Work Smarter, Not Harder

I’m sitting here in my Modern European Novel class listening to person after person whine and complain about how hard James Joyce’s Ulysses is so far. We made it all of the way through Flaubert’s Madame Bovary already, and they haven’t figured out the biggest characteristic of our professor: he likes to tell you EXACTLY what you need to know for the study guides and exams.

This is my second course with this professor, so I came in knowing this about him, but now they have no excuse. For my Summer semester British Lit 1900-1945 class, I started reading the first story and realized that he just stands up there and talks about every important paragraph, sentence, motif, character, and author style that we need to know. Why read the stinking books? I have a life, and a busy one at that. I’m not going to waste my time reading the thing if I’m just going to be spoonfed directly from the maker of the exams.

So, for 13 weeks, two nights per week, 4 hours per night, I sat there and worked on websites and recorded his lecture while taking sparse notes and got an A-. I have no plans on changing my tactics this semester, and I am not sure why no one else can see this pattern after three 3-hour classes with him. These are juniors and seniors with 100+ credit hours. Can’t they see a free ride when they get one? As long as you can write coherent sentences and regurgitate his major points, you score easy points.

That’s all I have for now… gotta load up Word and get the notes file ready for class.

Spring 2008 Semester Begins Today

USF Bulls LogoClasses begin for me today. Campus opened back up Monday, but I’m only taking a course on Wednesday nights and Thursday nights. It looks like a 17 week semester, with a week off for Spring Break. I have my syllubi for both courses and have several things to dread… but I’m still optimistic, or trying to be, at least.

  • I despise literature courses in general. I’m a slower reader than I should be for how much reading I do. I’m more of a scanner and skimmer and only enjoy reading what interests me because I’m slower at it. I’m pretty much a 60-page per hour fun reader, and it drops like a rock if it’s complicated or I’m not enjoying it.
  • There are no out of class writing assignments for my literature class, which happens to be British Literature 1780-1900. /scream Everything is in-class quizzes and exams and participation.

Ok, that list wasn’t so bad, but it’s daunting to me, nonetheless. My Expository Writing course will be mostly fun because I love to write, but it appears that the text is one of those typical liberal arts devices to mind flay the last remaining shred of one’s youth and optimism about our wonderful culture and country. It’s about (seriously) “unraveling the myths that make up American Culture today:” Freedom, Family, Equality, Opportunity.

That’s disgusting! In order to write what I believe rather that spew the view of the textbook, I’ll have to cover all of my bases and not sound like an idealistic floosie. Who doesn’t like a challenge?