Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I just received a list of classes for my first semester, and instructions how to sign up. Students are to choose their top five choices, and send their list back to the department director so he can determine how to fairly sign people up.  I think of those five choices, students end up in three classes.

One class, a workshop in my genre, non-fiction, is a given. But there are so many other choices! There are literature classes ranging from Chaucer to Milton to the Modern Novel. This is exciting!

But so hard to decide!

I'm mindful of mistakes I made as an undergraduate, not paying attention to the schedule I was setting for myself. So I'm thinking about that carefully.

I don't want to give myself too heavy a load at first. I have to take the workshop - but should I also take a workshop in another genre? Would that be too much writing? Or would a literature course, with readings and papers to write, be even more demanding?

The workshop takes place once a week in the evening.  There's a class on Nature Writing that sounds really interesting, but it takes place the same day, mid-morning. Since I don't know where I'm living yet, I am wondering whether this would be wise. Will I want to hang around campus all day between classes? Or travel back and forth twice?

On the other hand, maybe it would be nice to cluster all my classes on the same day, leaving the rest of the week free.

Another thing to consider is getting some fundamentals under my belt. I have zero knowledge of literary theory or pedagogy - and frankly, I don't much care about them. Should I just get those out of the way at the beginning? Or wait until I'm more accustomed to scholarly life?

So far, the classes on my wish list include:

1)  Literature class (Nature writing) that meets Tuesday/Thursday from 9:30 am - 10:45 am
2)  Writing workshop in my genre (mandatory), Tuesday 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm
3)  Class that analyzes craft in fiction, Wednesday, 6:00pm - 8:45 pm
4)  Literary Theory, Wednesday, 4:30 pm - 7:15 pm (obviously, if I take this I can't also take the craft class)
5)  Non-fiction literature, online

What do you think?


smalltownme said...

Nature writing!

David Duff said...

It all sounds totally and utterly 'boring-snoring'! Why don't you just sit on one of those two chairs in the photo above with your lap-top, seek inspiration from the view - and just write!

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Personally, I would not want an early class and a late class on the same day without the option to go home and chill out between. I often spend the day between rehearsals and concerts semi-homeless, living, eating, working on my iPhone, napping, etc. in the car. Not highly recommended. Just my two cents. Your class choices look really interesting! I think you'd be a natural (ha ha...sorry) at the Nature Writing course. Now you just need a food and travel writing course too!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I agree with the others on nature writing. After all, it intrigued you!
A little time between classes (and this is from my own undergraduate days, 30 years ago) is okay and helpful to keep things straight in your head, but a long day with many hours in-between might not be very pleasant.
I'm sure you'll find a good mix.

M. Bouffant said...

Sorry I'm handing my paper in so late, but craft over theory any day! No other advice or suggestions, 'though.