RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

School Update. Sorry about the part where it devolves into angst.

It's heavy on my mind since I have exactly one more week of vacation before I go back (classes start again on the 14th).  So we're going to talk about it.

First things first, as of January 4th I finally got to see my final grades from first semester.  They turned out like so (keep in mind that my college inexplicably does half grades instead of a +/-):
U.S. Lit: A (YES!!  First A in an English course here, film studies notwithstanding.  Like I needed more reasons to love this prof... I had a sneaking suspicion I might nab this grade, actually, but I remained terrified of slipping until it was officially locked in)
Literary Theory: AB (let's see: TERRIBLE presentation, one short essay skipped, at least 3 or 4 days of class missed, in a subject I've despised and been scared of since I started college...well, this is a small miracle)
Nutrition: B (woo, not a C!   Honestly, I loved this class and learned a ton, but the few points I lost on every assignment added up)
Statistics: BC (I had pretty much no idea what I was doing from October-on, so this is almost as impressive as theory.  And it's probably only this high because of his curve system, where only 2 or 3 people get A's, but as long as you do all the work you get at least a BC)

Cumulative GPA:
Rose an almost imperceptible bit, to 3.22.  With the exception of last fall's French bomb, I am a very, very consistent student.

My schedule for the coming semester looks like so (also keep in mind that my college runs on a 6-day cycle and covers two campuses, so the stuff on SJU means I have to be on my way 20-30 minutes before class starts)

Odd Days
11:20-12:30, SJU, Shakespeare - Later Plays (Oh my God, it's finally happening.  It's finally happening!  Shakespeare!  Squee!  Pity my thoughts are now going to be all distracted by how much I'd rather be in the Scarlet Letter course.  Nevertheless, after 4 semesters in a row of trying to fight my way into this class, I nabbed it.  Shakespeare = love - I think.  We went through Othello and Hamlet in AP Lit and that was pretty much the extent of my high school education on him, but it appealed to me.  More importantly, this is why I signed up to be an English major in the first place.  Quality, classic literature!  Not in excerpt form!  Rich, delicious analysis of themes within the text itself!  This is what it's supposed to be about.  Not film studies and theory and 21st century multicultural bestsellers or what have you... I haven't had the prof before, but my roommate (who's lending me her book, woo!) just took this class and assures me he's fairly laid-back and easy-going, and the workload is very manageable.

2:40-3:50, CSB, Senior Seminar (as far as I can tell, it's sort of like a philosophy class with an ethics twist.  Graduation requirement.  I expect it to suck hard, especially since every section's topic is unique to the prof who teaches it and this wasn't my first choice - it was just the one out of those remaining whose course booklet description + RateMyProf summary looked least scary.   I believe it involves a long research paper and a presentation, just like first-year seminar did, but the subject matter is going to be a lot less fun.  (the prof is from the peace studies department.  I foresee long debates about Iraq in class, and a lot of headdesking on my part)

Adding to my distress is the fact that this class will take place at the same time and in fact right down the hall from my beloved Scarlet Letter course.   Where not only my favorite prof, but my roommate will be.  JEALOUS JEALOUS JEALOUS.  I have tried a thousand different scenarios that would let me take it; none of them work.  Basically, since it would be batsh*t insane to take 4 English/writing-intensive classes at once (said my adviser's expression), I had to cut the one that didn't fit any requirements.  I plan to regret this for the rest of my natural life.  Um, anyway!
Even Days
9:40-10:50, CSB, Music Through History (this is an intro level course.  It is purely an elective, designed to relieve some of the crushing pressure of the other classes while maintaining the necessary credit load.  My first-year seminar was about the Romantic period, centered on music, and I find it a really fun topic to research.  It's supposed to be an easy choice for your Fine Arts requirement (which I already have from band), so I'm hoping it's easy without also being a room full of idiot freshmen jocks.  Yes, that stereotype exists even at a private liberal arts college. 

11:20-12:30, SJU, Writing Essays
(a required English course, I think this might actually turn out to be the bane that I expected theory to be.  The subject matter seems all right, but this is the main class that drove me out last year.  In that case it was really because of the prof, though, so this time I got it with my adviser.  She's a very sweet and kind woman, but she can also be strict on grades.  I was always vaguely aware of this - I got a B from her in my favorite English class ever, British Literature where the final paper had a creative writing component - but last month she gave a friend of mine an F on a research paper when she forgot to print her bibliography, and wouldn't let her turn it in later.  *gulp*)

Tuesdays: CSB, 6-9 PM, Cinema Conversation - French (This is only a half-semester class, so I'll be done by early March.  I have no idea what it will involve - I couldn't find a description - but it's with my favorite prof, the one I've had for 3 courses since freshman year, and I have to take it. 

See, this is complicated.  I should have wrapped my French minor last fall, but for a variety of reasons I failed the class.  Now, there are 5 profs in this department, 2 of whom I refer to as Evil Prof because they're strict, vague, tough, and mean.  Under no circumstances will I take a(nother) class with either one.  Complicating this matter is that each semester there are now only 2 classes available to finish my minor, a 4-credit and a 2-credit.  Evil Prof was dominating the 4-credit one both in fall and spring this year, so now my only chance for the minor is to take this 2-credit one, and then next fall I'll have a choice.  Plus, because I failed that class when I was only taking 3 to begin with, taking 4 classes this semester brings me within 10 credits of graduation.

I need to be within 8 credits in order to walk in the spring ceremony. 

Ergo, this course is totally necessary.
Now there be fretting:

So, I made it through one semester relatively intact and unscathed, but I'm starting to enter Repressed Panic Mode about the next one.  I need to recapture the sense of perspective and purpose I had in August, tell myself that I CAN handle this, and yet every time I start to plan ways to keep it all in hand, I just curl up in fear thinking about last January and how my terror finally got the best of me.  Add that to the fact that's it spring, when all the crap stuff happens - the semester feels longer, seems like there's less vacation, and I have to battle the FAFSA and the residential life department.  Plus this year, I am not only still scrambling to land a part-time job, but I have to figure out what the hell's going to happen with graduation and whether or not my paperwork is in order.  It's hard, scary stuff with not only more upper-level classes than I've ever taken at once, but more classes than I've ever taken at once (which keeps sounding like SUCH a bad idea, and yet I know I have to do it).

Live through this and it'll be the greatest accomplishment of my life, and I do have to live through it - failure is no longer an option; I used up my get-out-of-jail-free card - and yet I can't help thinking it's a really bad sign if I'm already visualizing the pattern of how I'm going to slipshod-scramble through.  Ugh.  I feel sick.
*deep breath*  2008.  The Year of Education.  One more year.  One literal calendar year, and then I never have to go to school again.  It's my own personal tour of duty.  I can do this.
Tags: college, life

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