Friday, January 18, 2008

Class is in Session



I'm back in class -- well, sort of. I've decided to audit a class this semester taught by Dr. Jim Gulledge here in the library. The class is The Works of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. I'm really excited about this class after the first meeting yesterday. The class is small, about 18 students, and the setting is intimate, which is a pleasant way of saying that we're crammed into a tiny room on the third floor of the library. After reviewing the syllabus, I can honestly say that I'm glad that I'm auditing the class. I'm not sure I'd be able to keep up and work full-time and take care of everything else in my crazy life. As you might expect with these two prolific authors, the course is extremely reading-intensive, which suits me just fine. In fact, I just returned from the bookstore where I picked up several of the books that are required for the course. The Essential C. S. Lewis, edited by Lyle W. Dorsett, The Tolkien Reader by J. R. R. Tolkien and Beowulf: A Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney and edited by Daniel Donoghue. In addition to these, we'll be reading The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien and three of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series by Lewis -- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Magician's Nephew, and The Last Battle. I know I may be the last person on the face of the planet who has not read The Lord of the Rings. The closest I've come is watching the movie, which I did enjoy. So, I'm looking forward to finally reading this book.

I know I'm weird when it comes to things like this (my children remind me of this fact quite often!), but I'm like a kid in a candy store when I go to pick up books for a class. I love school. I always have. I think that's part of the reason I ended up as an academic librarian. This is as close as it comes to getting paid to go to school, which happens to be my ultimate dream. I graduated with my MLIS in 2005 and haven't taken any classes since, which is the longest that I've been out of school since 1998. I was beginning to have withdrawals. Luckily one of the benefits of being an employee in most colleges and universities is the opportunity to take classes free. So, until someone hires me to be a full-time student, I will probably continue to take classes that pique my interest in order to stave off those pesky withdrawal symptoms. So, you'll probably be hearing updates about the reading for this class periodically throughout this semester.

I should finish my latest Early Reviewers book from LibraryThing, Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris, this weekend. I also hope to make some progress on Great Expectations, which I'm supposed to have read by the end of the month for the Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge. My face to face book club meets on February 7, and we'll be discussing The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. So that will be next on the reading list. Of course, that is after I do the reading for my class.

Have a great weekend!

13 comments:

Table Talk said...

I am seriously jealous. Like you there is nothing I love more than learning, especially as part of a group. This is one of the reasons that I've taught all of my life. If you do the job properly you learn just as much from your students as they do from you and you do get paid. This class sounds wonderful. I would love to join you. Do keep posting about it so that i can enjoy it vicariously.

Lisa said...

table talk, I agree 100 percent. I will definitely keep posting. As you can probably tell from the post, I'm just a little bit excited. Thanks for stopping by.

jenclair said...

I'm jealous, too! I read The Hobbit, the Ring trilogy, The Simarillion, and a biography of Tolkien years and years (and years) ago. Still remember his fondness for Icelandic legends, Beowulf, and Fafnir; his comment to the effect that literature ended after Chaucer; and that the most beautiful words in the English language were, I believe, "cellar door". Have fun!

Dorothy W. said...

That class sounds like fun. I love taking classes too, and it's been too long since I've done it! There IS nothing better than going to the bookstore to pick up your new books for class.

Lisa said...

jenclair, you're way ahead of me with the Tolkien. It sounds maybe like you could help teach the class. I'll keep that in mind if I get stuck. Have you read any C. S. Lewis?

dorothy, yeah getting your books is really fun. I have actually already read the first assigned section in the Essential C. S. Lewis. I'm such a nerd. I'll be posting more on it the first of the week.

Andi said...

That class sounds amazing! I'm a huge fan of Lewis and Tolkien. Have fun with it!

As for the Year of Reading Dangerously, just think of it this way--even if you drag around on GE, you can always sub another book in its place or count it whenever you finish! Heather and I are both bad with deadlines, so we had to build this flexibility into the plan. lol

Lesley said...

Color me green as well! I loved getting all those books at the start of a school year, although perhaps I'd have felt different if I was getting textbooks instead of novels. :-)

Lisa said...

andi, thanks for the encouragement with GE. I think I'll really like it, but I just don't think I'll finish it by the end of the month. But I'll persevere. I'm all about flexibility!

lesley, I agree about the novels vs. textbooks. I was pretty lucky in my undergrad days with this. I was a history major, and several of my professors used good historical fiction as the majority of our reading for class. They filled in the gaps with lecture. It was great!

Eva said...

Sounds like such a neat class! I always feel like a kid in the candy store when I'm buying class books as well. This is my first year out of school, and I'm already planning on going back next year for my master's!

Lisa said...

I know what you mean. I'm trying to find a justification for going back to school, but haven't been successful as of yet. I have a son who's a sophomore in mechanical engineering and another son who is a senior in high school who will be off to college in the fall. Unfortunately, I think I'll have to be satisfied with the random class here and there until I get them out of school. But, I will go back. I'd love to get another degree some day.

Nymeth said...

I love school too...oh, how I wish someone would pay me to be a full-time student for life! This sounds like a fascinating class, and you're lucky to be able to take it!

StuckInABook said...

I'm another who hasn't read Lord of the Rings, and didn't think much of the films - but, unlike you, I have no intention of reading LOTR any time soon! No particular reason... except that my brother is always telling me I should...

Lisa said...

Simon, I probably would have never read LOTR either if it hadn't been for this class. But, I'm going to give it a try. But, I'm not promising that I'll finish them. I just can't finish a book if I don't like it. I'm hoping the class discussions will help me become interested.