[Meant to post about this, like, weeks ago, but I kept getting sidetracked (and then I was super sick for nearly two weeks, which meant not a lot of energy for blogging).] I am SO excited about my schedule for the fall, even though most people seem to think I’m crazy for doing 18 credits at once. Maybe I am crazy, but I won’t know until classes actually start. I think the fact that I’m way past the heavy drinking/partying phase of my life will work in my favor, plus the fact that I’ve always been a good reader. On the other hand, my work ethic leaves a bit to be desired and I consider myself to be a god-awful writer, which leads me to put off a lot of writing assignments. On the OTHER hand, maybe I’ll work better since I’m actually taking classes I’m interested in, instead of bogus gen ed stuff that I took just to check things off on the list of classes I needed for my A.A. By the way, wish I had known about pre-major sheets earlier–definitely would have changed some of my electives.
The classes I’m taking are:
ANTH 373: Nietzsche and the Death of God. Yeah, pretty much wanted to register for that one as soon as I saw the name of the course, although I have had to explain to people that it’s NOT A PHILOSOPHY CLASS. The course description that showed up in the schedule is a little more than terrifying, but I’m still looking forward to it. Here’s what I have to deal with:
Nietzsche’s proclamation of the “Death of God” has not to do with a personal or even social crisis of belief. It is first and foremost an epistemological statement that refers to the post-Enlightenment conditions of possibility of knowledge. Regardless of the spiritual lives or religious views of its practitioners, modern knowledge operates with secular assumptions. We explain social and cultural phenomena in terms of processes that are social, cultural, historical, political–and not metaphysical. The question is then: what are the consequences of this? For life, for action, for meaning, for purpose? All these and other such are of course at the heart of any anthropological inquiry. But there is more. Nietzsche’s analyses of knowledge and power, as well as his provocations about meaning and purpose, are potentially crucial for ethnography, which, in a nutshell, is a method to turn our experience of/with other people’s experiences into anthropological texts. And that transformation of experience into text is what Nietzsche also worked on all his life. He wrote out of the turmoils of his own innermost experiences and he did that non-stop. And he scolded scholars of his time for being “spoiled idlers in the garden of knowledge”–to the extent that they assumed detached “objective” attitudes, that is to say, and put up a facade of somber self-importance, which for Nietzsche was but a cover-up for the deficiencies of purpose and meaning in scholarship. The alternative Nietzsche proposed and exemplified was to “write with blood”, i.e., out of the life-force of real experience. In the course, we will read a lot of Nietzsche first hand and think and talk about how he is relevant for ethnography. And we will also do a lot of writing ourselves–which, needless perhaps to mention, will be “with blood”.
Sounds like fun, right? X_X
Then, I had (well, first they said I “had to” but then they said it wasn’t necessarily required, just “strongly recommended”…need to make up their minds, right?) to take an LSIC 379 course, and I picked WGSS 379: Feminist Science Fiction.
This course examines issues of importance to women’s, gender and queer studies as they are expressed in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. We will consider historical and contemporary authors, dystopias and utopias, space operas and alternate histories. The course will focus on written texts, and we will read a lot, but it’s really fun!
A few folks have already asked for the reading list from that course, which I am also anxiously awaiting, but the professor has yet to send out any information about required texts…Then again, it isn’t even mid-July, and classes don’t start until August 20th, so maybe I am being too impatient!
None of my other courses are special enough to have such exciting descriptions, unfortunately. I’m taking HIST 315: North Carolina History (required for the education portion of my program). Wasn’t looking forward to this too much, but the textbooks look interesting (we’re even reading some fiction) and the professor specializes in his subject (as well as Southern history, civil rights in this area, etc.) so it should be interesting.
Then I’ve got SOC 220: Juvenile Delinquency. Oh boy! I actually did want to take this class when I first saw the different sociology courses offered at the university, but then I thought it would be a waste of time because I couldn’t use it for my major (at this point, only electives at the 300 or higher level apply), but THEN I found out that they changed the requirements for the education part of my program and now this is basically a required course. So there you have it. The textbooks look…a little dull, honestly, but I’m literally judging the books by their covers here, so who knows.
Also in sociology, I’m taking SOC 225: Social and Cultural Inquiry. Aside from SOC 100, which I got credit for from the community college, this course is basically the entry point for all the major requirement courses in the department. I figured it would be kind of a get-it-out-of-the-way course, but I got to meet the professor at orientation so now I am WAY PUMPED to be in his class. He’s this old guy from Germany and listening to him talk is…an indescribable experience. It’s like, he sounds brilliant, so you want to soak up everything he says, but then for some reason you’re also wondering if this is real life because he’s got this fascinating accent and quirky mannerisms. One of the textbooks is also about Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (that is actually the title) which sounds AWESOME and like the kind of book I would want to own even if it wasn’t required.
Finally, my first education course at that level, EDUC 314: Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas, 6-12. Still awake? =P I’m not sure what this class will be like (although apparently “field experience” is a huge component of the program and it’s in every course description), but the professor is in charge of Middle Grades licensure and Language Arts licensure, which are both major interest areas for me (although officially I am going to be qualified for Social Studies licensure–I just couldn’t stand the thought of being a Literature major! XD), so she’ll be a good faculty member to get to know. The people in the Education department told me that I don’t need to take all of the classes to get licensed in Language Arts, I can just take a PRAXIS II exam once I get my initial license, but I really think having coursework in that field will make me a stronger candidate. Something else I won’t really be able to figure out until classes start and I get an adviser and have more opportunities to interact with everyone in the department.