Monday, February 19, 2007

long time

Well, I do apologize for the long hiatus I have taken from writing this blog!  You must have been wondering what happened to me!  The truth is, my semester in Hungary broke many of my study habits, and I’ve been busy reforming them.  Last semester was rather low-key academics-wise, and this semester is just the opposite.  Interim was good for getting back into the habit of being at Calvin, but did not do much to prepare me for the academic rigor of the semester.  I’m so glad I was here for Interim, because I got to know the people on my floor and in my dorm, and if I had only returned to Calvin at the start of the semester I would not have had time to do that.  Calvin doesn’t get a reputation for being academically challenging for nothing!

Don’t get me wrong…I love school.  I’m that nerdy girl who wakes up when her alarm goes off at 7 a.m. and thinks, “Oh boy!  I have History of the English Language class this morning!”  Said nerdy girl then jumps out of bed, runs through the shower, eats breakfast with people who do not enjoy their 8:00 class nearly as much as she does, and leaves the dining hall three minutes earlier than she needs to in order to get to class on time.  She’s just that excited.  Yup.  Really.  Shake your head if you want, but when you find something you’re passionate about, you’ll understand.  I love the English language.  It is so fascinating.  I think that I’d feel that way about any language that I grew up speaking, because I feel that way about the various languages I’ve attempted to pick up along the way: French, Chinese, and Hungarian.  I don’t have as good a grasp on any one of those as I do on my own native tongue, though, so naturally it gets me a bit more excited at 8:00 on a Monday morning. 
I’m taking two other classes in my major this semester.  Both are literature courses, and both meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  They’re back-to-back with only a twenty minute break in between, and since this means that I am in class from 10:30-1:30, I order a sack lunch from dining services on those two days every week.  Oh, I’ll have to remember to do that when I finish writing this.  I don’t want to go hungry tomorrow!  And with a sack lunch I certainly won’t.  Not to put in a plug for Calvin’s food service, but they sure give a lot of food in those sack lunches.  I never finish my lunch in my twenty minute break.  I rarely even finish my sandwich, but that’s because my friend Liz has back-to-back classes like mine and “eats” lunch with me, aka chats.  We both sit there in the Fine Arts Center (where English classes are held) and hold sandwiches in our hands and forget to eat them as we discuss the literature we learned about in our previous class and that which we will be taught in our upcoming one.  In that instance, my love of literature is not such a boon as it often is.  Oh well, I can come back to my room at eat when I’m done with African-American Literature at 1:30.  Yes, African-American Literature is one of my lit classes, and an honors survey course of ancient British Literature is the other.  That one is a doozy…two papers and oodles of reading each week.  This past week it was Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” - in the original Middle English of course - including the bawdy tale of the Wife of Bath.  See?  Calvin isn’t too stuffy. 
Besides those three English classes, I’m taking two core classes: Political Science 101 (American Politics) and Religion 214 (the Prophets).  Poli Sci 101 is a bit like high school government meets high school American History, so it’s something of a repeat.  In classes like those it is good to have friends, and I have a fair amount.  Now I’m not saying we completely ignore the professor, and if you look at my notes you will see that they are meticulous, but they also include little asides to my friends and their responses.  It keeps the class lively.  The professor is actually a pretty funny guy, too, which helps the dry subject matter.  (Yes, yes, I know that to some it is not at all dry, and they would be bored to tears in History of the English Language, but this is my blog, not theirs).  Religion on the other hand, is one of the more fascinating and engaging classes I have taken.  Professor DeGroot is an absolutely brilliant professor.  She really knows her stuff.  In fact, she makes me sort of want to be a Religion major (on top of an English major of course…I’m not giving that up), just so I would have an excuse to take more classes with her.  The drama of the classical prophets has never seemed so real.  We spent time going over the roles geography and cults and pagan religions played in the time of the prophets, and it just makes it all seem so much more logical.  If you’ve never read the story of Elijah and the prophets of Ba’al on Mount Carmel in context of the geography of the area and the story of Ba’al, do it.  It’s fascinating and so much jucier.  Elijah was one in-your-face kind of guy, at least when it came to Ba’al.  Interesting stuff, I tell you.
Of course, the problem with taking so many classes that one likes, is that one has all sorts of homework that one doesn’t want to skip out on.  I force myself to put off my religion homework until last because I know I’ll do it, no matter how tired I may get.  I just can’t not do it because I find it so fascinating.  Plus, I like my prof a lot, and I want her to like me too, so I don’t want to go to her class unprepared.  If I didn’t do her homework, I would be unprepared.  I love it when professors do that - give you homework that really matters and not just busy work.  That brings us back to why I haven’t written in this blog for so long.  I have lots of homework, and none of the study habits I so meticulously cultivated all through high school and freshman year.  I’m getting them back, slowly but surely, but it takes some determination.  Plus, I have all these friends I haven’t seen in so long.  It’s good to see them and naturally I want to spend time with them, not doing anything in particular, just those dumb things you do that make memories, just being together.

So I’m working to find balance between work and play and sleep, and now that it’s the fourth week of the semester (already!) it’s coming together.  I promise to be better about writing now that I’ve rediscovered the library and all it’s homeworking potential.

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 02/19 at 09:48 PM
(0) TrackbacksPermalink

<< Back to main