Monday, September 12, 2011


So R, I feel far too lazy to both post and send you an email about school, so I'm just gonna post it all here! :-P

Tuesday was the first day of classes, and I had one class -- ENGL200, or Understanding Literature. My teacher was my kind of people: no bullshit, straight-talking, a bit of a hard ass, but understanding to those who follow the rules but maybe need one exception down the line. :-P I am a fan, and I look forward to those classes.

Wednesday is my main day of classes, as I have all of my MWF classes and band as well (which I actually don't start until the end of the month, as the strings get a few extra weeks of alone time with the conductor to Not Suck). I start out with Russian at 9 am.

My Russian professor, Svitlana, seems very nice, a bit scatter brained, and it's hard to get a feel for how she is as a prof. With it just being Russian 101, I'm sure there won't be any great strides made in my learning the language, especially as one has to teach to the lowest common denominator. But it's a good class to wake up with. Also, the guy who sits next to me is pretty cool, and already took Russian, so he's just boosting his GPA. (A.k.a. sounds like good Class Partner material to me!)

From 10 am until noon, I am in what's basically the same class: Theory 3 leads into Ear Training 3. I don't move, it's the same professor, and it's the same principles. I LOVE love love my theory prof. He's hands-down my fave prof thus far. He's funny, he's teaching at pretty much the level I need right now (it's a little dumbed down, but we've only had the third class), and I'm doing excellently and sitting in the front row. I like classes that make me feel smart, and have smart people in them, and there are a lot of smart people in this class. You don't make it to level 3 without being capable of understanding the concepts in levels 1 and 2 competently. That, and the smart people sit up front parallel with me, so we can ignore the few dumb-butts. It doesn't hurt my profs case that, apparently, after the first class, he told my conductor that [the conductor]'d love me, because I play all the instruments. No, that isn't a terrible thing at all in a popularity contest. :-P

From noon to 1pm I have break. Nominally I should be bringing lunch, but half the time I forget, and usually find a secluded corner away from the craziness of lunch.

At 1pm I have the one class that I'm not sure about. It's History of Western Civilization, and I'm leery of both the prof and the class. Firstly, I found out in the first 30 seconds way too much about my prof's life, how she has a bias (her concentration is in Italian Ren, "which means that I'm really reading Roman texts anyway"), and that this is her third year teaching. The part about my classmates... well, let's just give this lovely example. When asked why do we study this time in history (800BC-1600AD), one girl (a self-proclaimed history major) went:

Well, you have Jesus, then you have all the theses [A.N. she meant the Protestant Reformation], then you have the Glorious Revolution, which leads to OUR revolution! That's why we should study this!

... yeah. A little too much Jesus and a little too much America the Beautiful. The one good thing about the class is ONE single classmate who also knows wtf he's doing there. We had a couple debates across the classroom the first day, and by the second class he just moved on up to the front next to me. :-D I rock that way. We had lunch today, and I met his lovely new (as of start of school) girlfriend. I HAVE OFFICIALLY MADE FRIENDS.

All I've done with Band is audition, and I did well. The conductor and I chatted for a while (he's written two books on Gustav Holst! I must find these!) and he was very candid about the quality of the ensemble. He said he's not been ashamed of a concert in 10 years, but that I might be disappointed. Although the clarinetist is apparently ALSO my kind of people, in that he plays everything (started on oboe, but had jaw problems so had to switch) and is all around a Good Guy. I am looking forward to meeting my section (by which I mean woodwinds -- I'm the only oboist).

But I'm liking school thus-far. The work-load is manageable, and I like classes and learning. My classmates are decent, and except for the hallways, I'm mostly not having to deal with stupid 18-year-olds in my face.


  1. So you leave out some tantalizing details - what school are you attending? What degree are you pursuing, and why? Have you taken college classes before, and if so, when and where? That answer to the Western Civ class was lame, at best, saith she with a BA in Medieval English History and an MA in Medieval English Literature. (actually, the degrees are in History and English Language and Lit, respectively, but having focused as tightly as I did, I feel confident describing them as I do) The real reason to study the fall of Rome and the rise of the follow-on cultures is so you can recognize the patterns of rise and fall, and thus realize, perhaps to your horror, that America is, in fact, an Empire, and that unlike the Brits, who withdrew fairly peacefully and with some dignity, we are goin' down like the Romans did. However, that said, history shows us that follow-on cultures DO arise, even if at usually much lower technological (and social) levels. Oops, I'm ranting. Take this with a pillar of salt, and remember to tell MORE about your school!

  2. wait, wait, I'll have an 18 yr old son in only 4 years - and he's not stupid at all :)
    I'm a little confused about what course you're taking and, goodness, why are you north americans so fond of initials?! I get ENG, but beyond that it's all a mystery to me!
    hang in there, ok?

  3. Francesca -- he's not stupid because he's not 18 and living on his own for the first time. :-P I'm also super judgmental, but they seem particularly vapid. The course is an english 200-level course (101 and 102 being composition and usually a freshman course, 300s being harder, 400s/500s are often graduate level).

    Michelle -- I'm attending UMass Boston, currently enrolled in the music program, but really kinda poking around a bit. I transferred in 66 credit hours from SUNY Potsdam (Crane School of Music), so yeah, I've taken some classes before. :-P And I agree with you wholeheartedly on the rant -- I think even my prof was a little taken back by that student's strange conclusion. I'll probably get the music degree with a bunch of history courses thrown in and see about music history for grad school (although I need to take more music history as I only passed the first one, and didn't do the essay for the second out of three in my last school...).

  4. Oh, and Michelle, I've been out of school for four years, hence the rather easy classes this semester to ease back in. Western Civ? I can do that in my sleep!

  5. Most miffed I didn't get this in my inbox, but mad cheerleading re. school! YAAAAY!!!

    I'm a nerd like that.

    Ennyway, school sounds fantastic -- and look at me, oh-so-American, calling university 'school' now, next I'll be dropping my 'g's :D :D -- BUT I have a couple of questions:
    A. what/which is "OUR" revolution? Can't figure this one out.
    B. Who has been assigned the duty of plugging the sad gap in this child's history education? Jesus to the Protestant Revolution, indeed.

    Finally, @Michelle, one of my friends would love to meet you -- she's dedicated to Middle Eng. Lit. But she also utterly adores the classics, Greek and Roman. Is that your kind of thing?

  6. Welcome back to the internets Rimi! I'm a lazy SOB and now can claim homework as to why I'm not sending highly detailed emails to you. :-P

    A. "Our" revolution being the American Revolutionary War starting in 1776 (until 1781 or so... I can't quite remember the end date).
    B. Turns out this girl is a Mayan studies major and a sweetheart to boot (talked to her before class today), so she gets a pass as she's never studying Europe.