My student Dani Choynowski, a double-major in new media journalism and theatre, is a very busy woman. She’s getting top-notch grades in two challenging majors, her hand is usually the first one up during workshops or discussions, and she’s always ready with some connection to the world of theater or Harry Potter.
Last semester, as a sophomore, she took a very demanding 300-level course, “Media Aesthetics,” the theme of which was the history and future of the book. As part of her work in this term’s “Writing for the Internet,” she blogged about a major revelation that she had a few hours ago. This is exactly what I needed to read on a drizzly gray day when I had been feeling a little grumpy and overwhelmed with various projects and responsibilities. This is the sort of thing that reminds me why I love my job so much.
Now I finally see what the point of that class was. El 336 was theory, and EL
236 is the practical application. Wow, what an epiphany. I’m a little in shock
because when I say I loathed EL 336, I wasn’t kidding. There was a 4 page paper
due every week (think a super- ultra synthesized essay pertaining to all the
readings you blogged about), not to mention forum presentations, an 8-10 page midterm paper and a
page paper. I haven’t had Digital imaging, Topics in media aesthetics, or
Publications Workshop yet, so I can’t speak for the rest of my time here, but EL
336 has been the most
difficult (sans General Chemistry 1) class I have taken at Seton Hill so
Since the subject changes every time the class is offered, I don’t
know if you will have the same reaction as I did. But if you do find yourself
cursing you papers to hell (especially when your hard drive crashes in the
middle of your mid-term paper and you didn’t save a backup because you were in
the zone too deep to pay attention and then have to re-write it while wondering
if the $1300 machine is ever going to run again !!@#$!@$), I will offer you
these words of wisdom:
you will be so glad you took the class (and will
also feel an immense weight lift off you on the glorious day the class
ended). You will be a much better writer by the end of those 3 1/2 months.
Ideally, the practical “EL236: Writing for the Internet” is a prerequisite for “EL336: Media Aesthetics,” but I let her take the 300-level class first because it fit better with her plans for her double-major.
It’s possible that, had she taken the classes in the intended order, the theory class would have been a little less stressful, but then she wouldn’t have had the “aha” moment that brought the material into such clarity for her.