The Outcome

Well. I’m registered for classes, as I’ve said. I’ve changed my next-semester schedule three times and my all-remaining-semesters schedules twice over the past week. But it’s done now. For the present, at least.

I have mixed feelings about next semester.

I’m really excited. I’ll only be taking five classes. That’s the least amount yet. German III and Drill (yayyyyy), Ethnic American YA Literature (bleh), Intro to Literary Theory (o__O), Anatomical Kinesiology (O_o), and Creative Dance for Children (yayyyyyyy). I think they will all be good classes. I don’t particularly want to take Ethnic American Lit, but meh. It should be interesting. =) And Germannnn. I’m so glad I can take more. I don’t know why it’s so exciting to me, but I really like it. I’ve never thought of myself as someone who likes learning languages, but I guess I’ve also…never really studied other languages much. Hah. AnaKin should be a good learning experience. I’m excited for it. …Technically I am not yet registered for that, since I need to get a signature from the Dance Department for some reason, but close enough. Intro to Lit Theory…Gosh. I’ll be one of only two juniors in the class. It’s usually taken your senior year. But the other junior is Becca, so I’ll have a friend. And that will be lovely. And it’s with Dr. Gruenler, so I’ll get a third class with him and I’m thrilled for that because he is wonderful. Creative Dance for Children…ahhhhhhhhhhh. I’m excited for it. I think it will be so fun to learn about dance in a setting that’s not like, me taking a technique class. I have no idea what to expect, but…I think it will be fun. Also it’s with a cool teacher, Nikki, who I have seen many times but never danced with or really spoken to much…but she seems super nice and I’m excited a lot. =) Party. …And also I’m going to audition for a vocal group next semester. I want to get into Collegium Musicum, which is a group that does Madrigals and puts on a banquet/Madrigal dinner at the end of the semester complete with medieval dress and sword fights and sounds positively wonderful. But if I don’t get into that I’ll do some other choir. But I really hope I can get in.

I’m also really scared and nervous, though. Because of things…lots of things. One, I’ll not have any real dance classes, as I’ve said before. That will be something very new and different from anything I’m used to. I think, though…well, I’ve thought a lot about it, and I think it might be nice. To take a break for a semester. I’ll still be in Sacred, and I’ll audition for Dance 41 and sign up for Student Dance Concert, and all that. Also, I think I may audition for H2 or Striketime, which are Hope’s two dance companies. I’m not sure, exactly…but I really want to. And if I were to get into either of those, I’d still be dancing.

I’m also scared of the classes I am signed up for, though. German I’m not worried about, nor AnaKin or Creative Dance for Children. It’s the two English classes that are scary. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Ethnic American YA Lit professor. Apparently he hates Freshmen (which I’m not one, but still. Any professor who hates a certain class of students is automatically a bit intimidating to anyone. Or at least to me). And I’ve also heard that he openly ridicules students who don’t speak up often in his classes. Whiiiich that’s going to be me. I’ve heard that his classes are hugely discussion-based, and usually don’t have much homework other than the participation (and obviously lots of reading). I don’t mind having less homework. It’s the discussion in class that’s intimidating. But last I checked, that class was almost full. So at least there will be lots of people in it with me, so it won’t matter as much if I don’t talk quite so often because there will be a lot of other people to talk too. But still. I’ve already started mentally preparing myself for the ridicule. Yay.

Also Lit Theory. Oh, Lit Theory. I’m kind of absolutely reallyreally scared of that one. So excited for it, because Becca’s taking it too and Dr. Gruenler teaches it. I’m so glad I get another class with him. With them both. I admire and respect both of them quite a lot. =) But still. Like I said, one usually doesn’t take the class until senior year, and I’ll be a junior. Not much of a difference, I know, but it’s there. And it’s going to be a small class. Right now there’s only seven people registered for it, and registration closes tomorrow morning so I doubt there will be any more.So it will be a small class. When I emailed Dr. Gruenler to ask him if it was alright if I switched my schedule to include Lit Theory, he responded and said yes I should go for it, but then added that “it’ll be a small class, so I’ll want you to speak up!” Which, yea, of course. But the fact that he specifically mentioned it is scary and makes me a bit…nervous isn’t the right word. Uncertain, maybe.

I know he wishes I’d speak up more in Old and Middle English, the class I have with him now. I know he thought the same thing about me in Tolkien Lit last semester. I know Becca thinks and thought the same thing. They’ve both told me that. So I’m afraid for Lit Theory, because I don’t know that I can do it. I know I am smart, and I have good ideas, and good input, and thoughts that can be shared and that are at least mostly intelligent. The problem is that I can’t formulate them in a way that can be related coherently to others without a good bit of pondering. All my good ideas and thoughts tend to start out sounding kinda like this: “Whaaaaaa…?? o_O” for a while, until I can think about them long enough to get a firm and settled opinion. By “long enough,” I mean usually several weeks…=P Unless I have someone with whom I can actively think about them with and talk to about them a lot. Also, especially when it’s a subject or an idea I don’t already know a lot about or haven’t thought a lot about, I tend to agree with whoever is talking the loudest and the most at any given moment. I’m fairly decent at taking the ideas of others and agreeing with them and restating them in my own words without actually coming out with a new addition of my own. I’m not good at voicing my own thoughts and ideas, because they usually are only echoes of everyone else, unless the subject is Tolkien, farming/living in the country/fiber arts-y stuff, or dance. And, especially when it’s a subject I’m not very familiar with, I tend to be afraid of getting it wrong or making myself look like an idiot for not having a correct understanding of it and showing that in my comments, so I stay quiet (this is also why research presentations are extremely difficult for me…hah. Sir Orfeo, I’m lookin’ at you).

