An Update On My Classes | Sherman Alexie, Benjamin Franklin As An 18th-Century Blogger (!!), & Conducting Interviews

Hey, everyone! It’s time for the first college update of the semester. This is a monthly occurrence on my blog and it consists of me giving some brief thoughts about how each of my classes are going so far.

At the moment, I’m super stressed. I’m taking seventeen hours of credits this semester, which is more than I’ve ever done before – and right now I feel really grateful to past me for not signing up for that Russian lit course taught by my favorite professor, because that would have put me at twenty semester hours.

But I’ll get through it! I basically start studying as soon as I get home each day, and I try to study at least a little bit in between my classes as well. And I make a lot of to-do lists. SO. MANY. LISTS.


Prose Style

I adore this class! It’s been so much fun to examine writing, both our own and that of others, at the sentence level. I was assigned the first slot for workshop so I brought in five sentences – together forming a sort of flash fiction piece about a dragon who hoards books – and I got some really constructive feedback! We’ve been talking about the use of assonance and consonance, so it was nice to hear that I used those effectively.

Foundations of the English Major

I just turned in a major paper on Sherman Alexie’s short story, “Because My Father Always Said He Was The Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner” At Woodstock,” and now I have a break of, like, half a week until I need to start thinking about the next essay! I don’t really mind, though, because it’s a good class – the professor is super engaging and often hilarious. I’ve begun to keep notes about the things he says. (Should I turn them into a blog post later?!)

Media Shift

Sooooo… I have a presentation due on my birthday, which would normally suck because because A) IT’S MY BIRTHDAY and B) I’m not really a fan of this class. (The professor, among other things, drones on and on and thinks it’s totally reasonable for students to print off one hundred pages of readings per week… UM NO. I have four other classes that also require me to print things.)

But the topic of my presentation is “Benjamin Franklin as the eighteenth-century equivalent of a blogger,” which is EXACTLY the topic I was hoping to be assigned. Franklin is one of the most interesting founding fathers, IMO, and I get to talking about blogging. BLOGGING!

Journalistic Reporting & Writing

On Tuesday I conducted my very first interview! I talked to the director of the University of Iowa’s museums about her role in creating a new exhibit, Hawkeyes in Space, about my school’s contribution to creating scientific instruments used in several space exploration missions. I was super nervous beforehand but she was great to talk to – hilarious, and I loved what she had to say about translating scientific gobbledygook into language that the public can understand.

Introduction to Multimedia Storytelling

I am SO PSYCHED for all the tech we get to use in this class! My first assignment in this class – which is also the first one with an accompanying project for JRW – involves conducting an audio interview with someone who is an expert about some sort of issue concerning either Iowa City or the university. (In JRW, I have to write a story that adds my expert source to five other sources that I’ve interviewed.)

I’m kind of stressed about the pace of this class and how many assignments overlap with JRW, but I’m trying to take things one at a time. Let’s hope I don’t become overwhelmed!


How has your life been? Have you learned anything fun/weird/exciting in school lately? How do you like your teachers so far? ARE YOU AS STRESSED AS I AM, PEOPLES?!


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.
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3 Responses to An Update On My Classes | Sherman Alexie, Benjamin Franklin As An 18th-Century Blogger (!!), & Conducting Interviews

  1. Mahima says:

    Your classes sound super good! It’s only been a week since classes have started for me, and we’re being made to work on our personal statements (sort of like a cover letter for university applications, if you aren’t familiar with it). My brain is HURTING from spending the whole day working on it, and to be honest it’s not even that good yet – there’s so much left to do!

    I am stressed a little, but I think I can do it. I’m confident in my abilities, I just need to carve out some more time for studying outside of school and make the most of free periods (self-study sessions?). I’m SUPER looking forward to finishing my personal statement, brushing up my UCAS form, and concentrating on getting my grades to the best possible place and I’m worried that it’s going to take over my life somewhat. 😐

  2. Those classes sound really interesting! Question: (because I’m curious, in Australia we do things differently), when you say 17 semester hours, does that mean you have 17 contact hours of classes each week, or something else? 🙂

  3. Evi says:

    Yay these sound so cool! Oh my goodness, Benjamin Franklin as a BLOGGER SOUNDS AMAZING. I love that sort of thing.
    Luckily this semester all my teachers are great! Apparently next semester I have a teacher who assigns TONS of pointless work, but oh well, I’ll have to get used to it anyway.

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