Thursday, August 03, 2006

Of Rugged Rocks and Ragged Rascals...

Ah, rainy days. The perfect time for relaxing on the couch with a cup o' tea (or coffee, I'm an equal opportunity enjoyer of hot beverages, except for that no-good hot cider nonsense) and that Jules Verne book I didn't quite finish on vacation (icthiological terms are tricky in french, by the way). That's not actually what I'm doing on this fine rainy day, but it still would've been a good way to spend it, all other things being equal. I also enjoy driving in the rain, something I did actually get to do, running an errand or two. It's funny the things you miss when you don't have them. Last summer I spent a month in France travelling mostly by train and on foot, having a fantastic time, and by the end of the trip I missed driving. I'm quite happy to have finished my studies at Hillsdale, but aside from missing friends and professors and such (which I'd expected), I've begun to miss the odd little things. I miss having free, unlimited access to JSTOR (an online archive of academic journal articles) and the Oxford English Dictionary, and a super-cheap subscription to the Wall Street Journal. Perusing the internet during lunch the other day I stumbled accross a nearly 50-page economics paper, and was sorry not to have the time to read it. A few months ago I would've had the paper in hand with a deadline to write a paper, give a presentation, or take a test on it (none of which I enjoy), fully ready to stay up late into night with a cup of coffee (sorry, no tea for late-night studying) and my trusty notebook and highlighter, listening to Miles Davis on my headphones and doodling in the notebook while my mind tried to wrap itself around the theory. Don't get me wrong. I loved France, and I want to go back some day. I also loved college, I just don't want to go back. I finished. I took my four years of classes, made my mistakes, did a few things right (but not too many, gotta keep expectations low), and graduated. In fact, before my diploma arrived in the mail a few weeks ago I was irrationally paranoid that I would receive a call from the Hillsdale College registrar, telling me that I would have to come back to take one more PE class, or another semester of English. I liked English, but I got slightly disilusioned by my freshman litterature class when it occured to me that at least half of the works we were reading weren't originally written in English. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be reading Virgil, Dante, Cervantes, and Augustine (quite the opposite, really), I'm just saying that putting them in a class called "English" is a bit of a misnomer. Sure, we read some Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Coleridge as well, so there were smatterings of English litterature in the English class, but still. Ok, I don't even know why I'm ranting about that. It's not even something I feel at all strongly about. I'm sorry world. They're called "English" classes because they're taught by members of the English department, or perhaps because they expect your papers to be in something at least recognizeable as the English language (by the way, I don't see myself missing writing typed, double-spaced, one inch-margined expository prose any time soon). Well, there you have it. Another post devoid of paragraph breaks or discernable direction. I'm sorry, but not so sorry that I won't do it again, as I am likely to do. Have a good rainy day if it continues to rain, and a good sunny day if it doesn't.

1 comment:

jonathan said...

I could almost swear that the lack of paragraph breaks is meant to bring me suffering. What have I ever done to you?! (Don't answer that.)

I was irrationally paranoid that I would receive a call from the Hillsdale College registrar, telling me that I would have to come back to take one more PE class, or another semester of English.

I know a guy who would have graduated this past spring from the college here, except he had to come back (from Japan!) and take a class on black people. Those core requirements sure are rough.

Oh, and those freshman English courses are officially known as "Great Books & Rhetoric."