An Update On My Classes | I Am Excited, Nervous, & Irritated All At Once

Soooooo… I haven’t posted about college in, like, a very long time. OK, that’s not quite true. I have talked about college on this blog lately, but only in passing – I haven’t written any posts that were SPECIFICALLY about college since early September. (Which, admittedly, is also not all that long ago.)

WHATEVER. I want to post about it now, so I’m going to. I haven’t done a recap of how my classes are going in a while, so I thought I’d do that today!

City of Literature

I’m soooo glad I’m taking this class! I’m learning so much about the literary history of Iowa City! I’m so glad I’m learning about all the authors who’ve lived and worked here, and even the ones who just passed through. (Dylan Thomas evidently spent most of his time here drunk and not talking about poetry like the directors of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop had intended him to?)

Also, it’s just really cool to finally take a literature class. FINALLY. That is one thing I was never able to do as a homeschooler, because my mom is a math/science kind of person, so we just never discussed books for school. We never analyzed them.

Creative Writing

UGH THIS CLASS IS SO INTIMIDATING AND YET SO EXHILARATING. I’m so insecure about my fiction writing, and am super uncomfortable with showing it to others, so this class has been… interesting.

Anyway. We’ve begun to workshop stories now – I signed up for the last possible date, because I’m still not quite sure what I want to write about, but I think I may write about a hella gay necromancer and her alchemist girlfriend – and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the first few stories!

…but this week’s batch. OH MY. I feel bad about saying this but… like, I’m not totally sure that some of the people realized they were supposed to write a story and not a freaking college application essay, because that’s what their writing samples felt like. It was awkward.

Intro to Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies

UGH I’M SO CONFLICTED ABOUT THIS CLASS. I looooove that I’m studying this subject, finally, and I can’t wait to take more classes like this – not only because I am interested in GWSS stuff, but because this class is so freaking basic and it’s really disappointed me in some ways.

Like, I get that it’s an introductory course, but this is college. Not high school. And I was expecting this class to be, well, as intersectional as it claims to be. I feel like this course is very much about Straight White Cis Feminism, and I just… no.

(Also, I’m annoyed at how when my TA does bring up queer issues during our discussions, she talks about them as if none of us could possibly be queer and, you know, be personally invested in this subject/have actually met a real live queer person. I’m just like “Actually…” Like, please stop. The other TA is super funny and basically the lesbianest lesbian ever to lesbian, and I so wish I’d gotten her. UGH SORRY I TOTALLY JUST WENT ON A RANT THERE. One of my friends and I were talking about Intro to GWSS the other day, and both of us were relieved to know that we weren’t the only ones to feel this way.)

…basically I am happy whenever we discuss something from Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – one of our assigned readings – and then I’m pretty much just like UGH WHY.

Media History and Culture

Cross-posted from my Facebook wall:

I went to a professor’s office hours for the first time this semester! My Media History & Culture prof OKed my idea of writing about Carmilla S1E1 for the upcoming “contextualization of a YouTube video” paper. He got pretty excited about it, actually!

I brainstormed a list of things to discuss – the show’s method of broadcasting, its extensive use of social media not only for marketing but as a way to tell more of the story, native advertising, its predominantly young/queer/female audience that is highly adept at using the Internet.

…and long story short, he now wants me to talk about this show as an example of “convergence culture” (a topic we have been studying) in front of the entire class on Friday. Eeep.

UGH I’M SO EXCITED. I love that I was able to turn something I’m passionate about into an entire essay. I love that I can write about fandoms, essentially, and that it counts as actual homework. Now I can geek out about Carmilla AND media history!

Basically, I’m starting to really love this class. I didn’t at first – I hated it, and thought it was much too hard and BORING – but now I enjoy it! I was soooo bored when we were on chapter one, with all the stuff about woodblock printing and Gutenberg and the 95 Theses and whatever, because A) I already knew all this and B) this stuff is so basic!

But now we’re learning about all kinds of cool stuff – photojournalism, and Nellie Bly, and the muckrakers, and filmmaking as a means of bringing about social change, and digital culture, and… ohhhh my. I love it so much.

Superheroes Unleashed:
3,000 Years of Heroes, Villains, and a Mad Race for Immortality

This is my FAVORITE class, but I think everyone – including the professor – is frustrated with our time constraints. We meet once a week for only fifty minutes! It’s very hard to say everything we want to say about a particular story in the time we do have!

