Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

29 August 2006

Competition in Class

I need to go to bed, but I wanted to mention that after sitting through syllabi for two of the classes I'm going to take this semester, I have the feeling that these classes are going to be competitive. It reminds me a little of The Paper Chase (such a good movie, by the way, if you haven't seen it.) I don't know why I think this, but I am fairly certain I sense competitive behaviors from some of the people in both of my Tuesday/Thursday classes. I mean, I love all of the people who are first years like me, but I am sensing a push from the professor, and maybe a push from within the class, to one-up each other. Our job, perhaps, is not just to distinguish ourselves but to distinguish ourselves in relation to the other constituents of the classes. I am not crazy about competition, but I can see why they might want to do this and I guess competition and academia tend to go together (see: Tesman in Hedda Gabler.)

These classes, by the way, are murder. We have some 400+ pages of reading to do before next Tuesday in Dramaturgy I, this includes the full text of Goethe's Faust. And in the Documentary Theatre we have another enormous reading assignment.

I also wrote some fun questions for the Intro class having to do with plot points of Oedipus. I hope my undergrads read!

Oedipus Rex, by the way, is great. I hadn't read it in ages and I found it moving all over again, and I think its political discourse really strikes a chord in today's climate—it probably always will strike some sort of contemporary chord.

Ok. Off to bed! Much love.