For the Love of Words: Part One

More Stories We Tell Book CoverA few of you have sent emails asking about my literature class. I am two weeks into class and loving every minute of it. At first, I was hesitant to enjoy it because there is a lot of group participation required. I’m not shy but the assembling of groups makes me shudder. I consider myself a friendly sort, but when it comes to classwork, I prefer to work by myself. Call me a loner if you want but I get frustrated with slackers. So far though, the group discussions have been meaningful so I can’t complain.

Right now, we are discussing several short stories from More Stories We Tell, which is an absolutely fabulous collection of short fiction written by women. Some of the stories are only a few pages long but so powerful and thought-provoking. I just finished a story titled Love, Forever by Joyce Carol Oates and I am speechless over it.

I’ve always loved reading, but this class has reminded me how much I love the written word. I am sucking it all up like a sponge, reading and writing up a storm. It’s work, but fun work.

In between homework assignments I am reading five other books! All of them good too. I don’t know how bloggers who are also full-time students manage it.

11 thoughts on “For the Love of Words: Part One”

  1. Ti, I hear you about working alone. I loved discussing books in class but hated group work. Teacher’s college was full of it! I guess I need to get used to working in small teams but boy oh boy, just like reading a good book, nothing beats the satisfaction of completing something all by yourself :oD

  2. Well now I am ultra curious about the Joyce Carol Oates story!

    I second working alone… at least at first. It’s always a bit awkward to have to form an immediate intimate situation with strangers by working in a small group or sharing your thoughts over a piece of art (in this case literature). I tend to take a few weeks to warm up and find people I’m comfortable with before I like to speak up.

    1. And we don’t really get to choose who we work with. It’s determined by proximity and who we happen to be sitting next to at the time. It is getting easier as I get to know people though.

  3. I don’t know how they do it either. I didn’t read a single book for fun throughout my entire Junior & Senior years of college. I was so burnt out from reading coursework that I didn’t have the energy left.

    You class sounds like a lot of fun!

  4. I think it’s great fun to take classes, especially when you don’t “have” to anymore. I’m so glad for you that you are able to take a literature class – it sounds great! …and I bet I can guess what at least two of the books are you are in the middle of! :–)

  5. The problem I have with groups is that I am a control freak, and nothing they do is good enough for me. I know, I am your worst nightmare. I am so envious of you. See, this is going to be one of the things I will put on my list to do once the kids are gone. I find myself drooling at the thought.

  6. Ti, I am so with you on the working alone bit. I mean seriously, I don’t have time to pick up the slack for other people who are too lazy to do the work. Luckily, it sounds like things are working out well for you though, so that is good. I always loved the discussion parts in class. Must admit I’m a bit envious of you for taking this class – I always enjoyed my lit classes (of course I was an English major for both my BA and MA 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more about your class. Enjoy!

  7. Group work makes me a crazy person!

    Now I’m interested in picking up this book. I LOVE short stories – I think they’re phenomenal, when done well, and hard to do. (Poetry is much the same – so much in so little space – but I rarely understand poetry, at all.)

    We read a JCO story in my short story class last semester, and it was intense and wonderfully creepy. Enjoy yourself!

  8. Wow–I may have to see if my son’s college book store has this one. Glad you’re enjoying the class so much. But I’m with you–I’d much rather work alone–I hate for my grade to be based on other people’s work and I hate being in a group with other people that really don’t want to participate.

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