October 3, 2008

Master of Writing, Queen of Literature

The first two weeks of classes are behind me, and I'm already starting to feel like a Master of Writing and Literature... feel free to call me "The Master"... it'll catch on. I almost wish I went to undergrad here - British students take courses so much more seriously than Americans. Serious in a good way. In the way that they are passionate about learning, and don't take it for granted that they are here. Not once in any of my workshops, seminars, or option courses did the discussion lag or fade. Not once did the tutor have to pull a comment out of someone and force the discussion. Oh, and my classes are all very small - very intimate. We're talking nine as my smallest class and twelve as my largest. And these kids weren't just saying whatever came to mind - they were actually saying intelligent, thought-provoking things. Maybe they are just naturally brilliant here, I dunno. I rather enjoyed it.
The great thing about my schedule is all the free time I have! I have a workshop Tuesday from 11-1pm where we workshop three peers' creative works (I present my own work every third week). Thursday, I have a creative writing seminar from 2-4pm where we study the craft of writing, examples from the greats, and put it into practice during quick in-class exercises. Friday I have my literature option course called Madness and Sexuality from 9-11am. We read one British Victorian novel a week. I was kind of hoping to avoid a class before 11am, and classes on Mondays or Fridays... but I think I can live with a three-day weekend and Wednesdays completely off. It gives me so much time to read other books for inspiration and spend afternoons, and even whole days, in coffee houses writing. It's absolutely fantastic.  I couldn't ask for more... except maybe to travel. But those trips are in the works already!
One thing that's taking some getting used to, is how to address my tutors. All of my tutors insist that I call them by their first names. First of all, they are tutors - not professors. If you call them Professor So-and-so (insert Sirname), or even just refer to him or her as simply Professor, they look at you as if you've just called them King or Queen. 

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