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Weekly Reflections

Week 14: Goodbye Everyone!

We did it, this is it, we made it to the last week of the semester. All that is left now is Reading Test 3 and then we’ll have made it through ENGL203. While this course certainly hasn’t been my favorite, I’m no English major, I feel like I’ve learned a lot. Dr. C’s analysis has always been interesting and with every work we read, I felt like I came out the other side with a greater understanding. I could have taken many other courses to fill these credit hours, but I’m glad I choose this one.

Now on to how this week has been………. yeah it’s been. I have a lot of finals going on between my courses. I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed. I created a page in my planner just for everything I have to get done before December first and having it all there in an easy to look at list is very intimidating. I’m glad we’re going to get that entire week to work on the Reading Test instead of just one weekend, it’s going to help me actually have time to work on it. This one I’m a bit worried about however. Since I’ve been so busy with all my other courses I’ve been slacking on this last month’s readings, I’m going to have to take some serious time to catch up and review the work I probably should have already done. It’s time to put my nose to the grindstone it’s the final sprint.

As for the last class next week, we’ve been asked to bring a “gift” for our classmates. Honestly, I have no ideas at all for this. Maybe I’m just feeling drained but I really don’t have anything interesting to share in my brain right now. Head empty. I’ll continue to ponder over the next few days, but to anyone who reads this before Monday morning, what are you doing? Maybe I’ll feel inspired.

Anyway,I guess this is my final blog post and my final chance to say goodbye and thank you. So goodbye and thank you guys and thank you, Dr.C. This class has been a bright spot on an honestly really shit semester so I’m I got the opportunity to take it.

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Weekly Reflections

Week 13: More Bible Fanfiction, Even Less Interested.

I don’t know I feel like I reached the extent of my interest in paradise lost last week. I feel myself disengaging with the material more with every passing lesson. Continuing to break down a work I already was struggling to enjoy just sucked the last of what I might have loved out of this one. I know Dr. C LOVES Milton but I just can’t personally get down with it. I’m certainly glad to be moving on and away.

Gullivers Travels is something I’ve already read and enjoyed so it will be nice to return to it with a more critical eye. I feel the high school English class (where I last read it) did a poor job of break down and explaining the book, so getting another shot at it in college is cool.

Overall I think the closer we get to the end of the semester the more overwhelmed with work I’m becoming. I feel like professors sometimes forget that I don’t only take their class and I have 10-15 hours of other homework to complete as well. This semester has been particularly painful with its condensed class structure and now during finals crunch, I’m really feeling it. Only more weeks to go!

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Weekly Reflections

Week 12: Paradise Lost, Bible Fanfiction

This past week was entirely focused on Paradise Lost and its story. The Christian mythos has never been something I’ve found particularly interesting, as it’s full of contradictions and heavy-handed storytelling. Milton’s version of the story had some more interesting moments but I still found myself particularly checked out. This is when I decided to start having a conversation with a good friend of mine, who actually intends on being an English Major, about what they thought of the story. They made the comment “Ah you mean Bible Fanfiction” and it’s stuck with me. I genuinely find this hilarious, because in a way it absolutely is. It’s Milton putting his personal spin on a preexisting story he likes. It’s incredibly amusing to compare how his work relates to more modern reimaginings of other people’s stories. He basically takes a character he finds compelling, but who in the bible is not the main focus of the narrative and writes a good chunk of his story about the thoughts and motivations behind that character. Milton wrote Satan fanfiction.

Honestly, this is a really stupid comparison to be making but it does amuse me way more than it should. These past weeks have been stressful and they’ve been grating so if having a dumb internal thought process comparing Paradise Lost to modern fanfiction is going to make me enjoy the material more, that’s what I’m doing god dang it. Hope whoever reads this can never unthink about this. You’re welcome.

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Weekly Reflections

Week 11: Happy Halloween :)

This week has been another hell week, I don’t know what it is about this semester but all major assignments seem to be lining up like clockwork. It’s reading test week, I’ve got a large paper to write, I’ve got 10+ hours of homework between my two studio classes, honesty this is a nightmare. All of what I just mentioned is just for this weekend alone. I’ve also found out that they’ve canceled spring break for the next semester. Which is cool I guess. I’m not sure I can keep doing condescended workloads like this for another semester. I might move down to 10 credits instead of my normal 15-17 until they deem it safe to resume breaks and reextend the semester back to its normal length.

So class this week, it’s been interesting. I’m actually finding myself really enjoying Milton’s take on this mythos and Paradise Lost as a whole. His take on Satan and his constant struggle to resist goodness, as opposed to the typical inherent evil that is usually associated, is fascinating and refreshing. I haven’t been as attentive as I would have liked in the lectures, as I said before this week is a rough one. I’m going to go back through this past week’s classes to help prepare for the reading test and listen to the discussions had on Milton’s work.

But anyway, I hope everyone has an enjoyable Halloween, even if we are stuck inside. If you’re looking for something to watch, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is probably my favorite ghost story ever now.

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Weekly Reflections

Week 10: Shakespeare and Fatigue

This has been the first time I’ve worked with a Shakespeare play in years. The last time I remember reading Shakespeare was in middle school for a few of the theater club performances. I don’t know how but I’ve managed to dodge his works throughout my English classes in high school. We did other books like 1984, which honestly I am glad for that is one of my favorite books. It’s just odd when I think about it. While I’ve never been particularly interested in Shakespeare, his work is undeniably important, so to have never studied it up to this point I feel has been a disservice to my education. It’s caused me to take my time with Othello and really look at how the story is crafted. I’ve enjoyed this week because of a soft spot I still have for theater. While it isn’t my entertainment of choice nowadays, it’s something I think I’ll always enjoy.

