Old Sock Drawer

a story to tell, a novel you keep in a drawer

Old Sock Drawer header image 2

#037: gasp! an academia-related post?

January 6th, 2009 by Mary Leong

Currently listening to: “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” – Rufus Wainwright

Back to the blogosphere I go!

So, with the first day of the second semester (and the giant puddle also known as UBC) firmly behind me, I have decided to jump on the bandwagon of “Reflections about the First Semester”, for lack of better things to do at present moment.

Anisha Datta, Robert Crawford*, Caroline Williams, Ken Bryant, Mark Glouberman

Arts One is a ridiculously difficult course. Be prepared to read a book a week, write papers every other week, and have your writing abilities brutally ripped apart. Even if you were a literary hotshot in high school, don’t expect stellar essay grades. Sounds like a mess? Mais non. It is one of the most amazing courses I have ever taken in my life. A combination of literature, history and philosophy, Arts One truly embodies the interdisciplinary liberal arts spirit. We got to read a truly diverse range of literature, ranging from Homer to Virginia Woolf to (coming up next) Salman Rushdie, and many, many more. The lectures can be a little dull at times, and at others, absolute madness, but it’s all part of having five profs with diverse lecturing styles and varied abilities of staying on task (ahaha). The bi-weekly discussions are brilliant, as are the weekly tutorials, which are extremely useful, and not as daunting as they sound. Go into this course being open-minded, and you’ll get much more out of it than you expect.

*my seminar prof

FREN 122 – Contemporary French Language and Literature I
Virginie Doucet

I found the course material in this class ridiculously dull. I took this as a prerequisite to a French minor, so there wasn’t too much choice there. There are only so many times we can discuss the present tense and the past tense before there is a mess of Mary sitting in a corner of the room curled up in a ball, ripping her hair out and gouging out her eyes in sheer boredom. Props to be the prof, though, who worked excellently with the course material, actually spoke French while teaching the course, and tried her darndest to make classes interesting. I must say the literary aspect, the reading of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Huis Clos (No Exit), was the highlight of the course- it could be my bias towards Sartre, but I really enjoyed the approach we took to the play. So- grammar: not so fun, especially if you know your stuff, and the play: quite marvellous indeed.

PSYC 100 – Intro to Psychology
Peter Graf

Andrew’s gone into some detail about this course in his blog post. I personally feel like I didn’t get too much out of the course because of the subject matter which we discussed: a lot of it was extremely science-focused, as opposed to this semester’s focus (more on the social aspect of psychology). The prof was definitely knowledgable and passionate about the subject matter, though I feel that I could have got as much out of it if I’d read the textbook. In many ways I feel that having taken this course makes me re-evaluate my whole focus: I feel I might be much more suited for sociology than psychology. We’ll see how this upcoming semester goes; this being a six-credit course, there’s still time…

Alright, I ought to go and re-look over parts of Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground, we’ve a seminar tomorrow. Ta for now!

Tags:   · 3 Comments

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kathleen Jan 6, 2009 at 9:50 am

    UBC is one huge puddle right now, you are absolutely right. Try walking to Corpus some time; it’s virtually impossible to do without stepping in around twenty large puddles.

    And… Jean-Paul Satre, he was the golfer, right? :D

  • 2 Tysune Jan 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    omg, today I was walking in the UBC snow when I stepped in a puddle that was hidden under the snow. It was really deep and went over the top of my boot XD *sigh* I hate UBC puddles. XD

    I need to recap on last term as well :( And I also need to read that book! XD

  • 3 Phoebe Yu Jan 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Yay welcome to the bandwagon. Arts One sounds more intense every time I hear about it … -is in awe of you guys-

    Haha UBC the big puddle, so true!