Last Call.

December 23, 2010

I would like to first begin, with English 255 being the first course at Queens College where I was asked to blog.  Whether typing feelings on the novel of the week, or just feelings in general.  At first I was hesitant, mostly because not only did you, the professor, have access to my thoughts, but classmates as well. However, I soon fell in love with the fact that I had a place to go just to type on anything and everything.   Simply having a blog that you spend time on shows positive aspects of your personal character. Another benefit of blogging from this class was the ability to write about what you want to write about. It gives you the freedom to be your own editor, to produce something of substance and develop your craft.  I often found myself looking at blogs not only from the class role but just blogs that were offered for views on the Internet.   The fact that you let us stray away from the proposed assignment was probably what I loved most about this class.  The fact that you were willing to read and grade us on whatever we wanted to talk about in the particular novel was so refreshing.  Steering away from the ten page paper final on something you can not even make three paragraphs about was such a   generous, early Christmas present.

As I finish up this course, I went back over the syllabus.  You stressed how this particular course has considerably evolved over the years, becoming less a course dedicated to presenting the so-called canon to a course offering a greater representation of the experience of women and minorities.  You went on to say, that we will experience a lot in 255, and we will communicate our reactions, thoughts, doubts, and misgivings.  That is what the blog helped me do, especially if I could not make it to class.  It was easy to read an assignment and read at home and then post your thoughts onto your blog.  However, without your guide, this course would have been much more difficult.  If I had not gone to class the week before, during, and after The Sound and the Fury or Heart of Darkness, I would have been completely lost.  Another great thing I received from this course was falling in love with the books you particularly enjoyed.  It was obvious when you expressed your feelings on the Sound and the Fury how much you take pleasure in it.  Your words before reading, only made me more eager to jump into the text.  Overall, your enthusiasm in these works you had chosen for the class, only helped me become more excited to read.  It was obvious you loved the particular texts you chose.

I guess, in conclusion to the course, I “almost” understand the question marks on this 255? Class website.  Which, bottom line, is reading.  A big question mark.  I think that is what I enjoy most about being an English major, the option that you get to love a book or despise it. Thats almost odd, because it almost sounds like being an English major is simple?!

I think that this class was very inimitable. I think that there really isn’t more merit in any type or age of writing. I think that the canon is basically futile.   Everyone is going to have their own opinion on what author they like and do not like. A canon is just some other peoples opinion at base.  What a canon does do is make there less of a chance for new writers to get their work into the class room. No novel is really worth more than another one. Lets face it, work that is in the canon, must be very well written for sure.  But it is not what everyone gets enjoyment from, and that is what reading is about, enjoying yourself.  The Canon refers to the Hemingway and the Elliots of the world, the socially acceptable text.  But that is exactly what I like least about  Literature.  I appreciate the gruesome, the truth, the hard facts, the child getting his face eaten off by a pig as a baby in Diaz’s text, and the sick and twisted relationships in The Sound and The Fury.  That is what keeps me, as a reader, coming back for more. I would say my least favorite text was Obama’s.  Because I could not find any connection with it, it was to plain for my liking.

For future syllabuses, i think there should include more “global” works.  Straying away from American writers, really helps one learn about our world.  We all too often forget that others have it much worse than us. Introudcing other cultures and customs would help enlighten us, and help us look at the bigger picture… Just a thought.  Thanks for your time.   To you professor, and my other classmates, a very happy holiday and healthy new year.

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