On target

Today I met with my advisor to request his signature for my Fall 2008 registration.  I secured it, thus I am scheduled to take Drawing II and Irish Literature.  I took Drawing 1 back in the stone age, but the Dean received professorial permission for me to take Round 2.  I’m psyched!  My first foray into the ‘art’ world in over 15 years.

The Irish Lit class looks interesting.  The description is as follows:

An exploration of representative works in Irish Literature, by Catholic and Protestant, nationalist and Ango-Irish and canonical and non-canonical writers.  Topics will include the impact of British colonialism, nationalism and its appropriation of Irish myth, representations of gender and colliding definitions of “Irishness.”

I understand the prof of the class is heavy into discussion which will be good because it is a 3 hour class on a Thursday night!  I’m gonna need a lot of chatter to keep me awake that long!  I have a summer class with the same prof (Contemporary Fiction).  The reading list is interesting and I shall share it once I confirm it.  I am sure some of my readers will have thoughts and opinions on some of the books we will be reading.

My last history class on Richard Nixon was this afternoon.  I really enjoyed this class a lot which was completely unexpected.  Quite often I found myself astonished that the professor was saying, “Well, we’re out of time.” when it felt like we had just gotten started.  The prof is excellent and it will be a sad day when he retires.

It has been difficult to remain objective about Nixon.  When one learns of the many political consequences we are living with, in part due to his shenanigans in Office, one becomes quite cynical.  However, he is a tragic figure; a loner and introvert who was only able to force himself out of that comfort zone when absolutely necessary.  I cannot help but wonder if he had had a compadre, a friend, in whom he could confide whether things would have turned out different.  But his ego, his ambition, his inability to truly be introspective with an eye towards change and his desire to be at the top, blinded him to his weaknesses and prevented him from allowing anyone entry into his interior circle.

The final essay, a 7 page paper, is in outline form.  Now to flesh it out.  The question that we are required to consider is, “What conclusions seem warranted regarding Richard Nixon’s place in U. S. history?  Was he the most influential individual in the 2nd half of the 20th century?  Or is he best seen as the nation’s scoundrel-in-chief?”  Oughta be a doozey to write!

As I said to the professor, I’m okay with presidents being recognized as frail human beings, just like one of us.  However, I do have the expectation that they will rise above some of the frailty and lead by good example.  It’s one thing to lie about whether you snitched a row of staples for your stapler from the office supply closet.  But to lie, scheme and cover-up a crime, not to mention some of the other stuff he did, well ladies and gentleman, that’s a horse of a different color.

Even happier news from my advisor…I am on target to graduate May 2009!  One year to go!  Woot!


4 thoughts on “On target

  1. Go, you! I’m interested in your Irish lit reading list. (How much Padraic Colum and Seumas McManus is there, for instance?)

  2. Whoot indeed! I’m so excited for you and in awe of your hard work on attaining this goal. Good job!

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