Can I Graduate Now?

What I wrote in my paper proposal:

The answers to these questions will serve to further our knowledge of Jack London and his particular interpretation of Darwinism, as portrayed in The Sea Wolf. They will also enhance our understanding and appreciation of London’s novel as a carefully constructed social statement, as well as an excellent seafaring tale.

What I wanted to write in my paper proposal:

The fate of the known universe is at stake, and this paper will make everything finally okay. The prose shall be so luminous, the insights so great and so witty, that even AIDS patients will have but to look on it to be cured. I will not only answer questions about The Sea Wolf and Charles Darwin, but solve humanity’s oldest puzzles, about the universe and our place in it. You will have to invent a new grade to give this paper, because even A+++ will not cover it. Read it out loud, and prepare to hear birds fall from the trees, stunned by my magnificent observations and conclusions. Watch in amazement as the very face of all scholarship will be changed forever. And make sure that you have a box of kleenex available when you reach my momentous, unexpected, and wholly stirring conclusions.

Or, alternatively:

Let’s be realistic: absolutely nothing is at stake here. I am going to expend a great deal of effort writing a paper that will be read by one person. My analysis will be thorough but utterly boring. My conclusions will be unsurprising. I will soon forget what I said, and so will you. I will receive a grade that is decent: neither abysmal nor spectacular. My graded paper will be relegated to a folder in my room with dozens just like it, where it will remain, unread, in perpetuity. And by and by I will graduate, and as my essay gathers dust, so will my memories of this place, where I learned a great many things that will probably make no discernible difference to my future life. Now please excuse me while I go shrivel up.

Le sigh.

Course Registration

Egad! I register for classes for my final year of undergrad tomorrow morning. And true to form, I have left it till tonight to pick said classes. Go self!

It’s a bit intimidating, actually, just because I have to sort out all of my requirements so that I can, you know, graduate on time next year. And the course descriptions come in a different book than the actual course calendar, so there’s a fair bit of juggling paper that comes with it as well. And choosing is a bit of “What do I still need to take?” and a bit of “What is offered on Tuesdays in the spring?” and “Which profs am I not willing to have again?” — and, it sometimes seems, very little of “What looks cool and interesting?”. But! I have persevered, and all going well tomorrow morning, this is what I’ll be taking next year:

Fall Term

  1. English Drama to 1603
  2. The Novel
  3. Ulysses
  4. French Language II
  5. African Literature in English

Spring Term

  1. The Novel (cont’d)
  2. French Language II (cont’d)
  3. African Literature in English (cont’d)
  4. Darwin & Literature

Looks good, n’est-ce pas? I’ve also amassed enough credits already that I can take one course fewer in the spring, which will be lovely. 80% course loads are wonderful.

Strangely enough, though, I think that the one I’m most excited about is the French grammar class. It’s been a long time since I studied French. I had nine years of immersion when I was young, and a piddling amount in highschool, but my language skills have sort of atrophied since then (although I do use written French at work). I did the university’s assessment basically on a whim, but now I think that I’d really like to bone up on it again. (My assessment results are pretty typical for previously-immersed students: oral comprehension great, grammar abysmal).

On towards tomorrow, then.