The second summer session in which I am taking a history class that is ‘supposed’ to be about England’s movement from a nation to a nation-state during the 16th and 17th centuries is nearly done. And I am VERY glad! Lord have mercy! It has been a torturous class!
The professor is weird, but I am beginning to realize that most history professors are. Not sure what that says about me since I am a history major!
The professor does not believe in responding to email messages or telephone calls. That is quite annoying.
The texts we are reading are really excellent analysis of the era and well written. The fact that the content is way above and beyond my, and my classmates’, understanding seems to be besides the point.
The expectation that all of the students are very well grounded in the major facts and events of the time period rubs up against the fact that NONE of us are…thus we are all pretty much LOST.
The class is 3 straight hours of lecture, with the pdf of the current text in 110% size projected from an LCD projector on to a screen. The prof goes through the text, chapter by chapter. Each text ranges in length from 250 to 600 pages. And the content is more an analysis of the text than information imparted about England.
I’ve learned a few things. First, I have learned that I cannot read a book that is on a computer screen. I need paper and a physical book to cradle in my hands. I cannot engage in dialog with a book that is on a screen. One cannot underline or make comments in the margins of a pdf…especially when it is passworded and comments are locked in ‘off.’
Secondly, I’ve learned how to look at a Table of Contents and see the author’s outline and main arguments of the text. That’s a good thing.
Thirdly, I’ve learned how to skim read really fast, jot down a few major words and manage to toss out comments in class without sounding like a bumbling idiot and sounding like I read the text.
Not all bad for a class that I am literally counting the hours till I am done. Then I can put a little check mark next to list item: LAST history class to satisfy history requirement! YAY!
Best of all, this class has shown me what a big whining baby I am and how I complain about everything. Fodder for confession.