Memo to Self...

Thursday, August 23, 2001

Wheee! Home with food and drink and good company online, I shall try to update this Blog. Problem is, I keep getting distracted by this X-Men site. *makes face at self* BAD ME, NO COOKIE!

A - hem. Anyways...after I removed myself from the computer at school, I went roaming the library, searching for culture. I came upon it in great hordes, yet was unsatisified--and then I found a section concerning Japanese. Ooooh, 'tis spiffy. There are books on language, culture, and literature in great amounts, and yea, the Me was happy. I ended up checking out five of them, including two of these nifty little books called Nihongo Notes. They're reprintings of articles published in the Japan Times detailing little phrases and culture pieces of the language that non-native speakers get caught on. I've already picked up a good phrase or four, and I have a feeling these are going to be invaluable in making me into the Japanese snot nose I want to be. :) Browsing this section almost made me late for class, but I got there just on time...

American Literature since 1914: I have divided thoughts on this class. For one thing, there's a lot of work and reading, which is pretty much expected of any literature class. But there's an added wrinkle of having to give little oral presentations as well as Oncourse presentations. I'm kinda curious to see how this is going to work out, actually. I've already signed up for my oral presentation, which will be taking place on my birthday over "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; thanks to Dana, this poem has a permanant place in my little English major heart, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to extoll its wonderfulness. Arigatou, Dana!

There are some nifty facets to this class. Kelly of my CW class and another woman whose-name-totally-slips-my-mind from my British Lit. class are both in it, so I have a good discussion group there. Also, there's a deaf man named David, and watching his interpretors are an interesting way to avoid normal class boredom. And before you get on my case about that, the Prof. said we could do that. She's a nice, informal lady of the South, though she's a bit off on her facts, there's an obvious love of Literature there. At least she acknowledges that she can be off, and I did offer her some corrections. (I am, after all, a Second Level Novice in the Tyrant's Fact Correcting Squad. *g*) But things look like they're going to be okay. She also has a very nifty accent--some Southern, some flat Midwest, and an occasional British tinge. It's gonna be fun listening to her lecture.
Class Notes

    Modernism is/has characteristics of...
  • A sense of newness.
  • The first truly internation movement
  • Stylistic innovation
  • self-conciousness about questions of form and structure
  • International perspectives and "primitivism"

And the last class of the day, only fifteen minutes from the end of the above...
Writing Fiction: This looks to be a very cool, VERY involved class. In fact, I'm hoping Japanese and LPG don't call for a bunch of writing, because these last three classes have truly piled on those assignments. True, they're not due for awhile, but still, it makes me weary just thinking about it.
Anyways, the Prof. is a young guy who asked us to call him Terry (actually wrote his name up on the board and crossed off "Professor" and "Kirts"), and he seems to have real grip on the writing process. His whole goal is to make us write more, and he has quite a few prompts in store. I like him already, and hopefully it'll work out better internally than my CW prof, who I could never quite respect about anything. His syllabus is a true work of art--double sided pages and incorporating tables and graphics, it outlines everything he wants from us in a precise, glass clear manner. Me gusta.
After choosing to forgo looking at the syllabus until the end of class, we read two short-short stories which had won "a crate of oranges" and been named Best of the World's Short-Shorts. They actually both were good, another change from the CW class. :) Then we did a most creative exercise: we wrote the title of a short-short on the top of a page, and then he collected it, mixed it up, and passed it out. We did this three times, writing the beginning, middle, and end of completely different stories. Sharon, of my Brit. Lit class (they follow you, they do! *g*) was nervous, but I'm already settling into class writing mode. Namely, I'm Psuedo-Zen: calm on the outside, wriggly on the inside. It seems to work, though. Class let out on time after a scant review of the syllabus, and then it was off to catch the bus and enjoy my NN1.

Whew...that's it for now! I'll update again on Monday or so. Until then...jya!

The second day of my last semester has begun! Currently I'm sitting in the IUPUI library, kinda-sorta abusing computer time. Don't snitch on me, prease? *g*

In any case, first class done! I got up on time and everything, found the classroom and even had food--aren't ya'll proud of me? But enough of that weirdness, let's get to details.

