I survived another class!!! I already know that I got an A; I could’ve failed the final and still gotten an A, and I most certainly didn’t fail the final. So, after three classes, I’m still holding on to my 4.0 GPA. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! I’m allowing myself to be super excited about it, and will hold on to that as long I can, because right now I'm on shaky ground…
On Tuesday, I started a class called English 1108, or Writing and Research Skills. The course description indicates that it’s a “writing intensive” course, and that was no joke. It doesn’t help that I’m taking it in the accelerated format, which means we only have eight weeks to cram it all in. Eight weeks seems like a lot until you realize that it really only means eight days, because class only meets one evening a week. To give you an idea of the workload, my homework for the week: read 60 pages of the text book, read two 2-4 page handouts, read four 3-6 page essays and write a one paragraph summary on each, watch three 10-20 minute video segments and write a one paragraph summary on each, and write a draft of Essay 1. Essay 1: The Role of Art = 3-4 typed double spaced pages on something (book, movie, photograph, painting, or music) I think is art and why I think it’s art; must have at least three quotes or citations from at least one textual source. I’m really okay with everything except the Essay. I don’t really give a crap about art, and there’s nothing in my life that screams “I AM ART!” to me. It’s not as though I don’t like or enjoy art, or that I’m incapable of seeing art around me; it’s just that I feel rushed to get this done and have no clue what I will use as art.
I like writing, and some people (excluding myself, because I am my own worst critic, and including all of my instructors to date) think I’m a good writer. The problem lies in the fact that I can write for pages and pages when I’m writing about something I want to write about; take blogging, for instance. It’s easy to tell a story, and it’s more of a “stream of consciousness” thing for me. A lot of times I don’t have to think it out; I just write and let the words flow and then go back and reread and fix things. When I’m forced into a corner and need to write about a subject I don’t understand or don’t care about, that’s a whole ‘nother story. I don’t like things that I don’t understand, because I don’t like being confused or questioning myself or my abilities, which is what things I don’t understand make me do. Don’t even get me started on having to cite sources for papers. I understand that research skills are important; but, I work forty hours a week at a job, the nature of which is research, that sucks away my soul and I would like to have a tiny little bit of a life besides work and homework. (Even if that tiny bit just involves napping. I looooooooove napping.) In other words, I don’t have time for that shit! If I can’t research it on the internets, then it’s not important enough for me to know at this point. I nearly have an aneurysm just thinking about finding and citing sources. Seriously. I’m not kidding. I nearly cried when I read that I would have to find and cite sources. In fact, I’m almost crying right now.
As if all of that’s not enough, each student has to lead one discussion in class (10-15% of grade depending on where you look, which is frustrating in and of itself, because consistency in stating the grading scale would be nice). Not realizing that November 3 is next week, I went ahead and signed up to lead a discussion on one of the first essays we are to read. Here’s what’s involved in “Discussion Leading”: (1) provide rhetorical analysis (huh???) of the essay/visual argument, (2) come prepared with 4 detailed, thoughtful, and open-ended questions on the text to provoke classmates into a useful discussion on the essay and/or its topic/theme, (3) offer background information on the topic of the reading (i.e. what examples from today does it apply to), (4) provide a list of at least 3 outside sources, (5) use at least one visual aid, and (6) a handout for the class is highly encouraged. I do have a partner, so it’s not all just me, but I wanna throw up just looking at 1-6 again. Especially since I’m not finding a lot of outside sources available on the essay I read. This is totally my fault. I should’ve paid attention to the date I would have to lead discussion, and I should’ve spent a couple of minutes looking at the essays instead of relying on the instructor’s ridiculously shitty description of the topics. The essay was super depressing, and I am just at a loss on leading a discussion at this point.
Since I had my final International Cinema class on Thursday, I lost a whole evening of homework time this week, which doesn’t help matters and serves as yet another reason it was not so smart for me to sign up for Discussion Leading next week. Needless to say, I do not have a fun weekend ahead of me…
Oh, and (just when you thought I was done whining), I need to start working on the Interpersonal Communications Competency that I have to have done by December 5. Competencies are projects one works on alone in order to “test out” of taking an actual class. This particular competency involves reading the textbook that is used for the Interpersonal Communications class, watching the movie “When Harry Met Sally” (not complaining about that part, since it’s one of my faves), and writing an 8-10 page paper on 2-3 interpersonal communication principals and how they can be applied to the movie, citing scenes and dialogue to reinforce my points. On Saturday, December 5, at 8:30 a.m., I get to go to a classroom at Community College to turn in my work and to participate in an hour long discussion with other students completing the competency.
Music Man knows and understands how frustrated and panicked I am, and he’s been great about it. He even reminded me that International Cinema had seemed like it was going to be overwhelming at first too, and while it truly was a lot of work, I was completely fine once I got into a schedule. He is absolutely certain English 1108 will turn out the same way. I’m glad he has so much confidence in my abilities, because I surely do not; I foresee major meltdowns in my future.
I’m so very fortunate to have someone so supportive and understanding in my corner. He’s my cheerleader and my sounding board, and I don’t know what I’d do without him. When I got home from class last night, he congratulated me on finishing yet another class and he’d gotten me a card telling me how proud he was of me. (All together now: “AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!” Yeah, I know. He’s great. I told you.)
I didn’t expect that school was going to be easy. Not one bit. I just didn’t do a good job of preparing myself for what I was getting into. Though I really don't know what I possibly could've done to prepare myself. For those of us who are pretty averse to change, it’s hard adjusting to what seems to be near constant change. Just when I think I’m getting into a groove on homework and scheduling, class ends and a new one begins. I’ll get used to it, and I’ll get better at adapting, but right now I just need to whine about it a little bit. Once I get the whining out of my system, I’ll be good to go!!! I just need to keep in mind that I only have 7 weeks of English Hell left...
I don’t regret my decision at all, because I know it’s all going to be worth it in the end. But, it’s going to be a tough four years. I can handle it. I know I can. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” and I am one strong bitch!
What’s up, weekend 4/28
13 hours ago