As of last night I’ve officially completed my first week as a master’s student and I’m more excited than ever about my chosen career path. Every class seems new and exciting! Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve learned so far:
- Everyone that I have met has a deep love of J.K. Rowling. During orientation someone mentioned an obscure HP line and everyone understood. I think I’ve found my people.
- There are people from all different backgrounds here at SILS. At Kenyon, it was expected that everyone had come from roughly the same academic experience but here that’s really not the case. It’s interesting to see what different people bring to the table!
- There are no grades. This one is the biggest shocker to me! As someone who has
at times been called an overachiever, it’s going to take some time to learn to live without the ever-present ‘A.’ Here at SILS, classes are H/P/F, meaning high pass, pass and fail.
- Technology in the classroom is encouraged. I’m not sure how to deal with professors telling us to bring our laptops to class to tweet or google! The SILS program is about sharing collaboratively so the professors have encouraged us to be active on the web.
It’s been a great first week but the ease into classes is officially over — homework calls!
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As of this Thursday, Exeter officially released the course descriptions for next year’s classes. I’m so happy to have an idea of what these interesting titles mean! Their system is so different from Kenyon’s; Exeter puts the book list and syllabus up with the class descriptions making it possible to examine the books that you will be reading before making a decision about taking the class. I LOVE that system.
I was seriously considering taking two classes that, after looking at the reading list and syllabus, were no longer appealing to me. There was one film course that looked kind of boring from the title (“Cityscapes”) but after looking at the films we will be watching sound absolutely amazing! I can’t believe that I will be watching “Guys and Dolls,” episodes of “Sex in the City” and “The Sopranos” for class! I’m so interested to see what can be gleaned about New York from SJP and to look at movies/TV shows I love in a more academic light!
In the fall I will be taking “Imperial Encounters: The Victorians and Their World.” The course focuses mainly on travel literature about the imperial expansions of Great Britain to India etc. I’ve always loved looking at the opulence and splendor of the British Empire in relation to the poverty of the countries they “civilized.” The class should be amazing, especially seeing that part of history from British perspective: I wonder what spin will be placed on the missteps!
I will also be taking “Hardy and the Women Who Did.” Looking at Hardy’s novels from a feminist perspective, the course will examine the types of women he portrayed in relation to the Victorian stereotypes and actualities of his day. I’ve fallen in love with Women’s Movements all over again in “U.S. Women: Women in US History” and can’t wait to explore this from the UK side of things.
In the spring, my class schedule deviates more from what I would normally take. The film course I described earlier, “Cityscapes,” is something I’ve never explored before. I had to watch films for class in high school, mainly for movie nights for Mrs. Vooys, but I haven’t really examined them as a medium like I’ve studied books. Professor Coulibaly (U.S. Women) has encouraged the class to take a film course so that we can learn how to view movies with a more critical and academic eye, so I think that this fits the bill! I always feel as if there is more to a movie to be seen than I realize and I hope that “Cityscapes” will make me more confident in my movie critiquing abilities.
“Beyond Plath: American Women Poets” is definitely outside of my comfort zone: not only have I never taken a post -1900 English course, I’ve never taken a poetry class! I was toying with taking “Jane Austen” instead but then, in trying to talk Sam into taking “Beyond Plath,” I talked myself into it! I absolutely love Plath’s poetry and prose and being able to study her in England would be amazing. I think that American’s tend to demonize Ted Hughes and the relationship between Hughes and Plath and I am interested to see if the British have a different take!
Ta for now,