Capstone Class: This is the class required for all English majors to complete before they graduate. Let me start by saying I was verra nervous about this class. I checked into Oncourse before class started, and the notes left by the Professor were kinda intimidating. The syllabus itself is kinda intimidating, too--I have to do an interview, a portfolio, a senior project, and a coupla other odds and ends. The strange thing coming in was that the book required was Huckleberry Finn--what the HECK were we gonna do with that? I like Mark Twain, but it really didn't seem to fit.

I'm still a little worried, but not so much anymore. The class consists of English seniors, most a bit older than I am, and already the group seems comfortable. The Prof is Steve Fox, who used to be the chairman of the English department, and he's part of the reason we're all so comfy with each other. He brings an informal air to the whole setting--we can address him as "Steve," for instance--and the way he explained the syllabus, it doesn't seem so bad. It turns out we don't have deadlines on these projects minus the end of the semester--when we've completed them, we've completed them. We can't turn in everything at one time, but that's about the only qualification. Aside from that, he stated on the syllabus and in class that he HATES grades. In fact, if we really need a good grade, we can discuss it with him and see how it can be achieved. More than likely it will, unless we're total slackers. This eased my somewhat grade concious mind--actually, the internal effect was more like WOO-HOO! YES! YAY!!!

As for "Huck Finn," it's going to be used as a jumping off point for discussions in class. Prof. Fox (okay, so I just can't get that informal with a man whose got a Ph.D) has taught Amer. lit and likes the whole genre, and I figure it'll seguey well into my other American Lit. class. As for the other things in class, I'm thinking of interviewing Professor Upton, who's a linguistics professor and a guy I've had classes with. The portfolio, I believe, will highlight the three areas of English I've covered through papers...or how I've covered parts of English with papers in other classes. This'll include my award winning reviews from my World History classes with Prof. Heathorn (though I'm not sure which one to put in yet), my paper on secondary language education from W150, and probably two pieces of creative writing, a poem and a short story. I may also include my analysis of one of the poems from last semester's British Lit. class, though I honestly kinda fear those bad little papers. As for the Senior Project, I'd love to do something highlighting my interest in Linguistics...but have no clue yet as to what to do. Maybe something on Internet communication and how sticky it can be. In any case, stay tuned for thoughts on that here!

We also introduced ourselves, and I find myself being drawn out, even though I'd love to be all silent and observer-like. *sigh* Something to work on!

More of the day's events as they unfold. Jya ne!

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

I should probably add a list of classes and when they occur here. Mostly this is to test the Blog. This may contain actual information at some later date. Really.

Spanish Grammar, 1-2:15
Japanese, 5:45-8:25 (Mon. only)

Capstone Class, 9:30-10:45
American Literature from 1914, 1:00-2:15
Writing Fiction, 2:30-3:45
Language-Power-Gender, 5:45-8:25 (Tues. only)

Well, today began a brand new semester of school--my very last semester as an undergrad at IUPUI, in fact. Upon coming home, I was shown this wonderful new way to chronicle this year by Starrynight. So, I propose to take notes and record assignments and such here for the rest of the year. Or, at least, try to.

Spanish Grammer, S311: First and only class of the day, yay! My schedule looks like Swiss cheese because of a massive overhaul after someone (MR. TOUPENCE) canceled his sci-fi class. Not that I'm bitter. Much.
Anyhoo, so the class is located in the ES building, which is tacked onto the SPEA/BS building, and the classroom looks like it was hollowed out of the wall 'cause they extra space. Really, it's a tiny little place. However, looks to be a fun class. The teacher is a blond sylph and extremely genki, plus she speaks Spanish at a good clip with the lovely Castellano accent. Mmm, love them softened c's. We don't have a grammar workbook (and the masses proclaim HALLELUJAH!), and while we're going to zip through the concepts, it's all review anyways and it's all been laid out on the syllabus. This is a pleasant surprise compared to my last two Spanish classes. In fact, the whole class is one pleasant surprise, from Prof. on down. For the first time in many years, I'm looking forward to Spanish.