At the moment, I have a paper due. It has to be “at least three pages about… how heroes are still relevant today!” We have to pick at least one superhero and one classical hero and compare them, and it’s due at the beginning of the next class (Tuesday). Basically, we can write about whatever we want.

All I know is that I want to talk about CAPTAIN AMERICA. (My prof said to save our ideas for papers about superheroines for the second paper, after we’ve completed the upcoming unit all about them!) I’m thinking maybe Captain America & Beowulf, or Captain America & Achilles? I’ve been exploring this website lately and it’s given me soooo many ideas.

-~-

…so, there you have it. Not the best post I’ve ever written – I feel like it was a little disjointed in parts – but THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING LATELY. Walking from class to class, raising my hand like a NERD, reading soooo many books for school and so very few for my own pleasure, petting all the cats I happen to see, and doing OODLES OF HOMEWORK.

How have your school days been? Awesome, I hope!

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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8 Responses to An Update On My Classes | I Am Excited, Nervous, & Irritated All At Once

  1. ALL YOUR CLASSES SOUND EXCELLENT. Even if the gender one is a bit cis/hetero focused. Lame. But I’d looooove to do a creative writing class!

    • nevillegirl says:

      I love Creative Writing! I only have it once a week, but for several hours. ❤

      I… yeah. I'm kind of disappointed by how superficially we've covered race in this class, too. The honors GWSS students (myself included) have to read an extra book for class and write a paper about it, and the book (Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson) is about race, but the other students aren't getting much material about race. The GWSS department is actually doing a symposium about "social justice after Ferguson" next week and I think I may go to one or two of the evening events just to supplement my Intro to GWSS course, because I'm not learning as much about race as I thought I would in this course.

  2. F says:

    Your classes sound so fun, especially the Superhero one! I’d love to read a post about what you learned in that if you can’t think of a post idea 🙂 Also, a fun fact for you: in Cork and Dublin there are actually retro restaurant/bar establishments called Captain America’s.

    It’s great that you can take such broad classes! I’m doing all Language subjects which I find really interesting (especially compared to my friends who are doing all Teaching, Accounting, Dentistry, etc!), it can be demanding, though!

    Good luck with your creative writing and general college busyness 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, I’m planning to write specific posts for each class, eventually! I’ve been saving up interesting/cool/weird/funny things I’ve learned in each class!

      *whispers* I may be going to Dublin this coming summer for a study abroad program, so I will be sure to check out Captain America’s. 😀 (And maybe we could meet up! OMG, that would be awesome!)

      Thank you!

  3. matttblack42 says:

    I’m glad college seems to mostly be going well for you. I feel your pain about creative writing, re: the other students. I know this sounds terrible, but I’m sort of amazed at just how bad some AP Literature students are when it comes to creative writing. We had to write a short horror story a few weeks ago and a kid opens his story with, “It was a scary and ominous night,” and I was like, “come on, man. You’re better than that.”

    Your thoughts on the Gender/Women/Sexuality studies class sort of reminds me of my eighth and tenth grade health classes. In which things like homosexuality were briefly brought up, but in a “well, you’re all straight anyway so it’s not like we really have to teach this,” sort of way.

    • nevillegirl says:

      OH MY GOD, YES. The MC of one girl’s story was, supposedly, a straight-A student who also works full time as a waitress so she can save up money for college, and she also volunteers. And I just. When is this poor character supposed to, like, SLEEP?

      Pffffft. My TA hasn’t said anything quite that bad, but she does ask questions about, like… what our opinions of certain issues may be and “why do you feel that way? Do you have any gay friends who’ve shaped your perspective?” *raises hand* Yes, TA person, I spend ALL MY TIME with this really gay person. It’s me. I am a gay.

      (Side note: Have you ever seen But I’m A Cheerleader? My Spectrum group watched that at our meeting last night, and it was ever so slightly amazing. It’s like The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and the guy in charge of making the gay boys “turn straight” is played by RuPaul, and he says, “I myself was once… A GAY.” We all lost it at that point. Also, the lead actress plays Nicky on OITNB, apparently?)

      • matttblack42 says:

        I haven’t seen it, but I’m willing to, if only for the wonder that is Natasha Lyonne. And also because I just watched the trailer and it looks good. Is it on Netflix, by any chance?

    • nevillegirl says:

      YES! It is! She’s amazing. I can’t even.

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