Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
9 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Use this thread for discussion among your Committee.  After this first week, there will be more serious discussions but, this first week, to get started, introduce yourself and try to get to know one another. Over the next sixteen weeks, you're going to be reading and discussing one another's work.  This will be easier if you know something about the folks who will be reading and commenting on what you have to say.  

Begin by letting your committee members know something about yourself in terms of what your plans are for when you finish up the course or finish up at Reynolds.  Where are you in your program of study?  

Are you looking forward to the course?  Why, or why not?

It's OK if you aren't.  Too many students have flashbacks to horrible literature classes where they'd read something great, got into discussing it, only to find out that no matter what they thought the lit was about, it turned out that the important meaning was hiding somewhere in the teacher's head.  This class won't be an exercise into getting at what I think the lit means.  

This also won't be one of those lit classes where any interpretation is as good as another.  Authors write because they want to accomplish something and, usually, because they want to be understood. Most of this course will be about your learning how to put yourself in the author's place and ask, "If I wrote what I just read, what would I be trying to do and how would I want to be understood."  

Just as in everyday life, understanding others is a complicated process.  However, it's how we learn about others and one means we learn about ourselves.  Because it's complicated, understanding others (and ourselves) is often a process we get wrong.  If we didn't ever get an interpretation wrong, there would never be any misunderstandings and we'd never make decision that later turned out to be wrong on a "gut" level.  Worse, understanding others often involves us taking the risk of others getting to know us and taking a long look at ourselves.  We have to really understand ourselves well if we're going to understand why we'd do or say something we didn't do or say.  We have to risk sounding silly or getting an interpretation wrong, that is, if we're going to discuss our interpretations with others and learn from their interpretations. Take it from a teacher who does it every day, taking the chance of sounding silly in front of a group of relative strangers can be scary, but it's one of the risks involved with a greater joy.  It's sort of like asking someone out the first time.  Yes, you might get shot down.  Yes, you might sound silly, but the risk is sooo worth the joy.    

The bottom line?  One of the main reasons we study lit is to practice understanding what others mean in a low stakes environment.  Let's face it: if you get Poe or Emerson wrong, chances are there aren't going to be huge consequences.  It's not like misunderstanding your boss or significant other and getting fired or getting dumped. We read lit to practice how to get higher stakes, critical readings right, and we study lit to learn how to share our interpretations with others and--in the process--learn to take the risks involved.

Very few of us are really, really good at reading and understanding ourselves and others.  I do it for a living.  I've been getting paid to interpret for a couple of decades.  I've got a doctorate in reading and understanding literature, myself, and others.  All this means is I can successfully get into someone else's head with more success than not.  No one gets it right every time, and the world wouldn't be much fun if people didn't do or say things which just don't seem to make sense, that is, until you get to studying and get to know them.  The bottom line is that you're a sophomore in college.  By definition, you're just getting started and learning the tricks involved in learning to know yourself and others.  Worse...many of you have had horrible experiences, some of them in literature classes, which turned you off to the joys of really getting to know others.  The upshot?  Many come into our course expecting not to like it.  You'll have to take my word for it, but the folks who stick it out--most do and earn a high grade--end up enjoying literature more, and most report really enjoying the class.

So, quit reading me and introduce yourself.

Steve
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Kristi Kesler
Hello all! My name is Kristi Kesler.  I am 24 years old working on a degree in Nursing.  This should hopefully be my last semester in non-nursing classes! I work two part time jobs...one at D&F Plumbing and the other at our local Hooters in Midlothian.  I actually enjoy both of my jobs and manage school at the same time.  To be honest I am actually dreading this class because I am definately a math/science kid.  I've always dislike history and english...perhaps just a lack of interest! Who knows.  I have no children...yet...but plan on having many once I "grow up".  I enjoy racing my mud truck in the summer and playing co-ed softball as well.  I grew up in Jetersville, Va so I am most definately a huge tom-boy and have alot a fun with my racing crew.  Well I look forward to hopefully a non-painful semester with you all! Best of luck!
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Antonio Lewis
Kristi,

Hello!  It's very nice to meet you.  I'm dreading this class also, but I believe it will be much more fun than other literature classes in the past. What exactly is a mud truck?  I assume it is a truck with a lift kit.  Where is Jetersville, VA?  I have lived in Virginia for the majority of my life and I have never heard of the town.  I love Hooters wings!  The closest Hooters to me is in Washington D.C.  It is a pain getting there because its located in the middle of Chinatown.  I miss being able to hop in my car and driving 15 minutes to Hooters on West Broad.  

