Tuesday, August 15, 2006

First Day of Classes

There is absolutely no doubt about it. I am back to being a student.

Not that, of course, there was any doubt in that. But the mind is an incredibly fickle thing, and for a while there, I was sorely tempted to NOT go through with things and simply evaporate. But now, I'm getting into the swing of things, thankfully jumpstarted with my first class, the one that goes by the rather pretentious name of Postcolonial Poetry in English.

I think my edge at this point in the class is the fact that I used to write poetry, and that I have a rather extensive background in the process of writing poetry, for which I am incredibly thankful for. Rajeev Patke is also an excellent teacher - he has a rather self-deprecating sense of humor, which allows the class to loosen up and come to terms with the fact that coursework subjects can be rather deadly. In fact, I don't even have to worry much about my lack of solid literary theory - though I must admit that I will have to brush up on Said and Orientalism for this, and my other course as well - because the class takes on the form of persuasion when it comes to discussion. A lot of the texts have something to do with cultural tension, which is such an interesting thing because almost everyone in the class is actually coming from a postcolonial culture. Aside from myself, there's also another girl who's coming from Bangladesh, and another one from Colombo, and then an American guy who's also doing his coursework here. The rest are either from mainland China, India, or Singapore - which is fairly typical of the percentage of students in NUS anyway. But it looks like all of my classmates have stories to tell, and most of us will be bumping into each other once in a while since most of us are taking the same classes.

There was a very interesting thing that Dr. Patke said earlier, during our introductory session (again, I am most thankful for a Kasaysayan 100 class, which familiarized the entire colonial process, as well as hundreds of thousands of years of Sibika at Kultura fron grade school and high school) that basically covered the linguistic basics of poetry as well as a compressed view of European colonization. He said, "There is no such thing as a text without a context," which raises the paradox of a writer requiring the space within which to write, as well as the influences with which a writer uses in order to craft. I am seriously excited about this class. ^_^

Tomorrow is Asian and Other Modernities, and I like the teacher, Prof. Holden, though one of my classmates, Wang Wei, says that he's rather strict when it comes to requirements. But still, this should be quite interesting.


In other news, already submitted my financial requirements to the Registrar's Office, which was the final hurdle in this entire bureaucratic circus of getting an MA in another country. Which means, thank goodness, if things go right, then my stipend and reimbursements come in by the end of the month, and I (finally) have money. No more chicken rice for at least the next two weeks.

(And no, I don't eat curry - for olfactory reasons.)


For once, I'm getting it. I am really, really getting it. This is what I'm supposed to do. ^_^

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