The following is an amalgamation of classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesdays we meet for Religion 102, and Thursdays, Linguistics. If classes were being held on campus, we would be meeting twice a week.
The alarm goes off at 9:00. 25 minutes until class. Use the bathroom, brush my hair, and get breakfast. Try to look awake.
Linguistics is like high school English on steroids. We had to read 30+ pages in our textbook that served as part parts of speech refresher and part “this is why this is Linguistics and not English anymore.” We spend part of class in Zoom breakout rooms doing group work that we spend rest of class going over. Today it’s sentance trees. We spend class, both in groups and out, giving directions to the professor on what to draw on the Zoom whiteboard. Everything looks similar to this:
11:00 African American Literature Pre-1900
The “pre-1900” part is important because the class focuses on slave narratives. This class is all about reading the books assigned, doing group presentations that involve research, and discussing them in class. Because religion plays a part in the lives of slaves, and how the slave masters used Christianity to keep slaves oppressed, we have to discuss religion. The book of Deuteronomy is mentioned and things quickly get weird in Zoom chat.
Student 1: I thought Deuteronomy was the name of one of the cats in Cats.
Student 2: Deuteronomy is the 5th book of the bible. I think the cat was named after it.
Student 3: But Cats predates the bible by 5000 years.
Student 2: Cats was based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Elliot. It was published in 1936.
12:35 Creative Writing: Poetry
We are workshopping poems. If you have never done a writing workshop, it’s done like this. You and a group of people read each others work and make comments on it, what you liked, what you didn’t like, what you would change. That kind of thing. Every time we workshop poems I feel like I am sitting in the following scene from The Hittchikers Guide to the Galaxy:
VOGON CAPTAIN: So Earthlings I present you with a simple choice. Think carefully for you hold your very lives in your hands. Now choose: either die in the vacuum of space, or…[Dramatic music]…tell me how good you thought my poem was.
FORD: I liked it…
VOGON CAPTAIN: Good…
ARTHUR: Oh yes, I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was particularly effective.
VOGON CAPTAIN: Yes?
ARTHUR: Oh…. and um, interesting rhythmic devices, too, which seemed to counterpoint the, er…
FORD: Counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the, um…
ARTHUR: Humanity of the er –
ARTHUR: Oh. Oh! Vogonity. Sorry. Of the poet’s compassionate soul which contrived through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other. And one is left with a profound and vivid insight into… err…
FORD: Into whatever it was …
ARTHUR/FORD: That the poem was about!
FORD: Well done Arthur, that was very good.
VOGON CAPTAIN: So what you’re saying is that I write poetry because underneath my mean, callous, heartless exterior, I really just want to be loved. Is that right?
FORD: Er, well… I mean yes, yes, don’t we all, deep down… you know..?
2:10 Religon 102
We are learning about how different theorists have looked at religion through history. Today we are focusing on Marx and Freud. The summary: Religion is a tool of oppression (Marx) because it wishes it had a penis (Freud)…or something like that. We spend a lot of time bashing Freud because we can, and because today he is widly seen as a sexist idiot who thought everyone wanted to have sex with one of their parents.