Intimidation in advanced Literature classes is inevitable. There are always plenty of smarty-pants' as well as genuinely smart people in the class that seem to know more about the subject than I do. Or at least understand the discourse enough to sound articulate when they talk about the literature. I can usually combat this tendency with either becoming a smarty-pants myself, or by actually learning the subject well enough to make meaningful contributions to the academic discussion going on. I am having trouble doing so in my Milton class. If you have read Milton you know that he is prolific, complicated and very dense. My professor, a Harvard man, is a smart guy--and I took the class more because of his reputation than because of a Miltonist impulse. So far, just feel dumb. I don’t feel like I am among friends, and there are probably 50 people in my class, so shining brightly enough to encourage my instructor's praise will be a challenge.
Dr. Blasingame wrote me a nice letter of recommendation yesterday for a scholarship. He also mentioned that he knows some publishers in Utah, one of which is very famous, whom he said he would be willing to submit a finished manuscript from me. He has been such a great support to my budding interests in really all things literary. It’s got me thinking again about my short story series about my San Francisco mission experience. He mentioned that in order to submit something to these dudes, I would have to have a finished product...something at least 300 pages. I maybe have 25. Probably not even that, but still, I have started thinking about that again. I would like to significantly expand this work. I think that I will take a creative non-fiction class this summer, in fact I would really like to try to make the project part of my summer activities, among GREing, and finalizing where will be applying to grad school.
Anyway, I really have only written about two areas of the mission (the Mission and Palo Alto), and neither with a whole lot of detail. There is a ton of stuff that I could explore:
Petaluma, Marin, Foster City, the Sunset—let alone the some of the substories: Crabtree, Mclane, Hall, The Great Fall, etc. So anyway, encouragement sure is nice. From time to time.