So yea. I’m scared. Because I know Dr. Gruenler will want me to speak up more. And I really, really, really don’t want to disappoint him. Because I have the utmost respect and admiration for him and his knowledge and what he does, and I want him to think well of me. I don’t want to disappoint him. I know I already kind of have, because he said once, half-joking as I was leaving the classroom, that he was going to have to start calling on me in class to get me to talk. I over-analyze everything, but still. I’m not being good enough for him right now, and I want to be good enough. …By “not good enough” I don’t mean “I have rotten self-esteem” (that may or may not be true, but it doesn’t play into this that much). I mean that he thinks I could be better than I am, and I’m not taking that and rising to the potential he thinks I have. And I want to rise to that potential, because I don’t want to disappoint, but I can’t do it. The fact that he thinks I have more to offer than I am offering is flattering. But I don’t know how to do anything about fixing that and beginning to offer more.

I know it must be something that can be learned. There has got to be a way to train one’s mind to work faster and on a deeper level. There has got to be a way to learn to think critically about everything and come up with original and influential, or at least relevant, thoughts and ideas about it and then vocalize them. There’s got to be a way I can teach myself to be better. But I haven’t the foggiest what it is, or how to go about it.

If anyone knows the secret to training one’s brain to work that way, please, do let me know. Because I’ve got this Lit Theory class next semester, and I know it’s still months away, but it’ll be here all too soon, and I’m nervous because I really want to do well and make Dr. Gruenler proud. And mainly I’m just really scared of being inadequate, or the way my mind works being inadequate, for the job.

And also, I’m scared of auditioning for a choir group. Because I haven’t done something like that before and have no idea what they’ll ask me to do, only I suspect some sight-reading will be involved. Whichhhhhh I dunno how good I am at that XD I can read sheet music fairly well and all, and ifthere’s an instrument playing the melody, even if it’s one I don’t know, I can def follow along. But I have no idea what the audition process looks like for choirs here. Guess I should begin mentally preparing myself for that too…Over the summer, when you’re not in Germany, Em, you need to work with me on musics. =)

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Girl. Next fall I will also totally be taking Intro to Lit Theory too (except in GERMANY wut). We can compare notes.

    Also, Re: talking in class. You don’t have to think up everything you say in class on the spot, as the class is going on. I like to think up a couple questions/ideas/observations while I am doing the homework for the class….I even write them down if I think I will forget them. Then you can just raise your hand at some semi-appropriate moment and read off what you have written. :) ALSO I completely understand the fear that what you will say will come out as half-formed/confused/dumb sounding. BUT. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have said something in class that started with “Whaaaa???” and ended with “um…yeah…so…idk if that is even valid/true/not stupid” and the professor has been able to take that and turn it into something interesting/clear/insightful. That’s the mark of a great professor–knowing what the students are trying to say better than they do.
    Plus if you feel like you are in a “safe” class environment–awesome professor who knows you personally, friends in the class, cool topic, etc–I feel like there’s so much less pressure to ALWAYS SAY BRILLIANT THINGS. Also things which you think are NOT brilliant often appear so to other students because they simply haven’t thought about things from that angle.
    Just my two cents. :)

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  2. Ok after this I’m done. But I just wanted to say that the only way to get better at thinking on your feet/formulating ideas on the spot/talking in class is to TALK IN CLASS. Like I said, pick a class that feels “safe” to you and just start saying stuff. You will be shocked at how quickly you feel more comfortable.

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    1. AnnaEstelle says:

      …Germany is way cooler…hehehe =P Epic. We should.

      Thank you for your wisdom and advice. =) You’s shmart. I like you. Also I will do my best to implement your suggestions. For one of my classes we all write down a couple questions to bring in, so that’s nice and a bit helpful. I mainly get stuck after I ask the initial question and then the prof begins answering it and I don’t know how to follow it up with another question or a continuation of the discussion.

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  3. Lulu says:

    I ran and hit my head on a wall. A wall of text.

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    1. AnnaEstelle says:

      That’s what you get for running with your eyes closed…

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      1. Tiberius Shift says:

        Then I must be really skilled because I can do it with my eyes open.

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  4. Dragonslayer says:

    Eep. You changed everything.

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    1. AnnaEstelle says:

      I got bored. I’m not done. Just you wait.

      Like

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