Sunday, 7 October 2012

Massive Lecture write-up!

I have been terrible at keeping up with writing these write-ups, but there are reasons which hopefully won't impede me next week. Last Thursday was a really busy day as I had lectures from 9 to 4:30 and then had to leave at 6:45 for an English social which involved drinking. Then on Friday I had 2 seminars and a lecture and was really tired. The same evening, an evening where we had told ourselves we'd take it easy, I got terribly drunk and I can't really remember what happened. Not good people, it might sound hardcore but it is a scary experience! Anyways, I decided to move on from this and spend this Sunday night writing a mega write-up of both Thursday and Friday and start with a clean slate tomorrow.

My Thursday started with a lecture in 'Introduction to Drama' at 9. This was the module I had been worried about because the assessment involves a performance but you can imagine my relief when she told us we would be assessed on our direction of the 10-min. performance rather than on the actual performance. I was also really excited to see we would be reading 'Medea' and 'Oedipus Rex', two of my favourite Greek tragedies. Next to that we're also reading 'A Doll's House', which I analysed to bits last year in college. I think it is safe to say that although the seminars might still throw me in the occasional panic attack I might actually enjoy this module.

At 11 I had a seminar in 'Beginnings of English' where we analysed and compared a modern and a Middle English (ME) version of 'The Lord's Prayer'. I really liked seeing how it had changed, what had changed, the influence of French on English and the different letters of Old English that survived into ME. I simply love learning about these old forms of English because that is what I eventually want to continue doing  for a Master and PHD, if I'm lucky enough to survive my Bachelor with a degree. And I practically swooned when the lecturer read the prayer in ME because it sounds amazing.

Then I had a break until 2 when I had a lecture in 'Shakespeare's Histories' which is about Shakespeare's tetralogy ('Richard II', the two 'Henry IV' and 'Henry V'). Of course I loved this lecture, why do you even ask? 'Henry V' is one of my favourite plays after I saw it at the Globe and I really enjoyed the BBC's 'The Hollow Crown' over the summer. Shakespeare is brilliant and the lecturer is a lot of fun. I even made a contribution to the lecture when I commented on the 'I, no, no, I' in 'Richard II'. We were comparing editions and in a modern one it had been changed to 'aye, no, no, aye' which removed the possibility of a phonetic interpretation that Richard doesn't know himself anymore. What's also good, this lecturer does research into authorship, which I did my Extended Project on, and I already approached him on whether I could do something with it in my second term this year.

I then rushed to a lecture on 'Language & Context'. This might be the one module that will cause me problems. I barely know grammatical terms in Dutch and I know even less in English. Although I think that for me as an aspiring writer it would be useful to know more about language I find it a bit difficult to get excited over. Yes, it is interesting that people associate hard angles with sounds like 'k' rather than 'm', but it is not as exciting as the Vikings.

My Friday started at 9 with a 2-hour seminar in 'Studying Literature'. The lecturer is a lot of fun and keeps things entertaining on an early Friday and although we largely rehashed what we learnt in the lecture on Monday I really enjoyed it. In groups we looked at different passages in 'Wolf Hall' where Mantel talks about history and myths. The conclusion was that history in itself is a narrative and that historical fact is never actually a fact. There is always another story that could be told.

I then ran to a 'Beginnings of English' lecture where we again rehashed many of the things we discussed in the seminar. For example, the three changes that Old English went through to become Middle English: the inflexion became less harsh, the order of words in sentences became crucial in determining meaning and the vocabulary grew because of the addition of Latin and especially French words. English remained the language everyone knew, even though Latin was the language of law and French the language of nobility.

Afterwards I had a seminar in the dreaded 'Language & Context'. Again, nothing against the content of the module. I actually think it will improve my writing and probably help in my other modules as well. But it is just so different from the other modules. With those I could immediately see links and this is just completely new. I quite liked looking at the different kinds of sentences and trying to determine in what context they would be said and how, but it just seems slightly anticlimactic after having looked at Old English or the Tudor Era.

So, overall the two days were pretty good if slightly stressful. The weekend has been great as well since Nottingham is host to the massive Goose Fair every year. I don't think I have ever spent this much time upside down but it was definitely worth it. So, let's hope next week is just as good.

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