Friday, January 29, 2010

I just love snow days. It's been snowing like crazy since about 6:30 this morning, so I got to spend the day at home, drinking coffee all morning and conjugating verbs all afternoon. Every Friday should be a snow day!

Spanish is taking over my life. This is a good thing. It should have been like this from the beginning, but prior to this semester Spanish was always an easy "A" and other classes that were more difficult took precedence. But, Spanish will have its day and that day is now. I met with my teacher yesterday morning in his office to go over a few things before the test next week. I'm not sure I have any better understanding of what to do with direct or indirect object pronouns, but I really appreciate the time he took to help me. And now I have learned why learning Spanish has of late felt much like learning Algebra: the same side of the brain that does math is the side that learns a new language. This explains my occasional difficulties with certain aspects of the language. Rules, rules, and more rules, and they all must be memorized. Just like algebra.

I survived my presentation in American Religious History last week, and the professor very generously gave me an "A" for my effort. For some reason, the question and answer part didn't bother me, but the actual presentation was terrifying. I really need to get over this phobia. Fortunately, he has decided that our class is too large to fit in the other presentation, so we only have to do a one page written synopsis of our other article with no public speaking involved.

Then there is the paper about William Penn and the two book reviews. I thought only grad students did book reviews, but apparently someone forgot to inform my professor about this, therefore I will very shortly be finding out how a book review is done.

East Asian Civ. is sometimes interesting, sometimes boring. I don't know where to begin in choosing my paper topic because Asian history is so massive (and so far we've only talked about China) and I don't have a clear picture of any of it just yet.

And as for the Spanish composition, escoja un incidente real que Usted recuerde vivamente. Well, what would be an incident in my past that I remember vividly that would be worth writing about - in Spanish? I guess I could write about my Spanish class last semester that made me so miserable that for a while I felt as if I never wanted to hear the language again.

No? Well, I don't know what to write about yet. But I do know that I have to give this class proper attention or I won't do well and I won't learn. No more easy "A". If I'm going to learn this language I'm going to have to spend time with it, get to know it, understand it, have a relationship with it, and so on.

Last semester I had four classes and worked thirty-six hours each week. I chased myself around in circles to get everything done, but I did it and got good grades. But did I learn as much as I should have? I don't think so, not even close. What might I have learned if I had had the time to focus on anything instead of racing through each assignment so I could get started on the next one?

I'm tired. I've forgotten why I wanted to get an education and I no longer enjoy learning. I've forgotten how to enjoy anything because I just don't have the time. Is this the normal college experience and I just need to learn to deal with it, or am I experience burn-out?

I've received some good comments and advice from other on-line nontrads that has been very helpful and thought provoking. Whatever my decision will ultimately be,it has to be made next week. I'm not always good with decisions. Which is why I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

From my textbook "Sources of Chinese Tradition" which is a compilation of primary sources, there is a section called the "Analects" written by Confucius or compiled by students who followed him. I found the following tidbit amusing.

17:25 "Women and servants are most difficult to nurture. If one is close to them, they lose their reserve, while if one is distant, they feel resentful."

Imagine that!


Caz said...

Wow, four subjects - that IS a lot plus you work. I did two last year which I enjoyed but still found I had spare time on my hands. This year I'm doing three and I don't know how it will go. Maybe you could drop one subject? Are you a libran? I too have trouble making decisions - or I make them and then change my mind! Hang in there.

Brandywine said...

LOL. Yes, I am a Libra. I can't imagine how you have time on your hands with school and children!

Caz said...

I knew you must've been! I can empathise with the agony of indecision! I can't imagine how YOU have time to study AND work!!! We all have our crosses to bear I suppose. I love reading your blog.