Best of luck,

Antonio
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Antonio Lewis
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Hello all,

My name is Antonio Lewis.  I am 24 years old and from Richmond, Va.  I currently reside in Clinton, MD.  I work at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland as a Data Analyst.  In my free time, I like to attend sporting events, travel, and work out.  I am studying Business Administration.  I plan on transferring to George Mason University to earn my Bachelors in Economics.  For the most part, I am looking forward to this course, but then again I'm not.  I certainly have flashbacks to those previous horrible Literature classes.  I believe I will like the course because it'll be challenging.  Can't wait to interact and learn from all of you.

Best of luck,

Antonio
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Kristi Kesler
In reply to this post by Antonio Lewis
Hey Antonio! Nice to meet you too! And yes...my mud truck is a 1982 chevy scottsdale that is my BABY....she has a 14" lift and 42" tires...I love her and she earns my good money during the summer...plus its fun!  Jetersville is a TINY town between Amelia and Farmville that most people haven't ever heard of...but its home :)

Hooters is excellent and a fun place to work...now that I work there is funny the stigma that the name is branded with...until people actually come visit us and realize its definately sterotype.  It is defiantely the most fun job I've ever had...and I meet alot of new people and connections.

Again! Nice meeting you and good luck this semester!
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Ben Morgan
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Hey Folks! My name is Ben Morgan. I am twenty-one years old and am in my final semester here at J. Sarge. I am a business administration major but plan on pursuing public relation at a four-year university. I will probably end up going to VCU. I work full time as a lead sales associate at Nordstrom in Short Pump, VA. I was never a huge fan of English to be honest. I am hoping that this course will teach me to appreciate English as I learn of the history and progression it made in our great country. Although I was born and raised in Dallas, TX, I have been here in Richmond since I was pretty young so I call this home. In my free time I enjoy music, my pup, and friends. I play piano, guitar, and electric bass. I have a five-month-old black lab named Studley, and my family is one of the hugest blessings in my life! That is a little bit about me! I look forward to getting to know everyone as we accomplish this semester together! Let's have some fun!
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Jessie Martin
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Hey Everyone!
     Hi I'm Jessie Martin. I am 20 (21 in less than a month) and this is my first year at J. Sarge. I attended Radford for 2 years and loved most of it, but was home sick and hadn't quite decided what to do with my life yet so I came home. In high school I was the music/theater/robotics girl, and thought I could choose one of those for my field of study but after some trial and error I've settled on an Art History Major. Quite honestly that could change at any time. I can truly say this is the only class I'm taking that I'm really looking forward to, then again I am an English and History nerd, and Statistics and Spanish are not my strong suit. I don't have a job currently, but am actively looking :)
Can't wait to get the semester going. Hope all of you had a great holiday. :)

-Jessie
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Thiago Ogibowski
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Hello, My name is Thiago Ogibowski and I'm taking this course for the second time.

Last semester I was taking 18 credits and I realized by the half of the semester that it was too much work.

So now, here I am again and this time I'll keep you with the work.

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Committee Cafe: Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence

Mintina Minto
A little late...
Hello Massachusetts Committee
  My name is Mintina Minto and I am a respiratory Theraptist at the VA hospitial
I earned my degree from Jsrcc. I am a bit older than the rest of the group so far.
I am a mother of three. I have recently decided to pursue a Law degree. I am not too
fond of english classes. I am glad that the Professor is offering alot of extra credit.
I plan to take him up on the offer.  It was nice to get some info on everyone
Good luck to all this semster.