Monday, March 3, 2008

Getting My Name Out

It's been over a month into the Spring semester 'n I feel like I've been on top of things as far as homework 'n studying goes (a lot of credit goes to the b/f for keeping me focused in the books rather than the computer screen). I feel that I'm making a subtle impression on most of my instructors; it's important to me that I get to know them by raising my hand 'n adding on to the lecture, especially if the instructor demands a lot of participation (it's just too awkward for the whole class to say nothing when a professor asks a question 'n expects feedback).

English 110 (college composition) and English 217 (sci-fi & fantasy lit.) are still my favorite yet most challenging classes, 'n I really try hard to keep up w/ some outstanding classmates. There are quite a lot of smart students, 'n I feel behind the class knowing a lot of them have read a bajillion novels (I feel proud just finishing Ender's Game!). One of the instructors remembered my name only b/c I was late, 'n said: "You're late. You delay, just like your last name." It's irritating to have my last name remembered b/c I wasn't punctual for one day. I did, however, put in a lot of effort towards studying 'n work for the first essay 'n book exam; I hope they remember my name b/c I aced both of them.

I thought blogging would reinforce my writing skills in Engl110, but I still feel like I'm starting from square one, reviewing 'n learning all of this paragraph structure; content; thesis statements; topic sentences; central ideas; comma splices; sentences that are too awkward to read when read aloud b/c it's just too wordy that it doesn't really make sense 'n also b/c it's too long for the reader to comprehend as an understandable sentence; avoiding repetition 'n long, awkward, run-on sentences; when to stop using semicolons - this class is helping me a lot.

I love lectures about authors/storytellers like Mark Twain, J. R. R. Tolkien, Homer, 'n others who would've made great bloggers if they had computers 'n the internets. I never really took the time to study great writers 'n their work. When I do analyze, I notice a lot of their writing skills that I've always overlooked. When I carefully read passages from Meditations on Middle-Earth, I think to myself: "Wow, he knows how to use semicolons flawlessly!" 'n, "Hey, I noticed none of these writers use ''n' as a variant of the word 'and'. I should start doing that." 'n that's where the real learning begins

Psychology is another challenging class, but I love the content 'n the proffesuh. I had dropped the class last semester partly b/c I wasn't focused, 'n I looked at the instructor w/ disdain. I can't stand a teacher who gets irked for people not participating but gets frustrated when someone asks a question ('n not necessarily a dumb question!). My current psych instructor, on the other hand, encourages us to participate so she can know our names - plus she gives participation points. Acing the first exam (see where I'm going w/ this ego thing?) was a big self-esteem booster, 'n encourages me to keep on doing what I've been doing: not procrastinating. 'n it's working fairly well.

Of course, my psych instructor will remember me, as I didn't remember her name in the beginning of the semester - well, I knew her name, but I didn't pronounce it correctly. She is a person who wants to have her last name w/ the Hispanic pronunciation, which I understand. One time, I had had raised my hand to ask a question, 'n called "Dr. Ramos, I have a question." She replied back, "It's pronounced Rah-mose," as the tip of her tongue hit the roof of her mouth at a speed of 200 intervals per nanosecond. I have great difficulty rolling my tongue; I wouldn't make a good Latino if I can't do that. In all seriousness, she added, "Remember in the beginning of the semester I told you that you can address me w/ my first name or last, but not pronounced 'Ray-mose.' So I'll answer your question if you say my name right" I apologized, but I knew she was just kidding around - I think.

I've heard lots about my art instructor before taking his painting class - but they weren't exactly positive things. Word amongst students who have had him is that he's a grumpy, middle-aged guy 'n he does favorites, 'n those favorites were usually girls. So I asked myself how the hell will a gay guy like will ever has his name remembered? It turns out that he's actually a nice, affable guy. Ask him a question 'n he's there to give an answer along w/ his life story. He's already gotten to know us by our individual styles when we paint; "Whose is that? The one w/ the crazy brush strokes? Kathy, right? She should be an impressionist," or "I like the use of darks of that apple 'n dramatic shading on the doll face. Isn't Doug the one that hates creepy dolls 'n clowns?" Things are looking positive in this class 'n I enjoy being surrounded by artists, both young and older (not OLD!).

Intermediate Algebra is easy, 'n my instructor's a goofy guy that likes to cuss a lot. I remember after class I had him check my work for a question I got wrong, 'n he goes, "Shit! That's a lot of denominators you need to get rid of! Fuckin' hairy mess you got into, huh?" Eff yeah! He has my name down b/c I look like a student he had before, and he was a good student, so he says; I guess I gotta live up to that.

W/ all of that said, this semester's looking great, 'n I'm up for the challenges my great instructors give me. I will also practice rolling my tongue 'n perfect it by the end of the semester.


Sue said...

Getting your name known is a very important life lesson as well. I am so glad that you are doing it now in college (mama would be proud!!). Needless to say, it will be important at your first serious job to get your name known in the upper echelons of the company (if you ever choose to get such employment).

Now for your courses, I absolutely love Tolkien!!!! I only wish I could have studied him in college. He is a terrific writer and what an imagination! It is great to see that you are overcoming obstacles such as professors that only like women too. Very good! I am so proud of you! You can't see it but I have a really big smile on my face!!!

D said...

I'm happy that you're happy for me! =)

Tolkien really is amazing and I'll be reading the trilogies after this semester. I wish I can now, but I have 5 other novels in line during this semester!

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

You might want to try reading some Truman Capote. Maybe Grass Harp, or maybe Music For Chameleons. I suggest this because your writing is very conversational, and I wonder how you'd feel if exposed to someone whose sentences were so perfectly and beautifully structured that they seem to hang in the still air like crystal chandeliers. To learn to structure and furnish your thoughts before you deliver them is a great skill and one that will set you apart from other students in the eyes of your teachers.

D said...

I've seen the movie "Capote" and I LOVED it. I really want to read his book In Cold Blood.