Wednesday, July 18

summer semesters

I haven't been in summer school since middle school when I took gym to get that P.E. credit out of the way. but this summer, partly to keep my assistantship and partly for a few random other reasons, I have had the pleasure of taking two rather nice classes. the first came on the heels of spring semester, during the three week seminar/break period they call the "maymester," and the second came directly on the heels of the first. at Tech they split summer into a semester I and a semester II, just to give students lots of room for accessing whatever their choice of academic torment. it's very complicated, but somehow it's turned out that I've technically been in classes non-stop since January. when fall semester gets here I am not going to have much trouble transitioning back into school-mode, am I?

anyway. now that the summer is 81.2% over, I'm going to write here about my two classes.

Geography of Eastern Europe with Dr. Jones (and her TA Brittany Walker)
this was my excuse for wandering around Europe a few months ago. we can blame Kolby for suggesting it and Dr. Jones for giving me a thoroughly convincing spiel when I sat down in her office to find out more. it was a marvelous trip, and it did have its educational moments, I promise. there were seven of us, plus Dr. Jones, and we all started a class blog. we learned about architecture, and maps, and history. I can now say 'thank you' in Hungarian, Romanian, and German. I have some Slovak written down somewhere and two memory cards full of photographs.
one of our projects for the class was a photo essay centered on something tourists don't usually pay much attention to. I chose the undersides of awnings for mine. here, for your enjoyment, are four of my awning pictures, one from each country.
should I give out a prize for anyone who wants to guess which is from which? call them white, orange, green, and crumbling and match each with either Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Austria. and then suggest some nice but not outrageously extravagant prize you'd like to win (hmm.... hand-drawn postcards? a set of crochet slippers? personalized poem? lessons on how to properly use a semi-colon? ignore these options if none of them suit you), and I'll think about it.

History and Theories of Composition with Dr. Rice
this is a much more rigorous class, I must say. we meet online every Thursday evening and discuss how all the theoretical developments over the last thirty or so years might help us be better writing teachers. it's cool stuff, for the most part. my classmates are from all over the place, and they do all-over-the-place things. science stuff, editing and publishing stuff, high school english stuff, and aerospace stuff. we are a diverse bunch. our conversations get pretty interesting. I love it most when we get asking questions about what all these words we throw around mean. what is "composition" or "voice" or "literacy" or "plagiarism" or "error," really? and for this class I also have a blog. supposedly, this summer educational jaunt will prepare me for teaching two sections of ENGL 1301 in the fall. I hope it does. it won't erase the sheen of terror that has been painted around the very thought of being a grown-up instructor named Ms. Chesley to several dozen college freshman... but hopefully it will give me a sharp enough razor to scrape through the fear. wish me luck.


Janeheiress said...

I wish I could say the bottom left one was from America--but Starbucks really is taking over the world!

Leucophyllum said...

You should make them call you Professor Chesley.

amelia c said...

should I? could I? that might be even more intimidating.
and yes. Starbucks is taking over the world. they're everywhere. I could've got photos of a green Starbucks awning in all four cities, if I'd wanted.

Nicola Swann said...

I should really know this, as you even showed me on Skype, but...

White - Slovakia?
Orange - Romania?
Green - Austria?
Crumbling - Hungary?

amelia c said...

you got 2 out of 4 right-- pretty good!