I’ve had a good half term for my first year in university, thank God. It seems to be a nice change of pace from high school, the work and assignments especially.

Only in my other English class (which is literary studies) is where I’m focusing on writing; in the art studio, there’s rarely note-taking, and for Italian and career development I’m simply taking notes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind note-taking! It’s always refreshing to see prettily organized and color-coded notes and not hastily scribbled shitty ones, but my literary studies class is different. So far in the course we’ve just studied a variety of short stories as “Good People” by David Foster Wallace. With each story we’ve read we’ve examined a story element so we’ve gone through the basic ones like character, plot, symbol, theme, setting and narration. This was accompanied by note-taking too, until we had to choose one for an essay and reference it when making a claim about authorial intention, what the author wanted to get across to the reader. Unfortunately, it’s as boring as it sounds, and eerily similar to a standard high school English paper. In its planning stages, we had to think in terms of major premise and minor premise, which was just code for talking about the chosen story element and thesis, respectively. I believe the reason I was disappointed was because it wasn’t a new form of writing the essay introduced us to, it’s just high school writing on a bland topic. It involves the same ritual of “pee” (point, evidence, explain) and integrating quotes and blah blah blah. Not my cup of tea; I mean it was in high school, when it was still relatively new and we could choose our own topics. But if this course of any other course I take in the future will have me write the same old essays, I will not be a happy camper.

Aside from that, I’m glad to say I’ve picked up on a few handy skills. I know with my personal narrative I’ve realized I’ve Improved at analyzing, even if it’s on myself. There are very few things more important than the understanding of one’s self, I think. Through my recounting of events that impacted me and deeply thinking about how they did, I was able to pick up apart pieces of info and reflect on their meaning(s) and associate emotions with them. I think that’s a pretty vital tool useful for anything and everything; for example, you could analyze your boyfriend’s cat and think, “Wow, it’s kind of amazing that Cookie is so fat and yet has zero health problems- what’s her secret?” In my Italian class I could read, write and speak a lot more of it- there will never not be a time when I find foreign languages unimportant. It opens up such a giant world of job opportunities, setting me apart from so many other people; and of course, I can be smart in touristic areas :3 it would be wonderful to just blend right in and speak the local language, while not getting hassled and ridiculed for being an obvious tourist. And in my art class (this might sound a little corny, but) with the couple assignments I’ve done, I’ve learned to truly see what I’m drawing, especially emphasized by the fact that we use life model subjects and not photos. Photos distort tones and values of the subject so with these models, we get the real deal. I’ve learned to draw a subject only by its highlights for example, and now whenever I look at anything I see so many different tones of light and shadow. In my career development class, it has been mostly note-taking, but there have been a few assignments that we’ve done that examines our personalities and interests and such that sets us on a path for better career decision-making. And if I’m just halfway through the term, then there will be plenty more neat little things ill pick up on in my classes.

Sadly, there isn’t much excitement I bear for the rest of the term- but that’s not exactly a bad thing. Though I have nothing to look forward to, it doesn’t mean I’m dreading my classes every day. I think the best thing to call it is a neutral approach, to my classes. I accept the concepts we’re going to learn, notes we’re going to take, finish my assignments and continue forward. Except I don’t enjoy my art class, which I still find a little surprising- maybe that was because I overhyped it. We’ve done unenjoyable things like contour drawings, using charcoal every SINGLE class- it just bores me to list these things off. But I still think this neutral approach is fine with me, even if it sounds kinda boring.

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