Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marx and Parks

Not so that you would notice, but all I do these days is write. I write about book censorship and I write book reviews (which I sincerely hate) and I write about Rosa Parks and the bus boycott. I shouldn't complain; at least I understand these topics. My next writing project doesn't even have a topic, we are allowed no direct quotes in our paper and we can use no research from other sources besides our existing historiography book and boycott source documents. We are to write a 7-8 page paper about whether or not history is "knowable". I can answer that with a big fat "NO", but somehow I'm stretch it out a little longer. it could be worse; the paper was originally supposed to be 12 pages, but he has apparently tired of our whining about the length so he kindly shortened the assignment. Thank you, professor!

Also, after exploding our brains with postmodernism and deconstructionism, we have not moved on to Marxism. He assured us that we could not possibly understand current historical writing without an understanding of Marxist theory. He is also never happier than when he has completely fried our brains; he says that's when he knows he has done his job. Actually, I thought Marxist theory was quite interesting, and if I ever have a chance to read something instead of writing, I would like to investigate his theories a little further.

We have spent the last three weeks doing what he calls "writer's workshop". We had to submit an outline for our Parks paper, as well as one paragraph, to peers for critique. The next step was to submit a rough draft (which, of course, is not rough at all but completely polished and ready for review, as real historians never submit anything less than their best for peer review) for our peers to review. I didn't enjoy this process as I don't feel qualified to judge someone elses paper, but I have new sympathy for the professors who have to read our papers and who hopefully restrain themselves from telling us how horribly we write.

Meanwhile, as I'm writing a history paper with no real topic, I will be writing an analytical paper for kiddie lit about, well, I don't know what about. I should be thinking about that, but I really can't because I have several pages of the Ozarks journal to write, plus tweak the Parks paper before I submit it for grading, etc....

Only five more weeks.


E. Sheppard said...

So, have you done any writing lately? haha - just kidding. You are counting the days and maybe can take a break in five more weeks.

Joze said...

Recommend getting the Marxist theory screwed down good and proper. Seems to be the basis for any sort of hardnosed understanding of anything historical. Our professor had us getting our heads around Marxist theory and postmodernism together! - Oooh my brain

Brandywine said...

E., I am so ready for winter break!

Joze, that is the same thing my professor said, but combined with postmodernism? Makes for a terrible headache, for sure!