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saturday, april 28, 2001
university melange

school, this quarter, is very good. it has been very nice, surprisingly so. i am feeling some of the burnout associated with spring quarter, but its not bad, at least not yet. spring quarters are nasty in general. between fall and winter is a nice vacation of a few weeks (with a couple of holidays thrown in). lots of recovery time there. but between winter and spring we get, at the most, 10 days. i slept most my 10 days this time. in fact i was sick most that time. real fun...not! under normal circumstances there isn't much time to get yourself well rested for the next quarter, under those circumstances there is no real recovery. so, even though i feel some burnout, it's not as bad as it could be and the quarter still has a nice comfortable feel about it for the most part. and this works well with the over all plan too. last quarter i learned a lot about what i need to do to get everything managed and what kind of support and aids i need to succeed. this quarter i can relax a bit, then next year i work like crazy and graduate. not that graduation is the end of it, as i have to complete my credential and want to go for my masters, but i can say that i have completed the next step in my educational journey. and that is going to be really cool.

as for the classes themselves, well, they vary. the gender class is driving me nuts. we have 3 instructors. two actually make sense, a philosopher and a social psychologist. the third is a kinesiology teacher (i.e.: p.e.). when i found that out, a lot of things made sense. his inability to deliver a lecture for one (at least, to deliver one without putting us all to sleep). his no comments easy grading "system". my thought: why is this man here? because we needed an instructor from the natural sciences. a biology teacher would have worked. health science might have worked. a p.e. teacher just does not work for me. on top of that, the textbook is so militant feminist it makes me want to be a feminist even less than i did before (which wasn't at all). i believe we should be paid the same for the same work, we should have the same choices as men and are as valuable as men. but i think some feminists just go too far. i am not a man and there are distinct differences between men and women that should be celebrated. this in your face, anti-male stuff is as bad as the in your face, hold women down stuff. i am so glad i only need one of these man-hating 101 classes. soooooo very glad.

my poetry class is something of a puzzle to me. not because i have to work my way through the poetry so much, but because i enjoy the teacher and the class, and almost always have to fight to be awake. this is very sad because the instructor is the god of english on our campus and very entertaining. he even draws! (ok, so not well, but he does!) some of the poetry can go, but discussions are entertaining, his vast amount of knowledge is astonishing and what he has memorized is even more so! it's not a boring class, so i just don't get the drowsiness. really don't. maybe i'll figure it out one of these days.

the writing class is also something of a puzzle, but in a different way. we started out with under 30 students. it was a nice figure, really, for the workshops and such. but by the second week there were less than a dozen. the teacher's style is different, but he's still good. it's a bit disconcerting for him to stare at me so much (he does it a lot! or so it seems anyway...) especially since his look is so...intense. but, the class, the instruction, it's good. i was really disappointed with my first workshop though. we had one guy drop, and another guy hasn't made a showing in like 2 weeks. this second guy hasn't responded to emails and wasn't there for my workshop. not that anyone really did much better. the other girl forgot her copy of the story, but at least she was able to give me feedback. the one other guy in our group is mr. excuse-master. he didn't read it, he doesn't have it, he forgot, he has a life for goodness sakes! well, don't we all. i told him myself, i have four kids, other classes, an ezine i run, my own site, and i have a life too, and i still find time for the homework. is it just me that wonders why people even bother if they aren't going to participate the way they should? a couple of other people in other groups got left high and dry that day too. sad really. so i am just trying to learn. soak up the knowledge and go on. that's what i am there for anyway: learn to write better. so that's what i will do. (but is too evil of me to hope that the instructor will make sure excuses don't pay?)

there are other things i am really enjoying this quarter as well. i have lunch every day with a longtime friend from my junior college days. he was definitely one of the 'things' i missed when on my l.o.a. we're in the man-bashing class together and are planning 2 other classes next year. and i look forward to that too. it's really nice to have time with someone i care about and to have someone i know i can share time with on campus so i don't feel so unknown.

two other things have been sort reemphasized this quarter as well. one is how interconnected the different subjects are. it's amazing. i first saw this phenomena at the college level as an early childhood studies major. psychology, sociology, englsh, even math, all intertwined in one way or another. everything ended up being in touch with everything else. my mythology text for last quarter was written by joseph campbell, as was one of the articles used in this quarter's gender class. just brought it all back how everything touches everything else. it really is kind of cool to see.

the other thing is how classes can be sooo different. my writing class is in the same room as the relationships and communications class was last quarter and these two classes couldn't be more different. the communications class was talkative (big surprise, eh?) and loud. i mean really loud. they'd get so loud i would almost cringe in my chair because there is a certain point when sound just hurts. (a level which changes depending on how i am feeling. sometimes any noise hurts, but that doesn't happen often.) i don't mean my ears. i feel it, along my nerves, in my body, under my skin. very hard to explain, but that class would hit that point for me almost everyday. they also tended to interact with the instructor more. my english class, in the same room, is dramatically different. the only time things get loud is during workshops. people come in and barely say hi to each other. the students will ask questions and talk, but they are not as boisterous as the communications students were—and i have seen some of them in other communications classes yapping away! the poetry class is worse, a few say hi, but most the students don't talk even though we are supposed to discuss the poems.

of course, all this only serves to make the uni that much more interesting.

and now, homework time! (really have been avoiding it most of the day!)

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