magic doors

10:05 p.m. x 2009-03-13

currently listening to: "silence" by portishead

i'm aware of the morbid cliffhanger i left on the other essay, but things still aren't ready for me to talk about it here. i do, however, want to talk about school.

i am in good standing to graduate in the coming spring in terms of credits i still need. i just found out i don't need to take a literature course i thought i needed. i could have gotten away with taking only TWO literature courses in my entire curriculum. literature courses are not my favorite. i can handle them but critical writing is a downfall. i can't do it. i can apply the principles i learn from analyzing how a particular author approached a particular work, but this, by and large, only makes the professor angry because s/he cannot do that. that is the exact problem one of my professors has, and she is not particularly kind to writing students when they try and incorporate their expertise all over her criticism.

my degree requirements are as follows, beginning with my "core":

  • composition
  • two fine arts classes (a literature class, music or art history - i've taken many, but my favorites were american music history and "film masterpieces")
  • a modern or ancient language (two classes, unless you test out, like moi, who only limped through one semester of french)
  • ONE FUCKING MATH CLASS (unless you, like me, CANNOT test out of remedial math and must take it [again, for the FOURTH TIME in my college career] before you can take a normal, college-level math class)
  • four courses in the humanities, such as history, literature, philosophy or religion
  • two lab sciences (i keep failing these - i've taken biology twice and have recently tanked astronomy and am staying on campus for four weeks at the end of this semester to knock out some environmental-oriented thing i hope doesn't send me off the deep end of sucking-at-science)
  • two courses of social sciences like psychology, political science, criminal justice or sociology (of which i've taken many, since my previous major was in the social sciences, and while my online program assessment acknowledges i have that requirement fills, it still only lists one - my least favorite, naturally)
  • two full semesters of gym!
  • a "cultural diversity" requirement (perversely filled by a class on american music)
  • a writing intensive english (that i came within an inch of failing)
  • a writing intensive outside of english (they list the worse of the two they had to choose from - classy)

and now, my major:

  • intro to creative writing (getting an A in this and a glowing comment from a man erected from stone turned my life around for the better)
  • two survey courses in literature (which are easy and which i have wisely put off until my senior year, after i have had the material covered in more difficult classes and proved that i can kick their ass)
  • two comprehensive and period-specific literature classes OR these two marvellously cool creative writing electives "creative essay" and "the novel" (i am all ready in one period-specific lit and was preparing to schedule another when it was brought to my attention that essay, which i'm taking fulfills the requirement, as does the novel, which i'm taking in the fall - it doesn't hurt me, but had i known...as i said, literature classes aren't my favorite)
  • modern and contemporary fiction (totally getting an A in it and you can't tell me otherwise)
  • two workshops (ditto, i can do this)
  • form and theory of fiction

not to say anything of the ten excess classes i have taken in my travels that have counted [and by that i definitely mean there are more out there that didn't]). in light of how that one period-specific lit i hoped to take in the fall doesn't necessarily need to be there, i am considering taking shakespeare. i could have waited for that instead of taking and getting a D in chaucer, but waiting is not an option when you're in what all ready should have been your senior year. now that i am proud of my academic progress (took me long enough) i do not feel comfortable graduating with a D, even though i can. at HACC, Ds didn't count, so if i got them (and i did), i had to buck up and take the class over again, and it's nice to know i don't have to, but still. i don't want that. that class was a joke, but i want to go to grad school. i fucking hate shakespeare just as thoroughly as chaucer but i want to go to grad school and they may not sympathize with what a joke that class was.

and i want to get into a grad school. i've got twenty-three bookmarked. logic would dictate I OUGHT TO GET INTO AT LEAST ONE OF THEM.

but, for now, i would like to say: i am extremely happy about my decision to come here and about the education i am getting, particularly from my writing professor. i learned today that, while poets in undergraduate teaching positions are pervasive, this guy is one of the only novelists in the country teaching undergraduates, and he is able to provide unique help to those (like me) who want to go on and do that. pretty badass. so far i have taken three classes with the man and look extremely forward to the three i'm taking next year, which is his entire repetoire in terms of teaching. intro, workshop I & II, form & theory, creative essay and the novel. he ardently believes in my ability and rewards me accordingly (a FUCKING REVELATION after my experience in high school with the art department). he also judges me more extremely than other students, but that's because he knows where my bar is and he doesn't let me fuck around, which is very valuable.

being that i copy-edited this year's literary journal i understand that i'll probably be editor next year (since i have the experience) and i am BEYOND EXCITED. it was incredible fun to do this year, and i will get to meet younger people in the program and address them on my most maternal and sensitive level and massage good work from them.

i wish of course i realized all this earlier but then i would not be the well-rounded individual i am with the breadth of interesting and head-scratching experiences and hard-won sense of accomplishment. of course. all i'd have is my undergraduate degree.

i officially really, truely do not mind if i don't get paid for my internship because the professor is such a joy to work with. he lives one town over from here and frankly i would not mind one bit continuing to help him with the micropress after he stops teaching here (i don't think he'll be back next year). i'm here in may and can help out then. any time. i really love the work and learning this stuff is FASCINATING. it fulfills my desire to craft and be nifty and understand how to utilize what i have to the best of its ability. self-publishing is right up my alley. making my work look cool is even better.

i'm so happy about this. usually school isn't the thing that comes together for me when everything else is a disaster. school can be relied upon, for me, to add to whatever is hellish in my life. but right now i am OWNING MY FUCKING REMEDIAL MATH CLASS. that same class that i took over and over at HACC. i really should know this by now. but i didn't do so stellar on the classes i took at HACC, and though i do know this stuff by now, i am getting nothing but As and Bs. i don't know what grade i got but i'm one of only two people in the whole class to have passed this test that i took on friday. my friend liz's boyfriend informed me that he took that test six times before passing it!

i'm confident about my performance on my modern & contemporary midterm, and the only other grade i have in there was a presentation, on which i got an A, so i have a feeling. i have a feeling. i just got a 100% on a paper in romantic lit and am in fine form in every other respect (it's a grade that builds - not that you begin at 100 and go down but begin at 0 and go up, and i'm at 65 and it's just the middle of the semester and we have not had two of our three papers OR two of our three exams). i have gotten an A on my first essay for creative essay and have anguished, nervous hopes for the second (it never gets any easier), which is due tuesday.

i need a good semester. i am really really trying. i won a prize for critical writing (which i can't even do!) on monday, right as i got back from my spring break from hell. that was a tremendous boost.

i badly need to concentrate on the good, and the bad i can make good. you will be hearing about out-of-my-hands bad very soon.

if anybody should ask i'm going to a seminar
pieces of the moon
JOBJOBJOB
interviewinterviewinterview
sensitive heart, you're doomed from the start
(& etc)

anybody can be just like me, obviously.
not too many can be like you, fortunately.
KL 02-11