Monday, January 12, 2009

Back to School

It's back to school time at the U of U.

I'm heading off in a few minutes to my English "Methods & Theories" course, "Intellectual Movements." I'm not super thrilled about this class yet, but hopefully it will prove more interesting than I'm suspecting. Here's the opening from the syllabus:
     "In honor of the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), this course will examine the "Darwinian Revolution" in biology, literature, and culture. We will interrogate the specific concepts of Darwin's evolutionary theory and explore more broadly how science and literature approach questions about life, nature, and human specialness..."

Our reading list includes:
* various essays (Malthus, Butler, Haeckel, de Beer, and others)
* A book filled with Darwin essays
* Tarzan of the Apes
* Erewhon
* Heart of Darkness
* Tess of the D'Urbervilles
* The Water-Babies
* The Island of Dr. Moreau

Sadly, I generally find "these types" of writing to be very dry and hard to get into. Even the novels sometimes get fairly dry (I distinctly remember falling asleep time and again while pushing through Heart of Darkness). Hopefully the discussions will be interesting and engaging.

In addition, I've got a filler course that I may or may not drop. It's a basic linguistics course taught online. The syllabus for that course isn't posted until tomorrow, at which point, I'll decide if it can be fit in between work, family, scouts, school and other goals.

Anyway, I'm off...wish me luck.


Corinne said...

SO. Thanks for stopping by the nest!! I always like finding another bookish blog myself :) PLUS, I grew up in Bountiful, Utah. Have you always lived there?

My thoughts: Heart of Darkness was so challenging for me. Granted, I was 17 when I read it but STILL. I am still afraid to try it again. I LOVED Tess, The Water Babies was one of the movies of my childhood (never read the book though) and I only saw the movie of the Island of Dr. Moreau. It was pretty fascinating. I'm interested in how you liked those :)

Okie said...

Yup...grew up in Bountiful, was over in West Bountiful through Junior High and High School. Went to Centerville Junior and Viewmont.

I'm hoping that with a more "mature" mindset, I'll enjoy Heart of Darkness better. I look forward to the others as well. I'll post reviews as I read them.

Gus said...

Haven't read Tess, but want too now. I watched on PBS the other night while I trying to fall asleep.