Last week of classes and it's only March?! Crazy, I know, yet somehow this isn't making me any more productive. The same thing happened last year around this time actually, when I first created this blog, when I don't have enough going on and any sort of work I do have can always be put off. That is, until I eventually have to do it. I have two essays due next week, one for Roman Imperial History (1,500 words) and one for Japanese Philosophy (2,500 words). Am I the only one who despises word counts?! I enjoyed them in journalism in high school because they, logistically, made sense and they were a challenge. For papers? I would prefer a page number; it helps me plan out my essay more effectively.
The Roman History essay is so fucking straight forward that it's bordering on difficult. Having a hard time treating the imperial women as a whole and discussing all the issues that faced them...as a whole. I need something to zero in on for my ADD mind, but what? I'll bullshit an intro today and ask my professor for some clarity in class tomorrow.
The Japanese essay is on the other end of the spectrum: so broad with little concrete structure. These are the kinds of essays I'm used to though in my English classes back in the States. Many of my fellow classmates in my 19th century American Sentimentalism class took The Scarlet Letter and tried to compare the sentimentalism present to some broad topic, like the educational system. Good luck trying to slim that down! I went what some would call the easier route and chose another contemporary sentimental novel, Twilight, and compared the positives and negatives used in sentimental literature. Bing bang boom. Done. A on the essay. It wasn't the "easy route" but just a narrowed focus. So for my Japanese essay, instead of comparing the idea of the self in Dogen to that of Nishtani, I decided to look at Buddhism's perspective on euthanasia. "Great," my professor said, "but be sure to connect it back to Dogen." WHAT?! HOW??? So I read everything I had on Dogen and what I could find useful at the library. Maybe my professor was referring to the concept of life-and-death? On the surface that sounds like it could connect to euthanasia and the end of life, but that specific concept is the idea that there is life and death in every moment. Maybe? Pretty please be on the right track? Today I mentioned it to my professor and he said that that was the right direction, but to be careful and not lose sight of the original purpose of life-and-death. Oh shit, rely the basis of my essay on a concept I only marginally understand? Bravo, Molly, bravo.
I guess this is what I get for doodling throughout my Philosophy class. Philosophy has never been a strong point for me--I learned that after taking a beginning class my first semester of my freshman year--yet I felt compelled to take Japanese Philosophy...why? Awe well, last week of classes, nothing I can do about it now.
Anyways, I'm thinking of posting my shortshort story, "Thin Red Lines," I mentioned in yesterday's post. I'll type it up here and post it in a couple hours. Hope people like it (if anyone's bothering to read this stupid thing...)