it’s hard to believe this is my last semester at BSU. i know i’ll miss it someday, but right now i’m looking forward to being done. this summer i’m planning on staying up in mccall for a while, if i manage to remain unemployed that long.
which reminds me of something my american renaissance professor said. i’d never heard of the poem behind that saying, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” on the first day of class he told us the story that takes place in the poem and then recited lines. he has so much poetry memorized. i’ve never had a professor who recites poetry like that…it’s wonderful, and it amazes me, and going to that class makes me feel awfully stupid but in an enjoyable way.
this professor basically approaches the class from the unspoken but evident point of view that everyone there is a scholar and hardcore intellectual, and his attitude effectively raises the level of class discussion right up to where he wants it. the questions from my classmates—average english majors, the same lot who go to poetry readings and ask visiting poets, “what’s your favorite color?” and, “is the title of this poem a reference to buffy the vampire slayer?” (seriously, this happened on friday)—they’re incredibly deep and thoughtful. i can hardly pretend to keep up, but it’s a fun ride.
my favorite class this semester is advanced nonfiction writing. we’re doing podcasts! NPR style, three essays: one commentary (just talking), one narrative (with music, like this american life) and one documentary (with music and interviews and all kinds of fun things). i’m so excited about it i even bought a serious microphone for my computer. a serious one.
gender studies is pretty cool, we’re reading a lot of good stuff. one of the main text books is bell hooks’ “feminism is for everybody: passionate politics” which i’ve been wanting to read…i started her book “feminist theory: from margin to center” a couple years ago, and even though it’s just a tiny thing i only made it about halfway through. it was fascinating, just incredibly dense. every time she rattles off some list of things, like her favorite “white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy,” it takes me a good few minutes to wrap my mind around everything she’s talking about. “feminism is for everybody” is still quite interesting but much more dumbed-down…which makes sense, given that it’s for everybody.
we’re also doing book clubs, and i signed up for middlesex…another book i only got halfway through but was enjoying immensely. i’ve never read anything like it. it’s not often that i’m extremely conscious of how much research must go into a novel, but for that one i couldn’t stop thinking about it. it must have been a hell of a lot.
there’s a service learning component to that class—i had a choice between planned parenthood, men today men tomorrow, BSU’s women’s center and the community center. i chose community center because i would love to get involved with their publication, “diversity.” they desperately need some better photography. hopefully after the service learning project is done i can continue volunteering for them.
the only class i’m feeling iffy about is advanced poetry. this class is ridiculous…there is so much drama, it’s out of control and bizarre. and the professor is one of the perpetrators! i count three people out of a total of nine who are not (as of yet) involved in some kind of awkwardness or fight or “high school drama creepy,” as katherine put it. and the class has only met three times! i don’t get it at all. i love poetry but i’m beginning to think the poetry faction within the english department is a bit scary. it’s so much friendlier in nonfiction writing!