Thursday, August 17, 2006

Third Day of Classes

Perhaps because it requires mainly a close reading of the text, and allows us to explore topics outside the sphere of the postcolonial, my class on The Postcolonial Novel in English is actually more about the "softer" side of postcolonialism (in other words, the one with the hard and fast rules) and tackles concepts that are easier to chew. Not to say that this is the easiest - actually, NONE of my classes are easy - but it just affords a more dynamic way to discuss a novel. However, in terms of work, this is perhaps the heaviest because we'll be covering seven novels, with a corresponding critical essay with which to frame the discussion with, and it is not going to be easy to read at least one novel a week. Coupled with my Modernity class, which also has three novels and a poetry collection under its belt, I can almost imagine myself holed up in my room for most days, eating crackers (the staple food of every starving grad student on a stipend) while highlighting phrases such as "the phenomenology of the evasive present moment in its transient immediacy" ("Modernity," Fornas, 19) just because it sounds faintly self-important.

At least I still remember how to do referencing via the MLA system. O_o A year of thesis work does that to you.

But yeah, workload-wise, this is deadly: three major presentations on various topics (two poetry collections and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children), two major term papers, a seminar paper and a reactive paper, an oral exam, and two final exams. O_o

My main concern, as always, is the theoretical aspect of the entire course. And of course, surviving the semester - a CPA of 3.0 (roughly equivalent to a B+) is required for all ASEAN scholars in order to continue with the program. *dies* That means I can only screw up ONE class - which I have a sinking feeling will be my Modernity class.

Still, have to get cracking. My books are waiting.

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There's a sense of completion and triumph right now, a knowledge that I am here when just last year, at around this time, I had just downloaded my NUS papers and had begun preparations for submissions, without even really knowing whether or not I'd get in. The first time I had to fix papers for my passport, and pushed and bullied (in a nice and loving way) by Atsi Tin, who was the first person to tell me that I could do it, and she had no doubts that I was more than well-suited for the task of a masters degree in another country.

It's amazing to see what twelve months can do, and how a life can change dramatically in such a short span of time, and there is a sense of thankfulness that the universe has conspired to bring me to this point in time.

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Oh, and it's my dad's 54th birthday today, which I completely forgot until he texted me during lunch, "Kasama ka mamayang gabi sa dinner sa Pizza Hut, kahit nakalimutan mo ang birthday ng Tatay mo." Which, of course, sent me scurrying to the phone and dialing his number in order to apologize profusely and wish him a brilliant birthday. ^_^

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