No Fancy Name
Friday, October 20, 2006
In 13 days, 23 hours, and 21 minutes [from the time of this post] I will begin to write furiously on three questions about literature from the ancient greeks until 1800 (give or take).

That's a lot of literature.

I must say that our study group—5-6 hours per week for 15+ weeks—was a spectacular idea. I reserve the right to change my opinion if we all fail, but I don't think we will.

Participating in this group has been like having an extra seminar. Good thing I only took two seminars this semester!

Some faculty had a little Q&A session with 15 or so of us, to answer our questions about the exam (not content, more like test prep). My group had some specific questions, such as "Henry James: American/British wildcard?" and "Thomas Hardy: Victorian/modern wildcard?"—exam questions are often in the following form (actually, this is part of an actual question from a previous exam) so knowing the wildcards is important: "Compose an essay that examines six novels that center on an industrialized city. At least two of the six texts must be American, at least two must be British, at least two must be written by women, at least two must be Victorian, and at least two must be from the twentieth century."

What we didn't ask is if reading "10 or 15 things from the list" was a good idea, as one guy did...because "that's what I plan to study" and "it's impossible to read everything."

Um, NO. "Plan" to study? The exams are in two weeks. It IS possible to read everything, if you plan ahead, schedule time to do so, etc.

In other words, dude did exactly what one of Dr. Virago's grad students did, only in a room full of other students and three professors.

I guess the good news is that that majority of us thought his was a terrible idea and never in a million years would have thought to "study" that way. So that's something.



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