Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Best Feeling

So far, this first week of classes has done at least one great thing for me: help me realize that everything in my life and everything about me screams English major. Every new class I have affirms my choice, and the crazy part is I'm not even in any English classes here at John Cabot. I think because all the ones offered I've already taken at SNC. I don't know.

But you know that stomach-fluttering, face-burning, heart-pounding-in-the-palms-of-your-hands feeling you get when the guy you're crushing on gives you his trademark grin? I got that in both of my classes today. Because I have a crush on storytelling. And it turns out, storytelling kind of likes me back.

I mean, how can it be that not one of my classes are literature-based and yet I have somehow turned them all into pseudo-English classes? We sit in a circle in my basic Italian class, which automatically puts me in discussion mode. The only language my stats professor seems to speak is math, so instead I free-write in my planner. My art history class meets in different sites around Rome, but we'll be discussing what it means to have this statue here next to this building and why we should care--all things we would discuss about a piece of literature as well.

My history class today is where I first felt that flutter...We are discussing the foundation of Rome and reading Livy's Early History of Rome so of course the myth of Romulus and Remus came up. And my mind jumped to the question of the importance of storytelling. Is it important for our histories to be factual? Is there a place for mythological history? What is history? At the time of Livy, myth was perfectly acceptable. Since then the definition of history has changed and with it the place of storytelling. I won't go on in too much detail here...because I could go on for pretty long.

I will quote Livy, though, because I think he's amazing and hilarious.

"There is no reason, I feel, to object when antiquity draws no hard line between the human and the supernatural: it adds dignity to the past, and, if any nation deserves the privilege of claiming a divine ancestry, that nation is our own..."

He is talking about Rome here and how its founder, Romulus, raised with his twin brother Remus by a she-wolf, is said to be the son of a mortal woman and a god.

Going on, my second heart-flutter was in social research methods. At first I was terrified because there are only four girls--four students total--in that class and it's geared towards those preparing to write their senior theses. I don't have to do one of those, I'm just taking this class for my sociology minor. But then we talked about topics and research questions and of course my mind was at it again. I wanted to tell the professor--at length--about my obsession with storytelling, literature, the creation of literature....unfortunately he cut me off because he's a poli sci guy and doesn't really know much about literature.

Anyways, my point is I think I'm really going to like these classes. I mean, any class that causes me to actually go to the library and sit down with the book and take notes--even if that class happens to be history and the professor is a bore--must in itself be interesting and of some value.

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