Tuesday, April 05, 2005

It was the best of times...

So today I go about finishing my final English paper ever for Redeemer. It's an odd feeling: I've taken at least 18, maybe 19 English courses (14 at Redeemer, 5 in England) in the past three years. I didn't decide to be an English major until...well, the end of first year, and then at the end of second year I decided why not go all out and try out the Honours major thing? So there I was, two years left to go at Redeemer, four English courses down, 11 left to take. In first semester of third year I took my first three hundred level and my first four hundred level English courses at the same time--and it was by far the best semester I've had at Redeemer. Contemporary Fiction with Dr Bowen is by far and wide the best course that I've been enrolled in. That course prepared me for my senior philosophy course in ways that my phil 121 could never dream of preparing me. It taught me to read novels with a new perspective, it taught me what "the postmodern novel" is, and it introduced me to authors that I had never thought of reading. My four hundred level course was Studies in Canadian Poetry, which also made a huge impact on my life. To go from never picking up a book of poetry to taking an honours level course in poetry is a pretty big jump--at least it was for me. But Dr Bowen arranged the course around the poets that visit our campus every month, and made it mandetory for us to go to several off-campus poetry readings. That was one of the best assignments that I've had for a course. It introduced me to a community that I would have been far too intimidated to walk into on my own, and yet when I went to these readings I knew some of the poetry that these poets read, sometimes knew it very intimately from the debates that we had in class on 'authorial intention' vs the 'death of the author.'
The one thing that being an honours Eng major didn't teach me was to really *know* my grammar and to really be passionate about correcting the grammar of others. It's a shame, really, I feel like a bit of a dufus when I have to turn down proof-reading a paper for someone because I know that I won't catch half of the grammatical errors and those that I do catch I won't be able to explain. Well, life goes on, I suppose.
My final English paper will be handed in to Dr Loney this afternoon in my Lewis and Tolkien class. It's kind of sad, doing these "last" things at Redeemer.

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