As for this week’s more physical work side, I am tired. The lack of breaks and the condensed nature of this semester is really taking its toll on me and my routine. I find myself getting less constant sleep and having less time to cook. It’s a vicious cycle that’s been eating away at my fortitude slowly. While I keep chanting to myself that I only have 4 weeks left, it’s only so much of a comfort because of the major projects I have to get done in those said 4 weeks. What I really need more than anything is a day or two off but they’ve decided to remove those. Next semester is going to be like this too and I’m frustrated. I understand why they’re doing it, to minimize travel, but it’s painful to have to live through. Instead of condensing the semester, I would give anything for some reading days or extended weekends.

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Weekly Reflections

Week 9: Distractions

This week for me was a week of distractions. I feel like, while I physically attended every lecture, I was checked out of the material this week. Either I was playing a game or watching something on youtube, I kept allowing myself to be distracted. I don’t remember the material and I’m going to have to review it before the next reading test. I am frustrated with myself and my ability to focus. Online classes make distractions so accessible, its hard to keep myself on task. This week was a prime example of that struggle. I’m going to spend some time playing catch up over the next week to hopefully have notes on all of the material I missed.

Without the physical classroom its an uphill battle to pay attention. I find myself drifting more and more as the semester goes on, not just in this class but all of them. I’m working hard to keep myself in check but sometimes things slip by. Going to work extra hard these next few weeks!

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Weekly Reflections

Week 8: A Battle with Despair

This week’s dive into the Fairie Queen was by far my favorite discussion in the class so far. It was a look into despair and the long climb out. It was watching the hero of the story battle with his own personal demons instead of the more physical variety. This dive into the psychological connotations of the text was fascinating, especially when compared to other more surface-level tales. Redcrosse was dealing with something so relatable, so entirely human, that it was easy to step into the story. It was understandable on a level that went a little deeper than entertainment. It engaged me in a way I haven’t been focused in weeks. This was referring, especially after the ruling pace of midterms. It was nice to have a week to relax and do work I’m interested in.

Speaking of midterms, I’m worried about finals. The way each class has laid out its midterm tests and assignments has varied so wildly across so many platforms it was hard to keep up with what I was supposed to be doing. The thing that bothers me the most about online classes is the lack of consistency. There must be no standard required for how classes should be taught and where because every single course I am taking this semester is in a different place, under a different system, with wildly varying expectations. It’s stressful and it’s confusing. I’m powering through to the best of my abilities but I can feel myself slipping. I’m missing deadlines, forgetting assignments, and struggling to remember to go to class. It’s rough. I’m not sure I could do this next semester, but we’ll see how it goes.

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Weekly Reflections

Week 7: Return to Form

I ended up sleeping through Monday’s lecture, this has been the first class I have missed online and I find it was incredibly easy to do so. This was a wake-up call, I’ve gotten back on the wagon with meticulously planning my work times and setting alarms for every class. Online classes are a struggle to manage in the same way as physical classes so it takes some real effort from me to pull a focus.

The latter half of this week I pulled that focus and got started, albeit a little late, on The Faerie Queen. This story was much more interesting to me that the last few works we have looked at, a return to more epic tales and away from more symbolic literature. I find myself able to focus more closely to an overarching plot than trying to put my head on straight analyze theoretical and more poetic texts. So this has been a nice return to form for me. I’ve found myself engaged with the characters and all the terrible situations they find themselves in. There is something very human about the Redcrosse Knight, he’s strong but he is also flawed. He makes mistakes, unlike someone like the mighty Beowulf. It’s nice to see the consequences for these mistakes, he might be the hero, but he doesn’t necessarily get the fairytale ending.

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Weekly Reflections

Week 6: Burnout and recovery

 

This week has been another exhaustingly busy one. With two tests and another big art project on top of the busyness of last week, I am completely burnt out. Every day I kept hoping for a break from anywhere but it didn’t happen. This took a toll, I haven’t kept up with my blog posts and I found myself struggling to pay attention in lectures. This has resulted in a less than ideal week in terms of graded assignments. And this lack of attention certainly showed in my quiz grade. I find that the shortened semester has crammed the work from my studio classes together and made for a more stressful experience. I haven’t been managing it as well as I should be on top of my gen ed classes.

Hopefully, now that I don’t have anything major due for a few days I can use it to recuperate my mental stamina and be ready to dive into next week’s work. I’m going to come back on Monday with a renewed vigor and work to make up for this week’s slip.

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Weekly Reflections

Week 5: Help I am DROWNING

This week has been a nightmare; I had two major projects due in my studio classes, an entire paper to write, and now the test for this class. I missed several of the blog posts for this week as a result and I have been working non-stop for the last five or so days. Once I get this test done it’ll be a relief because I am exhausted. While this class hasn’t always been my favorite this semester I usually enjoy using it as a breather to relax and read. This week however it fell to the wayside as I very quickly became overwhelmed.

I haven’t devoted nearly as much time as I would have liked to the Julian of Norwich readings and therefor don’t have much to say on them here. I didn’t do a close reading of the material this week, I only skimmed it. I will be brushing up on the work for the test but for now I’m not where I should be. Hopefully, next week will give me the breathing room I need to decompress from how strung up I have been the last few days.