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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Get A Bit Classy

I’m alive! I know I haven’t posted in almost a week, but the Spring 2010 semester has officially begun, and so has my new internship (yay!). So being a full-time student with two jobs will undoubtedly result in less frequent posting.

So since my classes will be taking up most of my time, I figured I’d talk about my classes a little so that y’all know what I’m spending my time doing and can then behave with an appropriate amount of jealousy or something.

M/Th at 8:30am – Astronomy

All I know about this class is that it involves studying stars. So this will probably be my favorite class! And on Mondays from 10-12, we get to do a lab. I’m assuming this will involve Botox, lipo, lectures from Mariah’s retouchers, etc.

M/Th at 2pm – Writer’s Workshop

At the end of my freshman year, I decided to add a creative writing minor. Writer’s Workshop is the final course in the minor. This course is geared toward creating one long piece rather than many short ones (like the other creative writing courses). Students are encouraged to write either a novel or novella, or a cohesive book of poems or short stories. I started a story in my Fiction Workshop class last spring and think that I will be working mostly on expanding that story. I have twenty pages of it so far, but the page requirement for fiction is 75-100, so I have a lot more to add. I wish I was brave enough to try to write a cohesive book of poetry, but my poems usually aren’t related thematically or even stylistically at times.

This is the FOURTH class I’ve taken with the same professor. I think that’s cool because he saw the work I submitted in Intro to Creative Writing and Fiction Workshop, so he’s seen the progress I hope I’ve been making.

T/F at 2pm – From the Renaissance to the Postmodern: The Fairy Tale Tradition

Often referred to as “my fairy tale” class, this course is the capstone to my major. (Yay! Two capstones in one semester!) I actually signed up to take a different capstone but that one was canceled and my class was dropped into this one. When I found out, I shed a flood of hot tears, but now that I’ve had a few homework assignments from this class, I am so glad I got switched into it.

In this class, we read and analyze fairy tales, starting with the Father of the Fairy Tale (Straparola, 1550s) and ending with contemporary retellings of the tales. On the first day of class, my professor told us to ignore what we thought we knew about fairy tales—they are not for children, do not need to have a moral (that’s a fable), do not always have happy endings, and are not primarily an oral tradition but a literary one. She then called Disney, “the D word” and encouraged us to use it only sparingly in class.

So I’ve started reading the fairy tales and they are HILARIOUS. I love:
- the extremely dramatic way characters deal with grief (“[The nurses] found them both lying dead. Immediately they began to scream and to shed a flood of tears. They tore their hair and their garments and laid their breasts bare.”)
- the terrible displays of ‘pity’ or ‘compassion,’ (“But when they saw how lovely and gracious she was, they were moved to pity and decided not to murder her. But they cut off both her hands from her body and tore her eyes out of her head.”)
- the scolding of angry mothers (“Stop it, and get out of my sight! Go break your neck somewhere! Take off. You’ve ripped apart my guts, and I can’t stand you anymore. My hernia swells up, and my goiter grows each time you appear. Stop coming here. From now on this house is like fire for you. I wash my hands of you and consider that I never spewed you forth into this world.”)
- the general funny descriptions (“He rubbed his eyes with his hands and stretched his arms for half an hour with sixty yawns and farts in the form of a dialogue.”)

Never has my homework made me LOL like these fairy tales do. I am definitely reading these stories to my kids! [Oh, and btw, my BFFL Josh took this class when he was in school!)

T/F at 4pm – Applied Liberal Arts Mathematics

Ugh, sick! This class is called “Applied Liberal Arts Math” which means “Math for Dummies.” It’s required that I take one math course, so I chose this easy one. So far, we’ve learned two methods of splitting your assets when you get divorced or separated (unlike Brangelina, who are staying together! LIARS!) or want to fight over inheritance. ZzZzZzZz….

So what classes are y’all taking this semester?!?!


Polt said...

I'm not taking any classes, thank God. But I remember "Statistics For Social Studies Majors", the only math class I had to take.

It went something like this: Jane has three apples, bob has four apples, Sam has two apples, what are is the average amount of apples each person has?

And then, it was multiple choice test. So the answers to the above question would be something like:
a) 29
b) 3
c) 1784
d) Pluto

I loved that class! :)


dcm said...

Yay for school! My classes start tomorrow and I could not be happier; I miss the routine and the expectations.

It's my last semester, and I've kicked myself in the butt for the past 7, so I decided to take it easy. I'm only taking 14 credits, 2 of which are PE. :-p

M/W 10:10am: Constitutional Aspects of Labor Law
M/W 2:55pm: Reading for Writers of Poetry (with ALICE FULTON OMGOMGOMG)
M/W 6:00pm: Yoga
T/R 10:10am: Social Inequality (the last course I need to complete my Inequality Studies minor.)
T/R 11:30am: Basketball (have to high-tail it across campus in just 5 minutes...will probably be late a lot and end up dropping it because I only need 1 more PE credit to graduate anyway. But 13 credits just sounds so pathetic to me.)

