Monday, February 6, 2012

Approaches to Literature

My official course name is "Psychology with English Literature", and I think that I have recently come to the conclusion that this is probably a pretty good choice. Dad and I were talking about it the other day, and he likened the majority of my fellow class mates to "wine snobs". With this phrase I do of course refer to the people who wrote the wine book that nan and grandad have (not the people who read it). Nan knows how much I love her wine book, it's like a neat list of the most ridiculous and hysterical writing known to man. "The wine has a fruity scent which is reminiscent of a warm summers eve with sprinkles of twig and oak leaf, and a faint undertone of grass mixed with a heady taste of earth." I mean sure, some of these things probably do make sense to the experienced wine connoisseur (do they Nan and Grandad?), but do you ever think that maybe sometimes they've gone a bit too far?

This is pretty much exactly what I experience every time I have an "Approaches to Literature" class. As I said to mom the other day, maybe the poet is saying what he's saying because it was just the basic facts of his surroundings. e.g. English teacher: "The use of the blue curtains in the poem clearly show a sadness withint the poet, and how he was in the midst of a meloncholic time in his life". Poet: "er... no... the curtains were just blue..." Don't get me wrong, I know that a lot of the meaning behind poetry is about the blue curtains representing sadness etc, etc, but I do sometimes feel like sometimes they're just making a whole lot of stuff up.

Of course I wouldn't dare say this to any english teacher (mom and aunty Ada just erase all that you've read from your memories), in fact when I did voice this opinion to a fellow student, all I got was a blank look and "yeah but that's what Uni is about..." So no, I won't be sharing this opinion with anyone else, thanks very much. Which brings me onto the second experience I have of my english class...

Today in class we were supposed to do group presentations on a biography of a poet. Of course being the studious student that I am I prepared amply for this presentation (and by that I mean that I read through the first two sections of the biography, got bored, and went outside to play in the snow with Lily), but of course I wouldn't have to worry because it was a group effort and that meant that I could just present the little part that I had done and everyone else could fill in the rest! Cue presentation in english class, and I found myself sitting all alone. By myself. ALONE. Yeah that's right, apparently everyone else in my group also got distracted by the snow and hadn't bothered to even turn up for the lecture.

Needless to say it was of extreme embarrassment to be sitting alone at a group of tables where all around me people were happily chatting in their little groups. Stupid people. Worse than this is of course when the lecturer notices me sitting on my own, gives me a quizzical look, and says "was it something you said", to which I obviously reply, "it must've been... maybe I also smell funny"... Shit... did that actually just come out of my mouth!!! Yes, it actually had. And yes the rest of the class did hear this, as they had now all turned to stare at me sitting all alone! Then the other lecturer (who doesn't know my name) says "all those who weren't here last week please join a group which is lacking in members"... a few moments of silence and of zero movement lead to this: "ahem... you boys there, go join... erm... that girl there at the back".

Awesome, so now not only was I completely alone and embarrassed, but I had also been singled out as the poor little reject, whose name the lecturer didn't even know! F.M.L. Of course with the addition of the other three rejects, it was all up to ME to provide them with all the info for the presentation. Which of course I didn't have. Damn you snow!

Fortuneately we were rescued last second by a late arriving group member who had the whole biography printed out. No, the presentation wasn't great, but after the whole debacle of being singled out and saying stupid things, I really couldn't have cared less. What I've learnt this week is that academic people don't get my warped sense of humour (no I don't actually smell you idiots!) nor do they think that the curtains "were just blue".