Today was was a really hard day for me. Since I am a senior in college, I have to start thinking about what I want to do with my future. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do! It has been one of my dreams (for quite some time now) to attend graduate school at some point in my life. Well, today I realized that I might not be cut out for academics. I stress out too easily, and I am easily let down by myself. I was recently told that my GPA is too low to get into a graduate program with funding. If I did decide to go to graduate school I would have to start out as a lowly masters student paying for it on my own, in other words--working while attending school. Well, as anybody who knows me already can guess, I have had enough of working myself to the bone by overloading myself with credits, and maintaining a job, sometimes even working full time. Maybe I just need a break before I seriously think about it. It is just hard not to feel stupid.
This semester is also made harder by the fact that I am taking Old English. For those of you who don't know, it is NOT Shakespeare (you would be surprised how many people think that), it is, rather, Beowulf and other texts written so long ago that no one is sure of their actual date. For example, right now I should be translating "Eft pa on fyrst, aefter fela gearum, pa seo hergung geswac and sibb wearp forgifen pam geswenctan...." the sentence goes on for an entire paragraph, and I am sure that you have as much of an idea of what is says as I do. That is kind of the problem...
Other than this wonderfully challenging class (and a Philosophy class that I can't even mention right now) I actually love the rest of my classes. My day got significantly better when I got to show off a bit in my Dracula and Decadence course in front of the grad students :) The class is a mixed grad and undergrad class on Victorian literature, a wonderful period where horror and decadence flourished. We just turned in our prospectus for the final paper, and, to my own personal horror, we had to discuss our topics... on the spot. Most people, and by people I mean undergrads, are writing about gender issues (women were apparently pretty useless at that time) or excruciatingly painful to read modern vampire stories compared to the Victorian vampire stories (yes, Twilight, and even Buffy). But then there is me. I am a HUGE nerd. So needless to say, my topic is on the transformation of the original Gothic novel, being Wallpole's The Castle of Otranto, to the Victorian Gothic novel. At least that is the broad topic. More specifically I will be looking at how the views of each society on Gothic architecture influenced the literature. This may seem a little dull, but I get to write about castles!! And people being trapped in castles!! It will be fun.
Another fun class of mine is Literacy and Cultural Diversity. For that class I volunteer for a few hours every week at a high school for kids who do not speak English as a first language. Most are Ethiopian or Somalian. Most are also amazing young people with an incredibly bright outlook on life. One girl (I have to mention!) speaks four languages. She is Somali, so she know Arabic and Somali, and she also now knows English and Spanish. We have hilarious conversations of mixed Spanish, English, and Somali words, and both of us only understand half of what the other is saying. She also wants to learn German. Working here has already blessed me in so many ways. I am the one that is supposed to be tutoring them, but so often I feel like the student. I think that this has inspired me to learn another language. After I graduate, I may take a night class at a community college or something. I would love to learn Arabic, but it is a very intimidating language since it is so completely unfamiliar to me.
Part of the reason that I wanted to start this blog is because in talking about how stressed out I am, I actually realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to learn all this. So often I get caught up in my own world of academics that I forget there is an entire world out there.