Craig said...

The fantasy and folklore class I took senior year was the best class I've ever taken. Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia were required reading!

john said...

I'm not taking any classes this semester. I took a class class last year and hope to enroll in an Illustrator or water color class in the summer or fall.

I tried a creative writing class once, but dropped it as I'm not a writer and it was soo not my speed.

Delisa said...

Mon. 8:00 - Photography II with Stephan Abrams! This will be my fourth class for my photography minor. Last time I checked we are using the expensive large format cameras and it's print so yay dark room hours! I haven't had it yet so I'll tell you more about it later.

M/Th 12:30 - Feature Writing is an option in my Journalism major but I wanted to take it because I prefer this style of reporting instead of hard (depressing) news.

M/Th 4:00 - Literary Journalism which I told you to take with me! Also known as non-fiction literature. This basically is tying up the loose ends that says that journalism can't be literature. We're going to be reading a lot of interesting books so I'm still excited about it.

Thurs. 5:30 - Aesthetics which is a philosophy course examining the theories of art and beauty. I wanted to take this philosophy class because of my photography minor. I think it'll open my creative mind a bit more and allow me to take even more amazing photographs.

T/F 8:00 - Management in Technology which is some dumb business class I'm taking for the extra credits. Can't wait until March 15th when it's over lol.

Are you going to let me borrow your fairy tale textbooks when you're done? I want to LOL when I read.

dcm said...

I like how writing out my schedule made me immediately go change about half of it. Yay open add/drop!

Mel said...

I'm not taking any classes until summer session, when I expect to be starting another grad certificate course.

One of my favorite fairy tales is one by the Brothers Grimm. I've only read it in German, which I don't really know well, but it's really short. Basically, it goes like this:

"Once upon a time, there was a naughty little boy who was stubborn and would never do what he was told. Then one day he got sick and died. The end."

Milo said...

Love the variety of courses you have over there. When I was at university (15 years ago!) the courses were more traditional, certainly here. I would have loved to have done some creative writing but my English classes were mostly lit crit. I also did politics (ugh) and history (ok, though hard). Did my 2nd year at university in the US. Very different way of studying and the whole student experience is different. Neither better than the other, just different. Feels like soo long ago.

Tam said...

Ugh. Math at 4:00 on Friday? That's just cruel.

Fairy Tales sounds way cool. I'd love that class. Good luck with your writing.

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

Uhhhhh, I'm 39 so I guess I'm a troll. No classes. No job. I'm a fulltime bum BUT I don't live with my mom or in anyone's basement. Is that good?

Michelle M. said...

That sounds like a great courseload. Except for the math. Yuck.
The fairy tale class sounds like a blast. My favorite fairy tale is The Little Mermaid (the original, not the Disney version). I also liked The Goose Girl (though it was bit gruesome).
I want to take a watercolor class too (just like john).

hoteltuesday said...

Polt: Average that EACH person has?! That doesn't make sense! You should retake that course ;)

dcm: LUCKY! I want a yoga class and a class taught by a famous poet. My poetry teacher is an amazing poet though, so I'm glad I had her.

Craig: ACK! LotR is soooo boring. I would have to skip required reading for the first time!

john: So your gift exchange partner will be getting a water color next year?! Cute! If you have me, paint me a party scene feat. Ke$ha, Rhonetta, Victoria and Precious.

Mel: I love fairy tales like that. The quick ones that get straight to the point are the best.

Milo: I'm usually pretty happy with the variety of course available at my school. I wish they had some that they don't, but sometimes I check other school and see that we actually have some nice variety!

Tam: When my prof. walked into class for the first time he said, "OK, so I know who I p!*$ed off that put me in the 4pm Friday course, but what are you guys doing here?"

Garret: Of course that's good! Then again, I don't live with my parents, or on campus, and I go to school and have two jobs. But don't feel bad.

hoteltuesday said...

Michelle: I love the Andersen version of The Little Mermaid (I'm not allowed to say 'original'). SO SAD, just like I ilke 'em.

Jake said...

Very interesting classes! Sounds like a lot of fun actually!

Ohhh I'm taking too many classes to talk about in this comment. haha. Maybe I'll make a post about it.

Glad to have you back, though!

Justin said...

Enrico -- SOOO COOOL that you're taking that fairy-tale class!! Fairy tales / folklore are one of my favorite things to read and read about. What makes something a fairy tale vs. folklore vs. a myth? What is different between "literary" fairy tales like Hans Christian Anderson and stuff like the Brothers Grimm? Or Perrault?

