Posts Tagged ‘British Literature’

Brit Lit & New Bookcases

For most of the week I have been back in the office — JCC has had advising days, assessment days, clean your office before classes start days (okay — that last day was not an “official” back to work day — but I need to go through the two big piles on my desk so I can at least find my textbooks for the new semester).  I have also put the finishing touches on my British Literature II course for the spring semester.  It has been years since I have taught this class (7 years — to be exact — I looked it up!) As many of you know, this kind of class is a survey class — a bit of everything from Romantic poetry to today’s British literature.  It’s almost impossible to fit everything in that I want to teach.  So goodbye, The Importance of Being Earnest (I just couldn’t fit it in…) and hello “The Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti (good stuff here).  And of course, there’s so many others..Tennyson, Arnold, Woolf, the list goes on and on…

The other big news of the week?  I purchased two brand new furniture store bookcases.  For years, I always got my bookcases from Big Lots or Kmart , and I put them together myself.  The only problem is that no matter what I did — they always sort of leaned to one side.  So I finally splurged.  The new cases house my complete poetry collection, and although I don’t have any official count of how many poetry books I do have, it has to be over 500.

So now it’s back to the books — and not the bookcases.  Classes start Tuesday, and I still have some reading to do before the first day.

On Living in the “Out of My Comfort Zone”

I’ve spent considerable time this past month or so in what I call “Out of My Comfort Zone.”  I’ve been writing a lot of things I don’t usually write.  For instance, I finished two poems a week ago — both poems fall into the rewriting women’s mythology category.  One poem retold the princess-kisses-frog-finds-prince story in the Rust Belt setting.  Another poem retold the story of Eve (from the Bible’s claim to fame).  I don’t dabble with a lot of persona poetry(although, I love reading persona poems), so while I liked both of these poems, I’m not sure they are really “me.”  Still, I sent them off to a market that publishes a lot of women’s poetry.  We will see what happens.

I have also dabbled more with the prose poem — and I have enjoyed that.  Fans of the Scrapper Poet will recall that I posted a note a few weeks ago about my confusion about the prose poem.  Still, I have found that writing prose poems does give me a “time out” from my worries about line breaks and I can focus on language more.   Believe it or not, I have also sent out three prose poems for possible publication.

And, it looks like I won’t be moving back into the Comfort Zone for awhile — at least not entirely.  Next semester I am teaching a British Literature survey class.  Now, I have taught this class before but it has been at least six years.  I have grad work in Brit Lit — and this class, which covers 1800 to the present, is my favorite time period.  I love the 19th century novel.  But alas, my students don’t.  Even my students who love to read avoid the thick masses of Dickens, Austen, and Hardy.  So, I am using an anthology, but I’m looking for the perfect Victorian novel.  I have already decided to use War of the Worlds by HG Wells (I know, I know, not the typical choice for a survey lit class, but I have plans…)  But I want to use another one — what to do, what to do…I’m thinking either Emily Bronte or Thomas Hardy.  No, I’m not using Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!  In fact, Jane Austen is not my favorite although so many of my students love her….Do I have any Brit Lit novel readers?  What would you suggest?