Sunday, January 20, 2008

The end of the year was hectic, sick-making, an all-around misery. I was forced to suck up my pride and ask for an extension for my class, as there was no way in heck I'd finish in time. Am relieved to say that it was readily (and gladly) granted.

The format of the course is more-or-less an independent study-type, so I either mail or hand in the assignments as I finish them and, in the fullness of time, the instructor mails them back. It's nice if you have the discipline to push yourself, but more difficult than the standard sit-in-a-class format. Anyway, I'd finished three of the five assignments (4-5 page essay answering one of two questions posed on the assigned readings), but, as of Christmas, had not received any feedback. This disturbed me, as the last time I'd done this kind of work was perhaps 15-20 years ago. As far as I knew, I could well have gotten a failing mark on any or all of the papers I'd submitted.

Last week, a big envelope arrived. The contents were unmistakable. Figuring that I might as well deal with stuff rather than let the worry fester, I opened it. Inside found a nice note from the professor telling me that he was putting the paperwork for an extension through for me as he figured I'd not have time to finish. Looked at the essays and found that I'd received pretty stellar grades on all three. On one essay, there was a little note telling me that I had a great depth of understanding. On the second, he commented on my clear, forceful language. On the third, I found just the words "keep it up!" This did my heart good, as, though bright, I've never been a particularly good student and have very little confidence in writing in this language.

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Have had to work all weekend, so the readings for the final assignments has been slow. I hope to get a large chunk of that done tonight and tomorrow evening, then to finish writing in time for the start of the new semester. I've decided to take the continuation of this course (American History Part Deux: Civil War to present), as it's a good exercise for me and has been more or less been keeping me out of trouble. Also, I've always been a sucker for a good potboiler. Am considering taking another survey as well, given that my knowledge of most history comes from my music/art history and literature studies.

Sometime, if I can find the time/money to do so, I'd like to try out some economics courses, as well.

1 comment:

Marcia said...

Never been a good student? Little confidence in writing in which language? English?

My dear one, you are one of the brightest intellects that I have ever met. I should be doing housework but I can not tear myself away from your prose (and it isn't just because I know you and I'm catching up). You are an excellent writer and thinker. Your blog is fab. You are not giving yourself enough credit!!!
Remember I'm a Phi Beta Kappa English major; I know of what I speak! That's to last time I'll cite that honorific.