now it was a big relief. We'll begin at the beginning and end at the end – I hear this is usually a good way to go about doing a narrative.

First off I woke up at about 6:30 am....holy crap. I usually only see this time of day as I'm getting home or beginning to think about bed; I had to go to bed at like 11pm on Sunday night. Morning routine...yadda yadda. I get out of the house just after 7am – how do all these people do this? Morning drive seems a lot longer than it ever has before, must try a different route to school on the 23rd.

So my first class of the day is Science, Technology, Society Interaction. I'm going to admit that I'm a little worried about the class. However, it seems as though we are going to be able to take the course in nearly any direction that we as a student/participant wish to take it. So rather than dropping and getting a refund – although I technically haven't paid yet so I would get a refund just a reduced price – I've decided to go ahead and stick with it and get my exit requirements finished as well as practically develop an STS course for myself. If I really have as much leeway as I'm imagining then I'll really enjoy the course. Second thing about it, self-grading. Sometimes bad, often good; I'm looking forward to this part. There is going to be a bit of outside work required, projects (what class doesn't have them?), site visits (should be interesting), media watch (I'm not really sure on exactly what this is yet), journals (all classes apparently love these now), and video reviews (should be some good videos at least). Overall, should be a good course, the only worry is that since only four people are in the class there is the possibility it will be canceled and all my thought on the subject is moot.

Second class is Selected American Authors. I had no idea who the “selected authors” were – turns out we're going with Melville and a smidgen of Hawthorne – but I was a little worried about the course and had a few back-ups in mind. In any case, the teacher turned out to be rather funny, though she does have a habit of clearing her throat every few sentences (something I'm sure I'll eventually tune out). Some of the other students seem pretty intelligent, funny, and most importantly there are some cute looking girls in the class. The teacher said the class is going to start slow in order to make sure we don't get too far ahead, in case students join the class at the end of the week and then we don't have class on Monday because of MLK day, so we won't really get started until Wednesday of next week I guess. Overall, this class seems as though it should be a lot of fun and I'll learn a thing or two about Melville and Hawthorne.

Third class was my Narration and Description class, a requirement for my Creative Writing major (it's also a prereq for several other writing courses). Well the class was interesting, we're going to start off writing poetry (not sure about this), move into short short fiction (maybe some long stuff as well), and then creative nonfiction (looking forward to this the most). Hilariously, a young lady from my American Authors class was also in this class, and having already met and talked with her some we were in a group together for the discussion of a quick writing we did in class. The fast assignment was to write an apology letter to God from the perspective of either Adam or Eve. Just something short a paragraph or so. Here is what I came up with on the spur-of-the-moment.


Dear God,
It was all Eve's fault. She's such a beauty, and you made her so well I couldn't resist such a small request. To bite an apple. How simple a thing. Yes, yes. I know it was the one request you had of us. Eve had already given in to the vile serpent and I saw no harm come to her. I thought perhaps it was a different fruit, from another tree. I was tricked by her and so I'm sure you understand that all the blame lies with her.
Most Regretfully,
Adam


The writing was received rather well and taken for the humorous writing that it was. Blah blah class occurs. The teacher learned that WTF stands for “what the fuck” and had no problem saying it aloud as she was amused by the whole idea; always a relief to learn that a writing teacher understands that words are simply words and has no bias against certain ones. She then tells us she wants us to rewrite our letter into a poem with no rhymes that is about 12-14 lines. This is crappy.

Anyways, jokingly I said to the young lady who was in my previous class (we'll call her “Alice” – not the real name – for easier reference), “So are you going to fall me all over campus?”
“Alice” says, “Well what do you have next?”
“I've got Philosophy of Mind. You?”
With a copy of her schedule in hand she begins laughing and shows me we're heading in the same direction yet again.

By weird coincidence I share three classes with an intelligent, cute young lady I've never met before. Well we're off to Philosophy class and while I'm somewhat interested in the subject reading philosophical writings is a difficult and time consuming matter. However, I'm a fan of the idea that one day machines will think and eventually there will be a convergence as Kurzweil calls it. So “Alice” and I walk into this class and there is this guy who is apparently HARD CORE about philosophy. Well we sat about in the middle of the room and we noticed that there was a huge diversity within the class. The front section was made up of those who are serious nerds (well not all of them), and the back was comprised of those who you don't expect to see at the end of the semester (probably not all of them). Anyways, the class is going to be difficult however it should be rather enlightening and help me refine my current theories.

So at this point I head on over to my brother Josh's house in order to have dinner with him, Susan (his wife), and Evan (their 10 mo. old son). So having got some spaghetti, meat sauce, and toast into my system I head back over to school for my last class of the day Contemporary Literature. Now my understanding of contemporary literature was that it was books after 1945 leaning more towards the current time period. I now believe this to be incorrect. I won't go into my current thoughts on this as I haven't finished formulating them yet. The teacher is intelligent, witty, and passionate about the subject so the class should be a good time. We're starting with a novel called Wieland written by Charles Brockden Brown, the first American writer as the novel was published in 1798. We're reading this in order to get a better understanding of what it is for a novel to be American. After that we're reading The Great Gatsby, a novel in which a woman achieves the American dream and man doesn't get the girl because it is one of those depressing Modern novels written by a hard drinker. Finally we're reading In Cold Blood by Capote in order to decide whether it is a Post-Modern work or a Contemporary work. After those three we're checking out M. Butterfly and possibly Brokeback Mountain. Should be a rather illuminating course with a great teacher.

So I had been at school for about twelve hours. A long, long, long day. I went on home and finally sacked out as a reward for making it all the way through the day.

Today, Tuesday, I worked this morning then came home and worked on this blog and a few other things. Watched Jeopardy, Gilmore Girls (yes that's right), then Shade came on (great movie about cards), then The Whole Nine Yards (who can resist a movie about a hitman?). A great two days and now I need to convert that apology letter by Adam into a poem of some type. Wake up early so I can get to school, buy a book, and read my Descartes for Philosophy, go to classes, return the book, go to dinner with family out at MacShack (family in from out of town so Grandpa is taking everyone out). Again another eventful day that I'm sure I'll write about in order to bore all of you avid readers.

Until I post again, don't bother me I'm being overwhelmed with reading and writing, enjoy. Now your future Zen.



"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~Mark Twain







Image from here.

2 comments:

Just Another Traveler said...

Wow, sounds like you've got a pretty tough schedule, right up my alley (I'm not happy unless I'm fashioning myself a noose). I can't wait to get back to classes next week... getting "ancy" (is that how you spell that?).

Anyway, I finally finished reading John Barth's "Coming Soon!!! A narrative" ... a postmodern book about postmodern literature. Talk about self-referential irony and layers of meaning! I'm going to try an knock off one more book before the semester starts, because once the ball starts rolling, my recreationing reading time drops into the negative.

Good luck with classes. We should grab a beer or three before I leave town on Saturday.

PS- My mom and I are going to the Mozart concert/celebration at USF on Thursday at 8:00. If you're not busy, you should come. $4 for students. It should be fun. Later!

Crystal said...

I was pleasantly surprised with more than one blog update and so fodder to read with my morning wake up.

The classes sound interesting and potentially good, well except for the literature class. I love to read books, all sorts of books, but talk about them in high and mighty ways, well I will leave that for the likes of you.

Also Yay for finding cute hot chick that you can stalk with out getting a restraining order. Well I guess if you really creep her out she still could... but would the university give you a refund after having to kick you out of the classes?

Good luck with the beginning of school... and perhaps even the middle and end.