Monday, November 9, 2009

Ranting and Writing

I am still not writing much these days... Except perhaps for school. I am taking a completely engaging American history class, a Public Policy class, and a Women in Literature & Film class. Perhaps this has something to do with why I am not writing much, because I have so much writing to do for my classes.

I am particularly dreading the essays for my English class; two more to do in three weeks. I thought I would love this class. I don't. I can't believe I once considered being an English major. What was I thinking? And that's just it; I wasn’t. I was inspired. I had such amazing English professors at Santa Monica College! I felt transformed by our readings, the insights gained, and how much I learned just by, well, writing about or in response to the various novels or poems. Doten, Engelmann, Remmes.... these professors shed light on the path of self-discovery and forced me to stretch my mind and bend my brain. I learned so much about myself and human nature through our readings, lively discussions, and most of all, by writing essays. It was in the writing that understanding revealed itself.

So why do I hate this class so much?? I just wish it was over already. It's the extraordinary amount of time it demands of me, the volume of reading, the volume and caliber of essays required, and the complete lack of interaction with students and the professor herself. That is the main problem. This can't be blamed on the fact that this is an online class. My English 10 class, "Ethnic Literature of the U.S." was an online class. It was one of my most favorite classes ever. Prof. Remmes selected enlightening novels that opened up cultural worlds to me. Our online discussions helped me see difficult issues from many different perspectives. With an online discussion you actually have time to think about what you are going to say, rather than just raising your hand and blurting out whatever jumps to mind. So the discussions were intelligent, provoking, and fun. I loved how my thoughts, analysis, and understanding all crystallized in my essays.

And that's exactly why I am so disenchanted with this class at CSUB. The two online discussions we had were tedious, and without much real dialog. We each independently follow the syllabus, read novels, watch the films, and then write essays and submit them. I do not feel stimulated, except by the novels themselves. I do not feel motivated to excel except by my obsession to get straight A’s. I don't feel inspired. It's not fun. I want it to be over. I resent this professor, who is incredibly qualified, is the author of distinguished text books, and probably has all kinds of academic awards. I resent her because she doesn't do anything (in terms of interaction with students) and still gets paid. I resent her because she has an easy job. I resent her because I have to work so hard to get an A with her, and I really don't have time. I am concentrating on the classes that have to do with my major which, thank God, is not English.

Some people have been nudging me a little to write on my blog. It's been months since I've posted anything and what a disappointment it must be to read this and have to listen to me complain! I'm sorry! Bless your heart for bearing with me this far. But actually, probably a big reason I've been writing next to nothing for pleasure is because my life these days is my job (which I love), school (3 nights a week plus online class, and all the accompanying studying, research and writing), and my personal life (my what?), which I actually do have.

Anyway, now that I've vented, let me say I am thankful for everything. I am thankful for the most amazing, courageous, compassionate, and wise girlfriends in the world (I am listing them first because three of them came to visit me yesterday here in Bakersfield and I am still awash in their love and beautiful spirit). I am thankful for my husband a million times a day. I am so glad, so thankful, thank You GOD, every single day that I am with him and not with that loser I thought I loved 25 years ago (and that is not my first husband, so don't get me wrong). When you look and see all the miracles in your life, the weavings of life that are so perfect.... then we know the hand of the Divine in arranging our affairs, providing the lessons we need to learn and grow... I am thankful for my daughters. O my god, my daughters are the blessing of my life. It is my blessing to be their mom. Funny how the older we get, the more we want to be with our kids, and the farther away they move. I am thankful for all of the lessons I have had in my life and all of the lessons and challenges to come. God is so great, life is such a gift, everything is so perfect… even dreadful English classes.