Putting on My Thinking Hat

One of the benefits to working for a university is that we get to take classes at a greatly reduced rate. Not only can we take classes, but we can take them while “on the clock” so to speak.

I couldn’t take any classes last semester because of furloughs and our schedules being all funky, but this semester I got the go-ahead. Usually I take something artsy like Photography but this time I signed-up for a contemporary literature class.

This is what we’ll be studying:


Atonement Book Cover

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Middlesex Book Cover

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

More Stories We Tell Book Cover

More Stories We Tell: The Best Contemporary Short Stories by Women by Wendy Martin

Proof Cover

Proof: A Play by David Auburn

I’ve read Atonement before (and liked it plenty too).  The others are new to me. I can’t tell you how excited I am about reading these. I like that the professor included a play in the mix and the short story collection, written by women is a real perk. I don’t read enough short fiction.

So on August 23rd, I’ll be carrying a brand new notebook, a couple of very sharp #2 pencils and hitting the books. I’m taking it for credit/no credit so there shouldn’t be any pressure, just pure reading fun. Hopefully I’ll have some good discussions to share with you here.

33 thoughts on “Putting on My Thinking Hat”

  1. I’ve read Atonement and Middlesex – should be a fun class for you (especially since you enjoyed Atonement and will want to discuss it). Anyhow, I wasn’t sure if you already had your books, but I have a harback copy of Middlesex that I have been wanting to get rid of – do you want it? Enjoy your class – I’m jealous! I love contemporary lit! Keep us posted on how it goes!

  2. Jenners and I are reading Middlesex together right now…I’m about two discs into it. This should really be alot of fun. I can’t wait for updates, and some insight.

  3. That’s awesome! I miss taking lit courses in college. I’ve read all but the Martin book and that’s a great selection. I also just saw Proof preformed, it’s fascinating.

  4. Oh that makes me jealous! I don’t think I’d be excited about the short stories and I flat out hate plays, but I would so much love taking classes.

  5. How wonderful that you can do this! I can’t wait until my kids are older and I can take classes at the university where my husband works. They aren’t free, but he gets a nice discount. 🙂 Have fun!

  6. This sounds so fun! When I used to be able to audit classes at a university, I always took language classes (fail at one, move on to the next, repeat, etc.) I don’t know why literature never occurred to me! :–)

  7. Sandy and I are reading Middlesex right now!!! On our own .. with no help! I hope you read it soon before the details leave my mind. I had no idea it was a book that was studied!

  8. I am so very jealous! Will you blog about it so we can follow along? Or maybe include a recap of the class discussion when posting a review? This would be so much fun. I’m looking to take an art class at a college near me, just for something fun to do.

    I haven’t read any of these books.

  9. You are so, so lucky!! I look forward to your posts regarding being a student. We just got our first payment due statement for Austen’s first quarter at community college–$400 due Monday!! There will be 2 more payments due of the same amount before the quarter ends at Christmas–I can’t imagine having access to free education.

    1. The cost of education these days is just ridiculous. Part of the reason why I keep this job is because if I stay in it for 5 more years, my son can use the free tuition benefit (if they don’t yank it before then)… a few more years later the little one can use it. It pays off and they can go to any CSU.

  10. What a great perk! When I started working where I’m at now, they would pay full tuition for any kind of class you wanted to take, provided you got an A. Even a C would get you 50% reimbursement. The problem was that you had to work full-time to get it and I didn’t. And by the time I did, they didn’t offer it any more. I would have so loved to take a class like the one you’re taking!

  11. Atonement was fantastic. I was less convinced of Middlesex’s greatness, but it was decent. I’ll definitely be back to see what you think of these books! Sounds awesome!

  12. I’m jealous, too! I used to take classes (for fun) at UNL. A contemporary lit class would be awesome.

    I’ve read and loved Atonement and Middlesex. Those would be great to discuss in a class environment. Have fun!

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