These past few months felt like the longest semester of my life. I burned out in September. I’ve been trying to take things easy, and greatly appreciated Thanksgiving break, but I’m still so unbelievably ready for a longer break. I’m looking forward to focusing on projects of my own devising – reading, writing, journaling, baking, making little Christmas gifts for my friends and family, applying for scholarships and internships and part-time jobs.
With that said, it’s time for me to reflect on the fall semester. If anything, I suppose it taught me that I can get through even the toughest of times… but I’ll be so happy to put it behind me.
Age of Dinosaurs
I’d been meaning to take this course to fulfill my last science gen ed requirement since freshman year, but it never worked with the rest of my class schedule. I ended up loving it so much I didn’t even mind the fact that it was four credit hours when I only needed one more science credit.
I’m certainly not about to change my major or anything, but this course definitely makes me think about what could have been – since, after all, I did want to be a paleontologist when I was a little kid. If I have time over the break I’m planning to tackle a couple of dinosaur books I found on my brother’s shelves, because I have a much better grasp on the subject than before!
Writing and War
I was so nervous at the beginning of the semester because the other honors lit seminar I’d taken was super difficult… like, tbh I hated it soooo much! But I adored the class. It was great fun to read some classics that have been on my TBR forever, such as Catch-22. I’m quite proud of my final paper, too: It helps when you’re passionate about the topic, I guess! (It was a 15-page paper about sexual assault in the military as depicted in Helen Benedict’s novel Sand Queen. I may post it here eventually, if anyone would be interested in reading it?) And to top it all off, the course was taught by one of my favorite professors, so I always looked forward to discussing that day’s reading!
One of my biggest regrets this semester was how many sessions of MDF I missed due to being too depressed to get out of bed. Buuuuut I managed to learn a lot anyway, so I’m grateful for that much! I ended up writing a 15-page retelling of Sherlock Holmes set at my school, complete with a lesbian Watson and a black lesbian Holmes. Definitely one of the most fun writing projects I’ve worked on in college!
Gender, Sexuality, & Media
Really gonna miss this course + my professor + her enthusiasm. As I’ve mentioned before, the second half of the semester was more discussion-based than lecture-based, so it was great to talk through everything I was learning with all my classmates. I wrote my final paper about the ways in which Agent Carter both is and isn’t a feminist show!
Magazine Reporting & Writing
GOOD. FUCKIGN. RIDDANCE. Turning in the course evaluation for this class was sooo satisfying, let me tell you. I basically said that I found the prof incredibly rude + self-centered and would not recommend him to any other students! I’m so bummed about this, tbh, because I was really excited about this course back in August… oh, well.
My final project was about what it’s like to be LGBTQ+ and home for the holidays, since I know this is a rough time for many of us. I wrote a collection of mini profiles of LGBTQ+ people in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids… it’s on a password-protected WordPress site to protect the privacy of those I interviewed, but if we’ve talked before I’d be happy to send you the link and password! Just don’t want random people accessing the site, that’s all.
What classes did you take this semester? How do your feelings about them at the beginning compare to your feelings toward them now?