Fall Classes or “Academic Adventures of an English Major”

Let’s talk academics for a little while. It’s just before the semester starts, which means I’m currently trying to shorten my answer to “What classes are you taking?” into a 1 minute tagline instead of a 5 minute explanation. It’s harder than you’d think!

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So, what am I taking this semester? Well, the class currently on my mind is senior seminar, which I’m taking a year early because of my thesis. The theme this year is literature and politics, and I’m incredibly excited because my advisor is teaching it this time around. I’m thinking about it already because I’ve started to reread Uncle Tom’s Cabin in preparation for the first few weeks. I’ve read it (in high school, I think), but between then and now, I’ve taken an entire course called “Atlantic World Slavery”, and I’m already reading the novel with new insights. Thank goodness we’re starting with that Stowe, not 1984. Otherwise, I’d be lost already. Orwell and I haven’t had the best experiences together thus far.

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I’m taking a Principles of Language class – a basic requirement for my major.books-0119I’m also taking a second-level French class. Honestly, if you had asked me last January if I’d enroll in another French class, I would have definitely said no, but here I am with another one! We start off by reading Asterix, which I’m pretty excited about. I’m sure my summer of *cough*not actually keeping up with my French*cough* will do wonders for the first few weeks in class, but I’ll survive.


 

The other three courses I don’t have textbooks for yet because none of them are traditional classes!

  • I’m enrolled in my official internship this fall. My school requires one to graduate, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have an internship with Washington Performing Arts over the summer that I’ve extended through the fall. I’m ecstatic to get into performance season as we kick off the fall with Fall Arts Fair, and VelocityDC!
  • Have I explained an Honors tutorial on here before? I can’t remember, so I’ll just repeat myself, or something. A tutorial is similar to an independent study, but it’s based off the Oxford tutorial tradition. I’m technically done with my honors credits till le thesis, but I’m taking another (because I’m addicted to them, perhaps?). We’re doing an entire semester in Creative Nonfiction, and I’m so excited.
  • The last one was just added this past week (ek!). I’m doing an independent study where I’ll sit in on/work on projects related to/assist with the adaptations class this fall. I’m looking forward to reviewing adaptations – I’ve been knee-deep in Woolf for so long that my adaptations knowledge has suffered, a bit, and I’ll need both Woolf and adaptations knowledge for my thesis proposal this spring.

It probably takes me 5 minutes to explain my classes because I’m definitely a class junkie. More than one *cough* professor here knows that it’s very easy to talk me into enrolling for a class that sounds interesting (even if it doesn’t fit my course requirements). This semester, my only course that doesn’t fill a requirement or “purpose” related to my thesis is French, but I find that “unnecessary” language or humanities courses are refreshing, and allow me to focus better on other classes if I take them simultaneously.

Fall semester, here I come. College folks – what are you taking this semester? I want to hear about your courses!

Wrapping Up Summer

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When I was small, summers used to seem like infinite stretches of days and weeks. It never ended, just like the farm work and the weeds never ended. I think the combination of age, and of working 9-5 + a commute has made the summer go much faster this year than any before this, but I’ve still been able enjoy a few small vacations and quasi-vacations.


For instance, this summer…

  • I traveled to NYC for my first legitimate visit there with the fabulous Erin and Meredith.
  • I’ve been in DC a lot more because of my internship – I’ve been to Georgetown for the first time (crazy, right? I’ve lived here for two years and still hadn’t been).
  • I went a-Fringing and saw a variety of shows – both with friends and alone. Including one show with my fabulous friend Michelle, who I first met in Oxford, and happened to be in DC this summer.
  • I spent this past weekend in DC with the fabulous Amelia, who was in town for the CLIC photography conference/workshop. I love when blogging friends come to visit!
  • I’m currently staying in an apartment that has a pool – pools on the weekend = vacation. My sister Hannah also came up to do a sister sleepover, which was very exciting.

But now, all this must come to an end. I move back to school early this week, and start classes next week. It’s crazy to think that three months went by so quickly, but they did. Regardless, I’m excited for fall – for the things I already know of, and the things that I don’t. I’m always excited for the potential of a new season – each seems to bring a new adventure, a new opportunity.

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For instance, I thought I would be studying abroad this fall. There, I said it. Out loud, in public. I have the tendency to hide my “failures” under excuses and silence, so I haven’t discussed this very much with anyone. To be fair, it wasn’t my fault at all – I suspect it was an administrative kerfuffle, but I’ll never know. Regardless, staying home this fall means that I’ll be able to extend my internship in DCtake senior seminar with an amazing professor, and be in the States to celebrate my 20th birthday.

Sometimes, these experiences – disappointments – remind you to count your blessings in ways that you hadn’t considered before. This is definitely the case with my junior year in general. I’ll probably post a bit more in the future explaining some of this is greater detail, but for now, let’s just say that I’m thankful to be where I’m at right now.

Happy end of your weekend. I can’t wait to start this Monday fresh, and get back into the school mode. What are you looking forward to this week?

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Style Crush – Lucy Liu

In case you haven’t been watching my Twitter and Instagram this weekend, I’ve been watching Elementary. To be more specific, I spent the entire afternoon yesterday watching part of Season 1, and I’ll probably be watching more tonight, after a dinner engagement.

In terms of street-style and fashion, Elementary is absolutely amazing. I’m a massive fan of Lucy Liu, so I’ve definitely fallen in love with her impeccable wardrobe. Definitely one of the best dressed Watsons I’ve seen, and arguably one of the most fashionable (modern – I won’t attempt to compete with Poirot) characters in mystery television.

via CBS

via CBS

via CBS/Rex Features

via CBS

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