Amy asked what I’m taking this term. I’m not sure yet, but I will say this: I’m shopping. That is, I’m going to a bunch of classes the first couple weeks, and then I’ll drop the ones that don’t engage me. I didn’t shop enough last term, carefully selecting everything from the catalog ahead of time. My advisor implied this is one of the issues that alienate students from teachers — teachers resent being treated like sweaters at the Gap, and hate the drop/add chaos at the beginning of the term — but too bad. This is my last term, and I’m not wasting any of it.
Today I went to a 400-level poli sci class, the name of which I forget, but it’s something about how special-interest groups pressure the political process, which might be helpful for my new-media study plan. Undecided. Then I ducked into a 200-level creative writing class on impulse and loved it — it’s a lock, I think. The afternoon was a small lecture class on Russian picaresque fiction. Undecided. Tomorrow: Back-to-back public-policy seminars in “networked society” and “changing economics of knowledge.” Friday: Writing for Television. (Why? Why? WHY?! Because I liked screenwriting so much, that’s why.) Mondays are the second part of the screenwriting class, in which we rewrite the screenplay we worked so hard on first term.
Whatever I choose, it’ll be the wrong thing. One of the fellows took a class on medicine and society last term that was fascinating to hear about even second-hand. And someone came to the meeting tonight raving about a comp lit class combining romanticism and Buddhism — the first 10 minutes of the class, the prof had everyone eat an orange in silence.
I just checked the catalog. It conflicts with my poli sci class. More shopping ahead, I think.
Why so much writing? Because I’m a writer, and one of the best things a writer can do to improve is to try new forms. I’ve been so depressed and rut-bound the last few years that I’d forgotten this, and one of the truly wonderful discoveries about the first term was how much I enjoyed doing so. All bitching about the size of the job notwithstanding, I was delighted to actually finish thing, as flawed as it was.
On the subject of shopping, I just bought a down parka suitable for polar expeditions on eBay, at about 66 percent off retail. It’s 8 degrees as I write this; it may be the bargain of the day.