First up was Michael’s class.
Disagreement is welcome, but you’re not allowed to say “you’re a traitor” or “you’re a moron.” I have no respect for Ann Coulter, but could we lay off the slams at her? I get that Michael hates the Right (hell he’s practically an anarchist) but gratuitous slamming of anyone just bothers me. I can make his office hours for once, so i expect to be spending quantity time there discussing politics and the like. [I have so so much i wanna say in LiveJournal about politics and issues and debating and all that, but i need to stay on top of my shit this semester and not spend hours reading articles and writing up mini-essays and.... grr.]
“Yale, where Harold Bloom teaches, er, well, pontificates”
Talking about people arguing about poetry and how at places like the MLA it turns into fistfights, he said something about Harold Bloom and Cary Nelson... and oil... and Speedos. “Have you seen pictures of Harold Bloom? He’s HOT!” The man is 73 years old, and as we learned in a later anecdote, tends to look like a bum -- disheveled, unkempt, all that.
“He calls everyone ‘my dear.’ He called me ‘my dear’ once. It still warms my heart.”
"Uh, uh, Buffy! I-I believe the... subtext here is, is, rapidly becoming, uh, (clears his throat) uh, text. Are you sure there's nothing you want to share?" -Giles in "Ted" (2.11)
I suspect if my birthday were during the academic year someone would purchase me a tin hat. (There’s a certain irony at expecting a tinhat for one’s “now i’m officially an adult” birthday.) Speaking of, i would love to see some of my valley_slash people again. Plus i really must meet sarah_p.
Anyway. Doug’s class was next. Very much a lecture. The background information about society/literature at the time was definitely good, but i’ll be glad to get into actual literature discussion. Even though i have zero expectation for the books we’ll be reading (i find it’s easier that way, because then i get to be pleasantly surprised instead of disappointed). Besides the expected 2 long papers, that class has 8 weekly 2 page response papers. I don’t particularly mind, though, especially as we’re given a prompt for each one, so you’re given direction.
After lunch was Betsey’s fairy tales class.
Her getting-to-know-you questionnaire included what kinds of stuff you read for pleasure. Now, i’m not saying that i included “fanfiction” in my response, but i’m not saying that i didn’t, either.
We had to say the best books we’d read, in class or out, in the past year. Um, can i think of any books i’ve read in the past year which i really really liked? The only one i could think of was White Oleander from Winter Break (to be fair, i spent my summer doing the Oxford program, so a big chunk of leisure reading time vaporized).
Betsey covered a number of “fairy tales about fairy tales” and one of them was that fairy tales articulate universal truths. I know that they change over time and all, but i’m inclined to think that anything that survives must have some timelessness at its core.
I wanna know who the student was who talked about “contes de fées” and stuff and why she knows more about fairy tales than i do.
This class has 10 Blackboard postings (*represses bad memories of WST*), 3 2-page papers, a final option of a final or a medium-sized paper. Not bad. The brief papers have staggered due dates (i.e. get the first one done by date X, the second one by date Y, and the third by date Z) and she said if one really wanted to get a head start one could do the first one for this Thursday since. Allie and i laughed. [First weekly response for Doug’s class is due this Thursday.]
Class is scheduled for 2 hours a day, 2 days a week, but she’s gonna make the 2nd hour of each class group discussion time, and the class will be broken up in half, pretty much based on how much literature course experience we have, for the discussion portion, so half the class will stay on Tuesdays and half on Thursdays.
At dinner, Virada was showing off her SOAS mug. It has writing in all the languages taught at SOAS. “I think it’s supposed to say ‘mug’ in every language, but the Thai definitely says ‘bowl.’ ” Jen: “Yeah, it says ‘cup’ in Hebrew.”
Oh, and i do have a funny story from work yesterday after all. [Preliminary information: Taiga works in the Education Department of the Museum, which overlooks Neilson Lawn, i.e. center campus.] I was talking with Taiga about the weather and stuff, and she said one of the days over J-term when it was “bitterly cold” she saw me walking with not a whole lot on (my perpetual grey sweatshirt over something) and just couldn’t believe it, actually called people over to look. I told her i was glad i could provide amusement :)
Everyone still thinks i’m a senior (i don’t think they’ve ever had someone work for them for 3 years).
Not as productive today as i should have been, but i did do all the reading for Michael and Doug’s classes (the response for Doug’s won’t be a problem, but i’m not up for it tonight) and called my mom to wish her a happy birthday. I also walked her through posting as a logged-in user. I learned that if your user picture keywords have commas, each unit appears as its own line on the selection drop box. Wow, i learned something new about LiveJournal. When’s the last time that happened?
No snow here yet, though they molasses-ed the ground this morning.
I am overdue for bed.