The last three weeks have been busy here in Puyallup-ville, and I thought I would take this opportunity to do a broad spectrum update. *Editor’s Note: Jennifer got a little long-winded on the subject of education, so this will be the first in three-part series of updates.
Spring quarter ended at the University of Washington and with it, my last required class (Media Law & Policy). I spent weeks agonizing over a presentation I had to give the last day of class, and the final paper I had to write. I wanted to do a short video for the presentation, like I’d done for other classes, but I couldn’t think of anything that would be compelling subject matter. I wound up doing a powerpoint presentation (as did 33 out of the other 35 students), during which I showed a brief internet clip of the clean version of Snakes On a Plane. (video to the right.) (My topic was broadcast decency standards.) When I was explaining that I was about to show a video, one of my classmates asked me if it was one of my videos. I hung my head in shame and said “no, but thanks for the request.” It’s always nice to know I have fans.
I wasn’t thrilled with the presentation or the paper, and I felt like this paper was more agonizing than any of the others for other classes. I don’t know if that’s actually true as whatever agony I’m in at the present time is always greater than any agony I’ve experienced in the past, but I do know that after I turned it in, I was less pleased with the result than I had been with other papers. So I was preparing myself for a worse grade than the other classes, a “B” perhaps, and when the grade was returned it was the highest I’ve gotten so far, a 4.0, a perfect score. I told my mother that it must’ve been just a matter of doing the work, and she said in that case, it was a good thing I didn’t agonize over it. (The whole thing kind of reminded me of a humorous speech a friend of mine gave in the 8th grade about waiting for and agonizing over a grade.)
I find grad school a bit frustrating in that each class usually has one or two short papers or blog posts followed by a long final paper, and feedback is minimal or non-existent. Obviously I’m doing well, my grades show that, but I’d still be interested to know what other people think of the work I’m doing, what’s good, what’s not as good, simply for my own edification. I have a pretty distinct writing style especially for school and I wouldn’t change it drastically, but knowing your audience is a key factor when writing.
In fact, it is the factor that throws me off when writing blog posts. I’m mostly writing for me, and I have an idea of my visitors and what works from my stats page (Sonic Drive-In, Eureka vacuums, and Dale Chihuly are popular topics) but there is still that element of mystery.
Anyway, my next class starts this week, and I’m as excited about it as I was the previous one, perhaps more so because it has the word “storytelling’” in the title. At this point I’m about half way through the program and I’m feeling the burn, but at least summer quarter is short and at the end of it, I’ll have a few weeks off to recover before fall starts