Thursday, February 26, 2009

reading list: finished

Between old class notes, syllabi, and conversations with classmates, I managed to put together a reading list. For some of my classes, the challenge wasn't so much finding works to put on the list as trying to remember what the books were about. I have a vague recollection of liking a lot of the texts we studied in Modernism, but when I looked at the syllabus I had very little recollection of reading them. We probably did read something by Beckett, for example, but I have no idea what.

Blackwood looked over the list and noted that I needed a few more theory readings. Um, yeah, I left those off on purpose, because I'm even less likely to remember the content from those. But OK, whatever. I put Heidegger on the list with extreme reluctance, because I never felt like I had a good grasp of what he was on about. Ian Watt and Northrop Frye, no problem. Nancy Armstrong ... I should probably review that.

I also had a chat with Blackwood today about what to expect at the defense. He said there would be some general questions, along the lines of "How has your graduate education improved your critical thinking skills," and "What would you do differently if you were starting the program again." I hate questions like that. They feel like job interview questions - things they ask you not because they actually want to know the answer, but because they want you to show them something about your thought process or your general knowledge. Other than that, it doesn't sound too bad. I probably need to review a couple of things on the reading list, maybe go over my class notes. As for the thesis itself, I feel like I'm at least adequately prepared to respond to questions about it. This, of course, means that they will inevitably ask me something I am not at all prepared to answer -- Descartes will probably ask something about Scotland. At least that will be better than asking about Heidegger.

2 comments:

Nicole said...

so did famine make the cut?

also, i can't believe i still don't know who your committee members actually are (other than the female member we discussed last night).

does blackwood dress like a true academic? does descartes have a distinctive walk? or am i way off here?

Octavia said...

You nailed it. And yes, Famine is on there. I should just publish the list.