Saturday, January 9, 2010

This Class is Going to Kill Me Off!

(Don't miss my week 2 update in The Skinny today!)

Started a new term at PSU on Monday evening. I'm working on a MFA in writing, and I've been plodding along, taking one writing class per term, in the evenings. Some classes meet only one night per week (4-hour class); others meet twice a week for two hours at a time.

So far I've only taken writing classes, but this term I'm taking a nonfiction literature class on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

It's a killer.

I stopped by the PSU bookstore on the way to my first class Monday night. Figured I'd pick up the books ahead of time, so I'd be ready for whatever homework the teacher assigned. There were SEVEN books to buy! What was up with that?!?!

Then I went to class and I found out that the first two books we are reading weren't even in the bookstore, and that there's another Course Book of essays and excerpts we have to buy from a nearby printshop! Yikes! I love to read, and I'm a fast reader, but I don't know about this.

The list for this term (with due dates) is:

Walden, Thoreau (finish by Jan 11)
Roughing It, Twain (Jan 20)
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Stein (Jan 25)
Down and Out in Paris and London, Orwell (Feb 1)
West with the Night, Markham (Feb 8)
Hiroshima, Hersey (Feb 15)
Notes of a Native Son, Baldwin (Feb 22)
In Cold Blood, Capote (Mar 1)
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Wolfe (Mar 8)
Excerpts and essays in the Course Book - sprinkled liberally throughout the term

Oh me, oh my.

Ironically, my lifestyle this term is going to be what Thoreau does NOT advocate in Walden.

Speaking of Walden, here's my favorite quote so far. I'm a little over half-way through - I'll be reading lots more this weekend!

"No yard! but unfenced Nature reaching up to your very sills. A young forest growing up under your windows, and wild sumachs and blackberry vines breaking through your cellar; sturdy pitch-pines rubbing and creaking against the shingles for want of room, their roots reaching quite under the house. ... Instead of no path to the front yard gate in the Great Snow,--no gate,--no front yard,--and not path to the civilised world!"


Anna said...

Wow. I haven't read any of those books. You'll have to write about which ones you reccommend.

Katie Lewis said...

Oh you oh my! Good luck! I'm especially interested to hear how Walden is. Please let us know.

JuliaKoponick said...

Glad we at least got a short walk in today. Just don't forget to take breaks. When I read too long without switching gears it all seems to blur together!

Dorothy said...

Walden by January 11th?? I hope you had a head start! I tried to read that book when I was in my late teens and never did make it through. I'd love to hear about which books on this list you REALLY enjoy reading. Good luck!