Coming into this class, I knew that it would probably me one of my more time-consuming English classes this semester. I figured I’d read a lot, write a lot, basically do what I have done in countless other English courses. I knew that a lot of the class was about theory, which scared me, but I knew that I would need it. However, I was not expecting to enjoy this class as much as I did; reading the Theory Toolbox and Tropic of Orange at first seemed like a bore, but I actually really got into both, and I was able to apply concept from the TT to Yamashita’s novel. I loved the summary and response paper because it actually made me really critically think about the article by Lee and what parts were important.
At first, when I saw that we only had one big research paper, I was relieved. As an English major I’m always writing papers and I thought that writing one big paper at the end of the year was no big deal. I was surprised when I found out that we would be constructing a “Frankenstein” paper that was due throughout the semester. At first, I hated the idea, but as we got into the assignments and I had to critically think about my book and what I wanted to get out of it, I appreciated this approach. It helped me focus my thoughts, concentrate on what was important to my argument, and really made things easy at the end of the semester when I basically had it done. Another thing I learned from this project is that no matter how well-formed your essay may be, you can always strengthen it by adding more sources or moving around a section or two. Before when I wrote essays I would write it and basically leave it as it was, but this class, and my creative writing classes, have made me love the art of revising. It takes a while, and you might have to cut and re-write sections, but in the end it truly does help your paper.
I think, overall, that this class really taught me a lot of valuable lessons. I learned that I can give a speech without bombing, that I can write a solid 15 page paper, that I can revise and add in relevant sources and conversations, and most important how to apply theory into literature of all levels. I love being an English major, and I think this course is a valuable and fun introduction into the major.