20070705

I'll never abandon you, sweet blog of mine!

Don't worry, loyal fan(s), I'm not gone forever now that the "book club" is done. In fact, I'm still around, and thanks to a new part-time job, I'll be chained to a desk for about seven hours a week, so there will be plenty of time for me to screw around at the computer. It's a Mac, though, and it's running an ooooold version of Firefox, so I'm not too terribly sure what I'm doing. Fun!

The first few days have been pretty good. Lectures have gone smoothly, with me doing most of the talking—but I expected that, even planned it that way. It's much easier to get things done if I know where I'm going, and the less dead air (the usual response to questions in these parts) I have, the better I feel. So, lectures it is, even if it kills me.

The lectures, though, seem to be boring some people, to which all I can say is, "tough it out." One woman was even trimming her nails (what disrespect), which to me says, I'm not here to learn, I'm here for you to give me answers to things. Tch. Most of them, however, seem alert if not attentive, and one or two even ask clarification questions and respond when I ask them general-knowledge questions.

So far, the stuff hasn't been too bad: we did a few OE lyrics (The Wanderer, Bede's account of C├Ždmon's hymn, The Dream of the Rood) and now we're onto Beowulf. After that, there will be some more nation-building texts (selections from Anglo-Norman chronicles about the origins of the English), then Sir Gawain, Chaucer, Second Shepherd's Play, then an exam, then some Renaissance stuff I'll probably tell you about later, whoever you are you strange people. The goal for the whole course is twofold: explore the creation of the self (interority, alterity, etc.) alongside the creation of England as an idea (what does it mean to be English? To encounter things that are not English?) Hopefully it will give them some idea of the usefulness of literature. We'll see.

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