Life Update

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written to you guys, so here goes. Life has been incredibly difficult for me recently, and I’m currently juggling all my responsibilities and trying to stay as sane as I can possible be. But I can only be so calm, when juggling is something I’m not so experienced with…

My final semester at Drake has been tough. In order to graduate, I need to pass 18 credit hours this semester, which only puts me 1 credit above what I need to graduate (cutting it close, don’t you think?). That being said, these credit hours are also upper-level classes that require a ton of effort from me. Only two classes that I’m taking are actually directly related to my major, the rest of them I enrolled in out of pure interest. So here’s my course-load:

  • Documentary Production: Taught by an adjunct professor from Mexico. It’s a very slow-paced class, we have two documentary projects that are completed in groups, rather than by individuals. The professor is unfamiliar with what we have learned in our previous classes, and so a lot of our time in class is utilized by going over techniques for interviewing, lighting, approaches to film-making, and work shopping the content required as prerequisite to our projects.
  • Journalism Capstone: For those of you unfamiliar with Drake University’s Capstone program, it is a program to specifically test all of the skills you’ve learned through experiences in classes as well as internships and outside work. The journalism capstone is comprised of a staff of students enrolled in the course, guided at first by two professors, but then once positions are assigned to students, the reigns are handed off to the Managing Editor and Editor in Chief (both students). After that, the class is the responsibility of these two people, and the rest of the students enrolled in the class report to these two people. My position in this class is as Video Producer, a position in which, like everyone else, I interviewed for and was hired for based on my experience in the industry. This class is very demanding of my time, as well as it is challenging.
  • South African Literature: This is a very difficult class taught by a very difficult professor. The class is very intellectually stimulating, and the professor makes it even more so, challenging her students with analysis papers and quizzes on our readings. It’s a very difficult class for me, between reading entire books, to watching documentaries and movies related to the topics we learn about on weekends.
  • Web Design: This class is extremely fun for me, we learn to code HTML and CSS in Dreamweaver, something I’m pretty familiar with from a similar journalism course. However, this class goes more in-depth, with projects that challenge our skills practically, specifically with a graphic design focus.
  • Adolescent Literature: Although this is an upper-level course this class is not at all difficult. The class requires us to read one entire young adult book a week, which is practically leisure reading compared to the readings required by South African Literature. We write one paper a week, which are graded on completion. Sometimes we get a quiz, if the professor remembers to make one on time, which are even easier than the papers.
  • Philosophy and Religion in China: This is also a very easy class for me. The class requires me to complete weekly reading quizzes and participation journals, both are open note, out of class assignments. The only really difficult part of this class is that we are required to all memorize a three stanza passage from one of the sources we read and comprehensively recall it in writing during class. The only catch with this memorization quiz is that the professor has required herself to learn it in classical Chinese, so if she doesn’t memorize her portion of the passage, the rest of the class gets 100% on the quiz (which has already happened once and there are only three quizzes).

Outside of my classes I am once again working part-time, but this time I’m working at Hy-Vee in Customer Service. The job pays the same as my job at Burlington, and requires much less effort on my part, so it’s a lot less stressful. It’s also in a much safer part of town, which is also much closer to where I am living for the semester. Even though I’m working part-time, I don’t have nearly as many hours as I did at Burlington, which is a relief. I’m making the same amount of money, regardless, because I don’t need to spend it all on rent at Drake or on repairs for the Jaguar.

But things are going well from what I can tell, so far. I just feel pressed for time, and I need a break. Luckily fall break is this weekend.

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