Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wherein I bitch about studying...

I've been studying for my History of the South test since 3pm.  It's now 11pm and I've now finished typing everything out.  Next step is to print and read until my eyes bleed.

I'm supposed to have read a book for this section, Origins of the New South 1877-1913 by C. Vann Woodward, but I couldn't do it.  I tried, I really did, and more than once, but the book is utter garbage.  I shouldn't say that, my professor (who I adore) chose it so it must have some redeeming quality, right?  Not that I can tell.  There's so many quotes, it's hard to tell where the author is.  Rather than its actual title, it could have been named Overly Verbose Book of Racist Quotes by Dead White Guys and it wouldn't have been inaccurate.  I have no idea how the author got away with publishing this crap.  He didn't write anything, he just compiled other people's opinions.  It's really disappointing, because the author is a renowned historian specializing in this era.  You would expect a book by a preeminent historian to be more lively than this.  So very disappointing.  I hope the book for the next section, Standing at the Crossroads: Southern Life in the Twentieth Century by Pete Daniel, is more lively than this, or at least easier reading.  I'm not holding my breath.

Other than studying all afternoon and evening, I've managed to take a break to make and eat dinner.  Matt and I still have to eat, even when I don't have much time to cook dinner.  My house is a mess, so cooking dinner wasn't a fun experience.  I dragged a clean pan out of the cabinet and tossed some chicken into it, made noodles and corn for sides, and settled down to watch the new South Park while I ate.  It was a nice divergence from the monotony of studying, but I found that when "Dances with Smurfs" was over, I didn't want to go back to homework.  I will be so glad to get this test out of the way so I can stop worrying about it.  I just hope not reading the book doesn't screw me royally  *fingers crossed.*  I also hope that all the info I'm stuffing into my brain makes sense tomorrow.

Truth be told, I hate this class.  I love my professor, she's amazing, and but she's also the only reason I signed up for this class and she's crazy hard.  Her tests are nothing to balk at, if you don't study, there's no way to pass them.  Her attendance policy is also fairly strict.  6 absences is all you get over a semester, excused or otherwise, which comes out to something like one every 3 weeks or so.  There're three textbooks over the 16 weeks, which wouldn't be as bad if the books were more lively.  When I was registering for this semester, I gave the professor more weight than the subject in signing up for the class.  Normally I like history, but I find that I'm really more interested in European and world history from the restoration back, toward classical history (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc), rather than forward toward modern history.  Ask me about WWI and WWII, I couldn't tell you more than the basics, but I know a hell of a lot about the history, mythology, and literature of Greece and Rome.  Of course, Greece and Rome are where my primary interest lies overall.

I should really go and print my 12 typed pages of notes so I can start to study them.  I have 13 hours until my test, in which to sleep and stuff the history of the south from 1865-1913 into my brain. Ugh.

Good night (notional).

PS.  Any dictionary that uses the word it's defining inside the definition for that word should be eradicated from the face of the planet.  That is all.


  1. I have a history degree myself, so I've had a class like you are describing (the hell class).

    My class like this was 19th Century Canadian Women History

    19th Century history is awesome by itself (I specialized in intellectual history, so let's say I spent a LOT of time in this century, and I hear a lot of people spouting of about a certain intellectual figure in the field of biology, and most of them are talking out of their asses).

    19th Century Canadian history... not so exciting. I'm Canadian, and I am going to let you in on that little secret, so keep it under your hat.

    So you take a subject that is sort of boring and then you focus on one small aspect of it... and that subject requires the study of social history, which to use the vernacular, sucks absolute balls (and it sounds like your History of the South course is a Social history course rather than a traditional course... like there are a lot of statistics and at least once demographics have come up).

    I don't care about social history and no amount of graphs, numbers and faceless masses can make me do so.
    .-= MC´s last blog ..Midweek Video: Yo La Tengo play Springfield =-.

  2. The class focuses mostly on what's happening socially, so I'd say you're spot on. I mean, yeah, it talks about the railroad development, about the roots of the Civil War, but not about the actual civil war. We brushed right over the war. One day we were talking about the years right before the war, the next we were talking about post-war reconstruction.

    From where I stand, the Civil War is one of the central fixtures of southern history. Given that everything happening in the south, from the very beginning of US southern history, is either a cause of the Civil War, or a result of the Civil War. It's fairly black and white (no pun intended, I assure you) when you look at the bigger picture.

    I suppose, though, that the Civil War could be it's own course or a part of a military history class. It's a huge topic, all by itself. Not to mention we only have 16 weeks to get from colonists and pilgrims to current day southern US. It's a HUGE time span to cover and not enough time to cover everything.

    I hope my test goes okay today. It's in an hour and 15 minutes so I need to run and get a blue book. Thanks for the insight, MC.