September 01, 2005

A Novel Workload

Classes started on Tuesday, and I've just finished my third day of them. I'm taking seven classes this semester, but three of them meet only on Monday and all of those are one-hour courses. Nevertheless, I've now been in just over half of my classes and I'm already severely intimidated by the workload. I was reduced almost to whimpering this evening when class number four piled the assignments on . . . but perhaps I'd better go over my schedule, then proceed from there. As it stands now, this is my week:


1:30-2:25 - Literary Criticism (Dr. Watson)

4:00-5:00 - Apocalypse through the Ages (Dr. R. V. Hood)

6:00-7:00 - Senior Honors Seminar (Dr. Kubricht)

8:00-9:00 - Newspaper (English Internship credit)


3:00-4:20 - C. S. Lewis (Dr. Solganick)

5:15-9:15 - Library


1:30-2:25 - Lit Crit

5:15-7:15 - Senior History Research: Intellectual History in America (Dr. Johnson)


3:00-4:20 - Lewis

6:00-9:00 - Reading the Bible as Literature (Dr. Watson)

9:00-12:00 - Library


10:00-1:00 - Library

1:30-2:25 - Lit Crit


1:00-5:00 - Library

Now, that's just my regularly scheduled events. Already this week I'll be helping out at the Student Organization Mall Party (STOMP) booth for the English Honor Society from 4 to 7. On Saturday evening we have Honors Movie Night. Sunday evening is the dinner for History/Political Science majors. Things are just cropping up all over, it seems.

Now, I know what you're thinking . . . I have a really nice schedule. And it's true, I do. That fact will serve me well this semester. I don't have to be up in the morning if I don't want to, except for late on Fridays. That plays to my strengths since my mind works better later in the day. It means I can stay up late working on homework and not have to lose sleep. It's great that this is so, because I'm going to need it later, and here's why:

C. S. Lewis

For class we are required to read Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, Miracles, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, and The Abolition of Man. We'll spend the first month on Mere Christianity, then it'll be a book a week for the rest. The culmination of all this will be an 8-12 page paper and presentation over a work by C. S. Lewis that we did not read for the course. People were selecting books like crazy after the first class, so I figured I'd better get my bid in. I will be doing my favorite Lewis book: Till We Have Faces.

Literary Criticism

This course wants me to die. Little does it know that I plan to have fun in it. The reading includes Heart of Darkness and Oedipus the King and critical essays on them, Texts and Contexts (a manual of various critical theories), and piles and piles of things from our Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, from Plato to Nietzche and everything in between. For Monday I need to have read and marked up the text of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Each reading we do is a journal opportunity, and I need to complete 20 journals by the end of the semester. There will also be a group presentation, and I have already formed a group with Paige, Randy, and Ashley to present on Deconstructionism. Should be fun. Finally, we have to write a 5-7 page critical paper for presentation at the Student Literary Conference we'll be organizing for the end of the semester. Estimated writing: 50-60 pages

Intellectual History in America

For this course, which is an independent study with weekly meetings for discussion of our readings, I need to complete The Education of Henry Adams and whatever other weekly readings crop up (looks to be about 30 pages a week). Most of our weekly readings will also require a 1-2 page paper of our thoughts on the reading. I need to write a 4-5 page paper on The Education of Henry Adams as well. This portion of the class will be over by late October and we will focus entirely on the major paper for the class (topic forthcoming . . . I have some ideas, but nothing set in stone). This paper will also be presented to our classmates, and has a length requirement of something like 20-25 pages. Estimated writing: 40-45 pages

Reading the Bible as Literature

This class, too, will be a blast. As I see it, it's basically a Bible class that covers everything but what the Bible teaches. This includes the history of how the Bible has arrived in our hands in its present form, the impact it has had on the development of literature and culture, the impact that evolving language has had on it, and a study of the various literary genres of the Bible. Our texts for the course are Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution it Inspired, How to Read the Bible as Literature, and The Great Code: the Bible and Literature by Northrop Frye. As with Lit Crit, each reading presents us with a journal opportunity, but we *only* have to write 10 for this class. We have a group presentation for this class, as well, and I will be presenting with Randy and Gallagher on . . . something. We haven't picked a topic yet. Estimated writing: 25-30 pages

As you can see, without even counting the writing I'll be doing for the newspaper and for my two honors seminars, I'm already at somewhere between 125 and 150 pages of writing for the semester, to say nothing of the reading and my extracurricular activities, which are at an all-time high this year. I know I can do it, but the thought of actually doing it is still intimidating. So, we'll see how the semester develops, and I'll keep you posted as best I can. Even if I don't post actual progress reports very often, I'll at least be posting a great deal of what I write, so you can keep track of things that way. Wish me luck.

Posted by Jared at September 1, 2005 11:59 PM | TrackBack