An Update On My Classes | Tests, Etymology, “Antigone,” & More!


The Art and Craft of Travel Writing

My professor says it’s important to read more than just travel writing created by rich white guys, because – like it or not – people are treated differently according to their race, class, and gender, and because of that everyone will experience a place slightly differently. Some may be viewed with suspicion because of their race, or may not feel comfortable going out into the city at night because of their gender, or they may not have the funds to travel very much at well.

Basically, we should be careful not to generalize some rich white guy’s thoughts about any particular location as The Definitive Experience of _______. I’m really glad he brought up the diversity aspect, because I think it’s often overlooked in nonfiction.

So, yeah. He assigns us stuff written by all sorts of people. So far, we’ve studied travel writing about the United States, various islands, and Island. And next week, we’re reading about Turkey!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you – one of my essays will be workshopped during the next class session! I volunteered to go first.

Introduction to the Short Story:
From Henry James to Flash Fiction

On Monday, my group and I led a discussion of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman! We prepared a bunch of questions about feminism, mental illness, the intersection of the two, and how both were viewed at the time this story was written. This student-led discussion is a major part of my grade, so I’m glad it went smoothly!

Other than that, I don’t have much to say about this class at the moment. Some of the stories were sort of boring – I couldn’t really get into the Henry James short story we read the other day – but we did read Poe a few weeks ago, and Heart of Darkness is up next. (!!!!)

Media Uses and Effects

In some of my classes, we’ll have only one or two or three tests. We have four in this class, and I love that! Because we have more exams than usual, each one covers a fairly small amount of information, and the final is non-cumulative to boot!

Anyway, we had our first test last week, and I already got my grade back: 96.43%. That is the most ridiculously specific grade I’ve ever heard of, but WHATEVER. I am happy with it, even if I don’t fully understand where the .43% came from. (Like… .5% would make sense, so I don’t know how I lost that .07% of a point?!)

Language Rights

AHHHH THIS CLASS IS SO COOL. LIKE, EVEN COOLER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE. It’s kind of a combination of etymology and social justice? We’ve been learning about how people are mistreated and/or misjudged because of the language they speak.

One example that comes to mind is African-American Vernacular English (or AAVE for short) and the “habitual be.” Speakers of AAVE are often judged for “not knowing proper grammar,” but the habitual be actually expresses habitual actions or actions done over an extended period of time. And there’s a double standard between how people view it, too. Speakers of some dialects of Scots also use it – or should I say that they be using it? – but when they do, it’s viewed as quaint, and not as a sign of ignorance.


Wonder Woman Unleashed: A Hero for Our Times

MY PROFESSOR BROUGHT CHOCOLATE TO CLASS ONE DAY DFJGSHDFJK. And then she made us take sides with various characters in Antigone and argue about who was right. I looooove this class so so much… my prof is always so enthusiastic, and our syllabus is filled with stories about kickass women. Next week, though, we’re taking a bit of a break from all that reading and watching two episodes of the 1970s Wonder Woman show instead!


What’s new with you?! Tell me all about your classes, if you’re taking any at the moment!


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to An Update On My Classes | Tests, Etymology, “Antigone,” & More!

  1. Richard says:

    I actually had a Greek Drama and Culture module at uni this year and I did a lecture or two on Antigone. Such an interesting play!

  2. F says:

    Your classes sound so interesting! I love that your class addressed the ‘habitual be’ issue, my friends and I were discussing this just the other day, but we didn’t know that was the official name for it 😛 Most working class/rural people in Ireland say ‘I do be’ and things like that, whereas upperclass/Dublin (which is the most British-ized part of Ireland) speak Standard English. This is because English was introduced to these areas and people didn’t ‘formally’ learn it, they would just would translate things directly from Irish. Nowadays many people (including myself) still speak English like this. Some people would say it was quaint, but middleclass/upperclass people I know at uni either think it’s pathetic and unclassy, or else they think it’s hipster and cool to use this kind of language, but ironically.

    You should tell us more about your Wonder Woman class! I’m happy something like that exists, to be honest.

    Very interesting post 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yes! We learned about “I do be” as well. 🙂

      I’m planning to! I have a few half-finished drafts about different things I’ve learned in that class. 😀

      Thank you!

  3. Shanti says:

    Your classes sound awesome! Right now I’m really interested in Indian history, because we’re learning about the events of 1857 (either called the first war of independence or the Muntiny) and my teacher is fabulous. I’m suffering through AP Calculus, acing AP environmental science, which is awesome, and finding out that agriculture is complicated in AP human geography. Oh, and we just started reading a Indian-partition era novel (from when India became independent and split into India, Bangladesh and Pakistan- I’m not sure how much you know about Indian history) in AP English. And we’re doing projects in Media studies. (I take a lot of Ap’s– believe me, I’ve noticed.) Anyway, even though my classes are hard, they’re mostly interesting, and i have realy good teachers.

  4. Appletaile says:

    LANGUAGE RIGHTS SOUNDS SO GREAT. I adore linguistic-y things and language and social justice??!? *cries* Our uni classes aren’t nearly as interesting. You have to choose, like, one subject to study. 😦 (And of course I have zero idea how I’m going to manage that ahaha.) I’m going back to school tomorrow and hoping it will be cushioned by the many book releases this week. 😛

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ooh, what books are being released?! I’ve been so busy reading stuff for school that I haven’t had time to keep track of new releases, let alone read them. (Or any other books, for that matter.)

  5. I tagged you over on my blog, I don’t know if you do tags often but this one was fun. 🙂

  6. moosha23 says:

    Your classes are like all my dream classes. THEY ROCK.

  7. YOUR CLASSES ALL SOUND SO COOL! The travel writing one sounds super interesting.
    (On another note, I watched Captain America!)

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