Saturday, May 16, 2009

Finally, a break...but there's still much to think about

FINALLY! Finals are over, and I can get some rest. Well, I'll be working still this summer, and I start a summer class on July 9th. But still.

Finals were killer. I had to finish my author paper, which I had to reprint half of at the last minute because I'd forgotten some citations in my bibliography (I had to reprint more than just the bibliography because adding stuff pushes everything down). I had to do my take-home history final at the last minute because of all the other stuff, and the essay was a pain in the butt, even with some prep work done beforehand. I also forgot to say in the "terms/short answer" section that Saddam Hussein "was" the former leader of Iraq instead of "is" (I should've said "was" because he's dead). And based on a map I checked my answers on afterwards, I missed all but one of the countries on the outline Middle East map we were supposed to fill out (I got Syria right, but missed on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan...I only remembered where Syria should be because I know it's right above Israel).

My French final was easy, as expected. My American Lit final (not the paper, but the actual final itself) was easier because we could use the study guide on both parts, as opposed to just one. The first part gives you 13 passages, 10 of which you must do. You must identify each passage by the work it's from and the work's author, state a theme the passage illustrates, and show how the passage illustrates the theme. I'm not sure how I did on the themes. I'm sure they were right themes (not totally out of left field) but maybe not what she's looking for. I did good identifying the works and authors because I only pick passages that I can recognize that information for. Some are more obvious than others. The second part is based on the study guide itself. She gives us a big long study guide of around 50 questions or so, 20 or 25 of which are actually on the test. But you don't know which ones will be on the test, so it's good to fill out the whole study guide. I did this, and pretty much copied my answers off of my study guide, with a few alterations in some cases.

As I said, I am starting a summer class on July 9th. This in the second summer intersession or "block," which begins July 8th (which is a Wednesday; the scheduling is a little odd because of having to accomodate the 4th of July holiday in the first summer block). Because my class is a Tuesday/Thursday class, it begins on July 9th. I verified this with the people who make the academic calendars. The class is Lit & Writing 320, a class called "Sacred Texts." I am taking it for my last upper division G.E. class, which has to be in Arts & Humanities. The catalog description for the class basically says that it looks at different sacred texts from a literary standpoint. The detailed description on the Lit & Writing department website (which looks a lot better than the other department websites I've seen, if I may say so, even the French one) says that the particular class I'm taking will study Islam in comparison with Judaism and Christianity by exploring how their sacred texts "characterize and sometimes define common concepts and issues such as life, death, marriage, social decorum, government, economics, art, and architecture." It sounds interesting. It's like when I took Asian Philosophy and Religion at MiraCosta and the teacher said she was going to teach about Islam (which is not an Asian religion, of course) because she felt it was misunderstood.

I am also enrolled for fall already. I am taking two Lit & Writing classes - a core class, LTWR 300B, called "History of Literary Commentary II," and an elective class, LTWR 318, called "Small Press Publishing." The first class basically studies "current trends in critical theory." My friend Stephanie said I should take the A section first, but the A section is a night class this fall, which doesn't work with my schedule (with the bus and all). Plus, Dr. Cucinella (my lit teacher these last two semesters) is teaching it, and I need a break from her. Plus, there's no rule saying that you have to take them in order. The major worksheet just says LTWR 300A is a recommended prerequisite.

The second class is described as "practical training in manuscript soliciting, editing, publishing, and distributing." As an unpublished author, I could really use this. As a "small press" class, it probably won't look at dealing with big publishers, but it's something. Plus it's being taught by Sandra Doller, the faculty advisor for the Creative Writing Community I've been hearing about through the "ltwrundergrad" mailing list (e-mail mailing lists can be annoying as heck, but this one is actually useful). It's a group of creative writers on campus who recently got recognized as an official club. Now that French Club is going to meet bimonthly rather than every week, I should be able to get involved in this club too. I went to one of their writing workshops this semester and read my short story "The Tale of Lady Victoria." The people there thought it was really good and said it would work as part of a larger book (which is my intention; I intend to create some sort of "tales" anthology with this and my other "Walden stories") or, with some editing, as a standalone piece.

The two other classes I am taking are related to my minor, French. I am taking French 312, French Composition and Advanced Oral Practice. Technically, I should take French 311 (Advanced French) next, but the way the courses are being offered schedule-wise I have to take them backwards. Dr. Anover said there wouldn't be a problem as far as what we need to know for the class. I am also taking History 318, a class called Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe. This is for a course substitution for my minor elective, since the French classes listed on the minor worksheet for that requirement are getting cut. Dr. Anover already said it would count (I sent her an e-mail with the catalog description). I'm a little worried because when I enrolled it said it had to be counted as a upper-division G.E. course for arts and humanities, so I wasn't sure we'd able to use it for my minor. But I'm already taking my course for that requirement this summer, so hopefully it will work out. I may e-mail Dr. Anover about it just in case. Okay, I just did that.

There was also an e-mail from my history teacher from the 13th asking if I'd be on campus later in the week to return this book called A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America that I'd lent to her. I e-mailed her back telling her she could keep it. I wasn't too into the book anyway, and I don't have much bookshelf space as it is.

With school out of the way for now, I am thinking about other things. One of those things is my career. A few things prompted this. One was thinking about what to do with my free time this summer, and the thing that jumped to my mind was to work on the personal/writing website that I had been working on in small increments as I had time but was now stuck on. I looked up some stuff on what to include in a writing website and decided I'd have to make two separate websites, one personal and one professional. I have to make some website to prove my skill in order to apply for the fanlistings I want to make anyway, so I will make my personal site for that. This will also give me a site to link to my personal Blogger blog from, since I don't want to link to that blog from my professional site since I am very candid about things on there, including frustrations about work. Although, I just realized that if I link to my Alera Gynne fanfic from my professional site, they might look at my personal blog anyway, since they're under the same account and thus share the same profile.

There. I fixed that. I deleted the blog from my personal blog account and set it up under a new account under the e-mail I intend to use for my "professional" site and am already using for my job-related profiles on the social networks LinkedIn and ZoomInfo, networks I found out about from a Fortune article I found online. I don't want to give it out here, but basically it's an e-mail with my full real first and last name and my middle initial. I created it as an alternate e-mail when we couldn't get into our regular Yahoo accounts.

I'm really hungry, so I'll write more later.

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