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My Semester: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Avoid taking so many reading and writing intensive courses simultaneously, do research early, and make some time for yourself. PHOTO/ The City University of New York

By Lordy Belance

Published: February 27th, 2019

So far, my semester has been bittersweet. Since I am a Creative Writing major, my college career involves a wagonload of intensive reading and writing exercises; in which I am currently taking five of those classes.

Part of me regrets taking all of these courses in one semester because it is pretty overwhelming, but thankfully most of those classes are interesting. As I predicted, I am enjoying most of them so far. In Music of the United States, I am learning about American Music and the history behind it. However, on my first day of this class, I was disappointed my professor would only be covering only a few music genres. I was hoping that he would also cover Pop music, especially 2000s pop, but luckily he did connect some pop music to the topics we discussed in class.

As for the professor, Ray Allen is great because he is knowledgeable and passionate about the material he teaches, and he strives to get students as interested in music as he is. Additionally, he is lenient when it comes to deadlines on assignments. I had him last semester for New York City Folklore (which is another cool class), and he was just as easy-going.   

I love my Mass Media class because it addresses the entertainment we consume on a regular basis and it teaches me about the history, aspects, and ways of media. Additional highlights of this class include creating our own blogs, writing blog posts, and watching videos. Despite some negative reviews about him, Brian Dunphy is a friendly, cool, and funny gentleman (his Teaching Assistants, Liza and Medina, are friendly too).

My Overview of Literary Study 2 class is not a personal favorite simply because it involves reading, analyzing, and writing discussion posts and essays. I am more into creative writing and less into literary analysis. However, I took this course because it is required for my major. If it were up to me, I would only take Creative Writing courses (ie. Fiction). But on the plus side, I get to have new ideas for my writing and learn history through stories. Another perk of this class is that we will occasionally watch films such as The Black Panther. Furthermore, Jason Frydman is a nice man. He seems nerdy but in a good way. Every class he picks a student to be a scribe and take notes, which I am grateful for because it’s hard to take notes and pay attention to the lecture simultaneously.           

I enjoy my Seminar in the Middle Ages course because I am learning more about love and the different elements of it. I am looking forward to reading more stories about Medieval love, such as The Romance of the Rose and Spiritual Friendship. Initially, I was wary of Nicola Masciandaro because I saw bad ratings of him, but after meeting him, I find that he is friendly, funny, and nice most of the time. Like Dunphy, Professor Masciandaro has us put up blog posts about the material we’ve read so far.

Writing Plays II is another one of the classes I love very much. What I love about it is having the opportunity to read, watch, write and discuss great plays, participate in writing exercises, and editing my classmates’ writing. A downside to this class is the number of questions listed to answer for our assignments, such as our play responses.

Some pits I’ve experienced so far are: failing my audition to rejoin the Gospel Choir, being exhausted, feeling overwhelmed, and having Senior-itis (procrastinating and being a tad behind on schoolwork). On the other hand, some peaks are co-hosting The Lordy and Isabel Show with my friend, tutoring at the Learning Center (although it’s not easy), being President of the Women’s History Month Committee (I am looking forward to our events, such as the Tea Party), being in Girl Mask, and learning about The New York Film & Television Alliance (NYFTSA). I look forward to auditioning for “Little Shop of Horrors,” attending more fun events like Stuck in the Library’s Publication parties, continuing my radio show, and hopefully graduating and getting a job or internship in the writing field.

Some tips I have are to avoid taking so many reading and writing intensive courses simultaneously, do research early, and make some time for yourself.

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