After one day?
UIC is fucking awesome.
Now I Am aware, (as I'm sure you are as well) that this could very well turn around and make me look a fool for saying so, but as of this moment, not twenty minutes after finishing my fourth and last class of the day, I am damn pleased.
And even more excited.
Especially considering yesterday morning, when I Still wasn't in the UIC system and was registered for No classes (most of which started Monday or then) and was quite sure I wasn't going to get into anything I needed and was caught in yet another gang war between my ever-battling parents, I was in a not-so-good place.
I was convinced that since Kate and Shannon had gone back to ChamBam, and Martin had gone to Hyde Park, and all of my Ashbary-related friends have decided to just waste away some more at The-Coffeehouse-Formerly-Known-As-
Prince Ashbarys, I would melt into a pool of self-pitying, rambly goop. I mean, the roof in my room is falling apart so bad that the temp has dropped too much and I had to move my cats into the main house. Even my cats had left me. (But not really. I gave them much time yesterday, and felt all the better for it. But I kitty-digress)
As of today, however, the sun has managed to peek down just a wee pinch, and it has me feeling damn shiny. I got into four classes (with two more pending to boot) and I like them all.
For the truly hardcore fans, here's a breakdown:
(All others, move down the line)
9am-English Lit. II: I was nervous about taking a class so early, and this morning proved my hesitance right. I was like three minutes late and I am going to have to find a concrete way to get into the city without paying for the assigned lots or getting towed. Anyhow, the instructor is a woman named Anna Kornbluh and she is younger and pretty and extremely vibrant (especially given the hour of day), which helps a lot. We talked about John Milton today, and I was sort of pissed I missed the first session on Monday because it sounded interesting. Today's was good too though, as she has very good presence and is one of those teachers who seems so genuinely interested in what they're talking about that they get lost in it from time to time, and fly all about. The class was good, my notes were good, and I think I will manage with the time thing because I like this class.
10am-Critical Studies of Lit.: This class I was way (and am still a little) nervous about, because the critical thinking part of reading is where I tend to falter. I mean, if you know me, you know I have no problem analyzing and talking the crap out of a story, but I have never been able to translate this to a formal paper, and that's the basis of this class. In fact, this class is the most essential of my English Major (Creative Writing Concentration) because it's the prerequisite of most everything else on the list. But once I got in there and saw that the 2Lecture, 1Discussion format was changed to 3 days of discussion/lecture, small class like High School, I was made even more afraid. Then I met the Professor. His name is Kir Kuiken and he is one of the most intense academic people I've ever shared a room with. (You know, the type that walks amongst the desks and eye-contacts people while he's lecturing, with all the raised tones and spastic hand movements ala a dramatic play.)
He reminds me of Brian Skaj from Big Dog Eat Child, except maybe Brian of Earth-2 where he was obsessed with English instead of math. He is younger-ish and has an earring and is just so engaging and frank that I can't see myself not getting better at critical papers by the time this course is up. Today we talked about Blake and his Lambs and what they "really" mean, and talked about how the Author of something is not the final word on the meaning of a work, but instead the work itself is. My mind was blown and I think this class will be interesting if nothing else. I just hope all the papers (there's like 9 or 10, and the final is a ten-pager) don't kill me. I am confident. For once.
11am- American Lit.: This was in the same lecture hall that the 9am class is in (all of my classes happen in two rooms, which are adjacent to one another...=shweet) and I sat in the way back and listened to the teacher through his mic speaker. We talked about John Calvin and John Winthrop and Christianity and those wacky British Monarchs who made this country happen. The teacher is named Whalen and is older with a good sense of humor. Jokes were cracked. Laughs were had. I think this class will go down easy. (There was a snotty TA though, who somehow managed to live up to [and confirm] my mental image of snotty TAs, as he was the first one I'd met.) It has random pop quizzes which strikes me as odd, but seeing as how I've read most of the material before, and am excited to read the rest, I worry not. (We'll see though. I just a weird feeling writing that. Hmm. I'd better keep my eye on the snotty TA, as he'll no doubt be grading my shit.)
12am-Break. Got pizza with my dad. He works two minutes from where my classes are, and was very vocal of his happiness about me being here, which fro once didn't bother me. I am pretty proud of being at a University, even if it isn't a super-prestigious one. My mom hasn't been positive at all about it, and wants me to get a full time job so I can finally look like a "responsible adult" and "plan for my career" and today I explained to my dad that my mom doesn't know shit about taking tons of English classes and doing nothing but reading and writing so I can get a good degree and that that IS working on my career. It's called getting an education, and for the pressure she puts on me, I don't think she gets what that really means. She keeps telling me anecdotes about her work-friends' kids who are full-time workers and still manage to get a degree. She usually leaves out that their degrees aren't in majors that eat away your life like most based on the Arts do, and fails more to mention how miserable most of these people are. Of course, I know, there Are people who can (or more often, have to) work full-time and school full-time and have a relationship and are happy and whatnot. Of course there are. Just like there are people who never really give school a shot and work at the Wal-Mart until they retire. Huzzah for both sects, it takes all sorts to spin the world, I'm just not either one. There's people who manage to work full-time and hold up a family and be happy and like, I don't know, make pottery or something, and you don't see me throwing that in her face. ~sigh~ I hate when you have those...bitter tastes in your mouth. Like lint or something. I will be perfectly happy (well, maybe moderately content is more like it) when I find the shitty part-time job that will put some cash in my pocket and take the guilt off my slacker-shoulders. Mhm-mhm. The pizza was quite good and rather fulfilling, as was the talk.
1pm-Gender, Sexuality, and Literature: This class was by far my favorite of the day. The instructor is called Costello and she is one of those birdlike, earthy, academic types with the slightly elevated voices and down to earth smile. She is middle aged and looks weathered and friendly, and the atmo in the room was great. We talked about feminist/anarchist Emma Goldman and gender roles and Knocked Up and it was just interesting. She said she had a good feeling about the class which is always nice. I talked a lot in this one, as it is again a smaller discussion based course. Most of the time we went over the question: "Would you want to stay with a partner who made half the income you make? Why or why not?" And then most everyone put their two cents in. I explained that I'm a writer who tends to like other writers or artists or creative types, so we'll likely both be poor together. The class just felt good. Does that make sense?
And that's it. MW I have that same schedule, and Fri I have four discussions back to back. We'll see how the two Lit discussion classes go, as they're with different people then the lecturers. Hopefully it'll be okay. For Lit. Crit. and GSL though, it'll be the same class, so that'll be sweet.
I'm sitting in the UIC library now (which is, amazingly, also adjacent to my two buildings) and it is weird and spacey and I couldn't find the comic books so I sat down on the computer. To put this down. This feeling of finally having a sense of movement as a student, and to a degree, as a peep. I am probably overblowing the whole thing, and my next entry will be weeks from now, as I complain at great length about how much my classes suck, but for now I will sit and stew in this warm feeling of accomplishment, while it lasts.
Besides, it's pretty cool going to school in the shadow of the Sears Tower. It feels vaguely dramatic.
Be seeing you.
And I didn't even get into the list of ideas this place is popping into my head. Man oh man. I did a lot of jotting on the lil moleskine today, with my Lamy pen, while listening to the Tori Amos.