Thursday, February 24, 2011

Well, so the snow is finally gone and the crocus are blooming and next week is midterms. It's hard to believe that the semester is already almost half over. Life is going by way too fast. On the other had, it feels like I've been doing this school thing forever and when will it ever end?

Next week I have two tests on Tuesday so I need to keep my nose stuck in the books for the next few days. I guess I don't need to have a life right now, but I am finding that hard to accept. I've reached the point where I want my life back and it is hard for me to focus solely on school.

As for my Renaissance class, well, I'm not at all happy with it. I'm not alone in not understanding where the class is going, and just when I thought I might finally be getting a little insight but...well, our assignment was to read one of Petrarch's letters, which was about the inability of humankind to know everything there is to know (ignorance, to be precise), but apparently a couple of youngsters in class did not get point (even though it was in the title of the letter) and proceeded to make it a theological debate which no one understood except maybe themselves. Every time the professor tried (rather lamely, I might add) to steer them in the right direction they argued with him and asserted the correctness of their own positions.

Bottom line, I don't feel like I'm learning much in this class. Nothing was accomplished in our discussion of Petrarch because the entire class session was co-opted by two people who certain that the truth lies with them alone. I'm just grateful that our midterm has been postponed because of the snow days we had earlier in the month. I'm also grateful that he is not requiring us to write the paper that is usually necessary for this class. We all feel like we are in enough trouble come test time as it is.

Sorry for the rant. I was just extremely miffed after class today.

On a happier note, next weekend I'm off to big college town to do some research in the archives. A couple of professors at my university are involved in a project about how the French wine industry was saved by a Missouri man. There is going to be a big to do about it in April, so a few of us in PAT (Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society) are being dispersed across the state to various archives to collect information. I'm so excited to have even a minuscule involvement in the project! More news when I get back from college town.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snow Days

Last week we had our first blizzard in almost 100 years which turned out to be worth a few snow days from school. Now, my university is notorious for never closing, regardless of how many inches of snow we receive. Therefore I was quite shocked when the school shut down for three days, thereby causing me to miss my Tuesday and Thursday classes. I also missed two days of work which made me feel quite giddy. It was a mini vacation that was more than welcome. Today it was back to school and so back to the world of hillbillies and the Renaissance.

I still don't know a thing about the Renaissance. It seems that no one in class knows what is going on (well, maybe the young Adonis who sits a few seats away from me may know, as he makes an intelligent comment occasionally) since we can't hear the teacher and we can't make heads or tails of the book we are currently assigned. Today's lecture was about Florence, Parlamento, the Albizzi family and the Medici's (finally, something I have actually heard of). Oh, and let's don't forget the Signoria council, which had almost unlimited power during their two month term; whose successor was determined my drawing a name from a bag; and whose winner could not possibly be fixed, except that they must have been or the same families, the Albizzi's and Medici's, could not have ruled for so many years. What all of this has to do with the Renaissance, I can't say. Possibly background information that will aid in our understanding of the Renaissance should we ever get around to discussing the actual topic of our class.

On a more whiny note, I've spent the last few weeks battling, and mostly losing, a war against allergies, colds, or whatever it is that has me in its grip. I've felt tired, apathetic, and unmotivated. I'm going to have to suck it up and get motivated because my first book review is due next week. Nothing like a book review to ruin a great story!