Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Almost There

It’s almost over. Three more weeks, one term paper and one final exam left to complete and it will be summer break. Last night I wrote the last paper required for Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) 122. It is a course that has received more attention than it deserves in my blog. I have waffled between detesting it and accepting it for what it is; ridiculing it and granting that it has some worth; agonizing through every second and having the sort of fun in which time flies. Although it has been an exceptionally easy upper-division class for me, it has also required a great deal of time to complete what can best be described as “busy” work.

This class fulfills my “writing intensive” requirement. To be so designated, a total of 5,000 words must be written throughout the semester. I’m not sure how much of the rest of the course curriculum is dictated by this requirement, but I’d say there are probably other mandates as well. For some students, it’s much more writing than they’re used to. However, I rarely write fewer than 1,000 words in a single sitting and I have been known to write more - much more. I am not unique in this respect… I’m certainly not bragging. I suspect most journalism majors, English majors, government majors, psychology majors… and many others are used to “intensive” writing.

The paper due today was assigned three weeks ago. Entitled “Prescription for Happiness,” it was yet another introspective essay. The required minimum length for this final assignment is an unprecedented 1,200 words. I didn’t want to write it, but in a little under two hours, I completed a pretty good essay. I am sure it is, like the others, worthy of an “A.” Moreover, it shed some light on how my vision of life has changed over the years. It’s the sort of writing that comes easily for me and I really don’t mind writing about it - unless, of course, it’s an assignment.

It is important to remember that whatever the quality or manner of motivation, the writing that emerges contains all that I have come to expect from my frequent and thorough glances inward. This most recent work is no exception. I have drawn from within an analogy revealing my perspective on life that makes a great deal of sense. It came as a surprise as the words trickled out and I am left with the realization that I was compelled not by some greater purpose, not some profound experience and not some brilliant flash of the obvious. It was a stupid assignment from this stupid class that I am compelled to complete for my degree. From all that stupidity emerged a vision that is anything but. Go figure.

I didn't mean to imply that I am "almost there" in terms of being done with my degree. I only meant that this semester is almost over. Although it is true in terms of my degree as well, I still have two courses yet to complete in the fall. I went into all the gory details here.


Olyal said...

Hello from Vanuatu!
Good luck getting over those final hurdles and then kick back and enjoy your summer break!!!
Stay safe!

kenju said...

Mike, one of the best things I ever did was to keep many of my essays from college. Going through them years later was a fun and sometimes enlightening process. More often than not, it exposed my hypocracy more than anything else. I h ope you still like your essays - years from now. Good luck with the final essays and tests.

Biker Betty said...

Keep strong, the end is near and summer awaits. Thanks for the visit. Hopefully your bike is in the shop for just a tune-up.

Take Care,
Betty :)

Bar L. said...

Mike, so how do you really feel about this class?

3 weeks! Wow. I'm excited for you :)

awareness said...

Hi Mike.....

I am so pleased for you...... almost at the finish line ....... ready to tackle a brand new track!

It's funny how paradoxical some courses can be. I've experienced the same thing when I took some summer courses on Adult Learning as part of attaining a "certificate." I had already at the time been teaching for a few years....and I struggled with the validity of the course and the time commitment. Turns out some of the assignments, which I turned my nose up at initially ended up being an exercise in fun revelations.

I think that happens a lot when one loves to write. One never knows when one will "mine" a jewel while writing.

take care........


Anna said...

Funny how that works in life...the times you think you are just needing to "GET THROUGH FAST" are the times that you walk away with something meaningful and surprising.

You're almost done! YAY!

Bobkat said...

Out of the ashes a mighty Pheonix rises :)

X said...

I'm getting flashbacks to my final days in J-school! :)

Congrats babe! I knew you could do it! :)

ZoeyBella said...

One semester at a time!

utenzi said...

Michele sent me over with congrats on making it through the semester--and you're almost to your goal. Just two more classes!

I had a bio and philosophy major as an undergrad and I can tell you, the philosophy part required lots of writing. It's hard to imagine kids complaining about a "writing intensive" class that only needs 5,000 plus words. LOL As you say, most of us write that much just in normal mode.

MaR said...

Almost there and then only two courses to complete...congrats!!!I am not good in writing...but writing a bit in English, which is not my first language, keeps these old brain cells working :)
Michele sent me this fine friday moorning.

awareness said...

Shoot Mike! When I read this post, I just assumed that things got straightened out.

ah well.............enjoy your weekend away........ am doing the same.

take care

Snaggle Tooth said...

The semester ending is always a good excuse to feel relief! The last few weeks always proves to be a furious pace to keep up. So many deadlines!
Congrats, on making it through the Sem, n also that Liesure class you thought you wouldn't tolerate, with a piece you're actually happy with!