Miss Woodhouse's Musings

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Eight More Weeks

on 24 October 2011

It has recently been brought to my attention that my blogging of late is…spotty, at best. Naturally, this is due to an amazingly complex life workload right now, and (if we’re being honest) a general lack of inspiration. But no more! Today marks my last first-day-of-a-session, and I intend to milk these last eight weeks of university for all they are worth.

This morning, I started Hebrew. After a long struggle with Greek, Hebrew seems even more incomprehensible (if that’s even possible). However, I’ve always wanted to learn Hebrew, so I’m attacking it like it’s a language out of a fantasy book. So what if it bears no relationship to English??? A dalet totally reminds me of the word Dalek…this is doable. Oh! Here’s a picture of what I did in class this morning!

I’m continuing with Oral Communication, the only class that is staying the same over the whole semester. It’s a great class though, almost a brain break of sorts. Really, the class should be called The Art of Storytelling, because that is what we do. We read about orality and the ideas of oral culture (slightly ironic, I know), and then we tell stories! Next week we have to tell either a Teaching or a Vision story. I’ve not yet decided which I’ll go with, but so far all of my stories started out as blog posts here. Look at you all, helping me get an A in this class! We are reading this really great book by Walter Ong titled Orality and Literacy that is awesome! If you’re a word/language-geek looking for an interesting read, I encourage you to pick it up! This guy is scary smart.

Last, but not least, I’m doing Mystery Fiction! Due to being one of the first English majors on campus (and helping start the English Club as well), I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the English Suite talking with our awesome English professors. (By the way, that sentence just won an award for overusing the word “English.”) During one of those chats, I was asking our department head about the likelihood of creating certain courses. One of the things I asked about was a mystery class. I’m a huge fan of the genre, and I thought that it might be fun. While I was told that there were no plans to create such a course for the university, the department head mentioned that she had taught such a class at another college in the past.

Fast forward to last May when I realized that my current degree plan left room for one more elective course. Problem was, I’d taken any and every class that I was even slightly interested in. So, I casually asked the department head if she would be willing to do an independent study with me. She was! So there you have it…the brief and tedious history of my university’s first Mystery Fiction class.

I had the honour of drawing up my reading list, and it’s a pretty awesome one:

Week One – The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Week Two – Murder in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Week Three – A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Week Four – The Maltese Falcon  by Dashiell Hammett

Week Five – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Week Six – Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

Week Seven – Death of an Expert Witness by P. D. James

Week Eight – The Service of All the Dead by Colin Dexter

A bit heavy on the British side of things, but we both prefer British literature anyway, so it works out. I also have two supplementary books for the class: The Perfect Murder, and Bloody Murder. I’m sure after ordering those two books that I’m now on some Amazon watch list. Also, please ignore the fact that I’m ordering from Amazon. Desperate times and all that jazz.

Add to that teaching British Literature twice a week, American Literature twice a week, a few music students, and 20+ hours at Starbucks, and I’m really in for an exciting two months. Oh well…l’chaim!

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5 responses to “Eight More Weeks

  1. mum says:

    I want to play, too!! Sign me up …..no GRE required, right???

    Seriously…..
    Love you,
    Mum

  2. Fox says:

    Interesting use of Poe (clearly a horror genre man) as mystery, but at least the first two could make it happen. I don’t know how you’ll get much in the way of mystery out of the Tell-Tale Heart. Good luck! You’ll have to tell me all about it!! :D

    Also, as having been through the torture erm… *ahem*, I mean joy! of having a friend take Hebrew, I can honestly say it gets easier. I still have a page on my Palm Pilot where she drew the word for FOX in Hebrew. I’ll send you a pic. :)

    Cheers, darlin!!

  3. Fox says:

    uhmm.. Dear Everyone,

    I apologise for my totally overused words in my first paragraph above. In my defence, I can only blame Emma’s overuse of “English” as the cause.

    Sincerely internally chastised,
    Fox

    • Dear Internally Chastised,

      Yes, Poe is an interesting choice…I threw in the Tell-Tale Heart because I LIKE it and it shows the psyche of guilt (or some such tommyrot). :D And Hebrew…dear, dear Hebrew. I’m pretending it’s a Tolkien fantasy language that has no relation to the language I currently speak. This seems to help. ;) I’d love to see that picture!

      With Kindest Regards,
      The Word Abuser

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