7.20.2010

Generic Update

I signed up for a class this term, and another one in the fall plus a seminar. I apparently had seven more credit hours left before being able to graduate, and found out just in the nick of time too. I was aghast, embarrassed, and very eager to correct the oversight.

The class I've signed up for this term is writing from oral history. It entails reading a lot of great books based on interviews and oral history as narrated by protagonists, and written down by journalists or relatives of the protagonist(s). Thus far I've read two books, The Color of Water, and There Are No Children Here. I liked The color of Water the best because I can relate to being from two different worlds and having to connect and cope with these two legacies.

There Are No Children Here was a traumatic reading experience for me because I've been purposefully avoiding learning the details of Chicago's inner city and mistreatment of poor and African-Americans--these topics are too hurtful for me. I don't cope well with racism or tales of the victims of government incompetence. I feel a mixture of all-encompassing despair and helplessness, and furious anger that these things happen to people.

Next up on the reading list is Hard Times by legendary Chicagoan, Studs Terkel. This is a collection of memoirs and interviews that Studs took down during his years of research into the great depression. Although I would ordinarily jump in with gusto, I can't bring myself to open the piece up. I did read about 20 pages or so last night, but it's well below my usual +100 pages an hour.

After that great book, is Shared Stages, a book (collection/anthology) of Jewish and African American plays focused on racial tension and relations between these two groups. My professor was one of the editors for this play anthology.

I have homework to do again, hehe, and I've not adapted well. There are interesting students in my class, and a couple of trouble-makers who love attention hogging. I just sit there impassively unless I have something to say. But listening to people toot their horn or disrupt the teacher's train of thought in a four-hour class (plus an hour commute each way) is really not my idea of a good time, y'all.

I especially don't like the butchering folks do when we all pass around our assignments and each read a portion. Some folks are REALLY bad readers and butcher the work beyond comprehension...making it difficult to provide helpful advice or commentary, or just to form an opinion, on the author's accomplishment with that assignment.

But I will get my thinking cap on tonight to complete tomorrow's assignment. I promise...

On a happier note, Benny, our adopted Beagle (a.k.a, Master Benny the Young Baying Hound) has been with us one year this week. It's been an awesome ride together, and here's to many, many more years of learning and cuddling.