I'm going to have to break this comment into two pieces: it's too long.

Stuff really worth reading:

- On Fairy Stories by Tolkien
- The Monsters and the Critics (also by Tolkien -- about Beowulf)
- anything by Jack Zipes or Maria Tatar, including:

"Hard Facts of Grimm's Fairy Tales", "Off with Their Heads", and her annotated "Grimm's Fairy Tales" --

and an Annotated Classic Fairy Tales collection, also gorgeous:... See More

Plus she has a Norton Critical Edition of fairy tales as does Jack Zipes:


Maria Tatar wrote a very interesting article in the Harvard Alumni Magazine a couple of years ago that's still up on the web:

Two others I'll just mention are "Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked"

and the somewhat controversial, psychoanalytical "Uses of Enchantment"

Plus "Grimm's Grimmest" by Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm, Tracy Arah Dockray, and Maria Tatar, and "Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England" by Jack Zipes.

Oh, four more Jack Zipes books: "Happily Ever After (Fairy Tales, Children, and the Culture Industry)", "The Brothers Grimm, From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World", "Fairy Tale as Myth, Myth as Fairy Tale", and "Spells of Enchantment, the Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture" (a compilation).

Lastly, "Morphology of the Folktale" by V. Propp, "The Fairies in Literature and Tradition" by Briggs, "The Victorian Fairy Tale Book".

Justin said...

(Part two)

Yeats' "Fairy & Folk Tales of Ireland" is also interesting -- in fact there is a lot of fascinating stuff in both Irish/Scottish and Welsh folklore/fairy tale. Tolkien **CLAIMED** to disdain Celtic myth, but in fact he derived at least as much of his mythologium from Celtic folklore as he did from Germanic, despite himself. The Mabinogion (the main Welsh mythology compendium), Ossian (a semi-fake Scottish folklore poem), the Tain (hard-core Irish myth) and other Celtic stuff is fascinating, as are the Eddas (Norse myth).

Plus there's a great book of Russian fairy tales by Afanasev.

Oh, and you can't ignore Howard Pyle's beautifully-illustrated books, especially "The Wonder Clock", his literary fairy tales, but also his versions of the Arthurian legends. (And Arthurian literature is a universe all into itself.)

Don't know how many of these books are available in your library or how interested you'd be in reading books ABOUT fairy tales, but just in case, there's a lot there. I didn't study *ANY* of this stuff in college; I re-read the Silmarillion for the bazillionth time a few years ago and bought some more of Christopher Tolkien's "History of Middle Earth" books and re-read Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories" and got sucked into the whole fairy tale/folklore/myth world and ended up buying all the books I've listed above (I spend too much on books).

As for MATH, MY cheesy second-rate school (Yale) didn't make me take *ANY* math. I was a linguistics major. I *WAS* required to take at least two courses out of the math/hard-sciences category; I tried their "Physics for Poets" class but it was beyond me so I dropped it, and a geology class, but ditto; I ended up fulfilling that requirement with two Artificial Intelligence courses in the Computer Science department, which hardly seems fair since (a) I had already done professional software programming work in high school, and (b) AI hardly seems like hard science. I never even took anything more advanced than Trigonometry in High School -- I've *NEVER* tackled Calculus!

Oh, and Garrett -- 39 is "troll"? Don't. Make. Me. Cut. You. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Anatomy & Physiology and a bio lab!! Hard Work this semester!!


hoteltuesday said...

Justin: I've read a few of those articles/books for class and will be reading some of the other ones!!! Our main two texts are from Tatar and Zipes and Propp as our first reading assignment. I'll have to refer to that comment when I start writing my papers...

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

"Oh, and Garrett -- 39 is "troll"? Don't. Make. Me. Cut. You. ;-)"

Well Justin, compared to these college lads... yeah. Oh and no cutting. This is a non-violent blog... I'm sure.

Justin said...

Garret: DAMN that non-violence policy! :-)

It does raise the question -- what is the next level after "troll"? Shrunken-dried-up-husk? I'm open to suggestions here :-)

Enriquerz: as long as you include me in your bibliography ;-)

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

Enrico can probably tell us what's after troll... being so young and all.

David said...

School of hard knocks. Same as last year.

that's J-O-S-H said...

I can't wait to talk wiff you about all the childhood fairy talez that are gonna be ruined for you/how awesome Jo is as a professora!

Ray Avito said...

Apparently I have some sort of brain block against math because Polt's word problem caused my mind to go completely blank.

I haven't seen "Precious" but from what I can tell, that fable mom sounds like she's been cribbing from Mo'Nique(spelling?)...I really need to be reading these fables.