I’m back again for Round Three of College! I’ve started my Junior year at Elon University, and I’m excited about what this semester will bring. In this post I’m sharing a bit about the classes I’m taking this semester and the extracurricular organizations which will factor into my semester-long attempts to budget my time! Part of this time budgeting has been my return to a once-a-week blogging schedule, as the 2-3 posts a week was starting to cause me more stress than pleasure. Since I have continued blogging for my enjoyment rather than to make money, it is one of the areas of my life which I’m scaling back this semester to manage my stress and anxiety a bit better.
I’m actually only taking three traditional classes this semester, for four credit hours a piece. The maximum number of credit hours you can take at Elon without overloading is 18. So I’ll be taking twelve credit hours of classes, three credit hours of independent research, and earning three credit hours for my work as a Teaching and Learning Assistant.
African Literature: When I was choosing my courses for this semester, I was excited to see African Literature listed among the Literature offerings. It’s not offered on a regular schedule at Elon, so I was glad to snap up the chance to take it while I could. The course is focusing on largely contemporary works, but like my Native American Literature class last Fall, the discussion of contemporary literature requires at least a familiarity with the literary traditions which exist within the culture. One aspect I’m interested in exploring is the variations from culture to culture within Africa, and whether or not national lines drawn by colonists continue to shape literary works today. With part of my thesis’ focus being on Afrofuturism/Africanfuturism I feel this class will help me enhance my understanding of speculative fiction grounded in African culture(s) and experience(s).
Ancient Philosophy: This semester I’m knocking out some more of the specific class requirements for my Philosophy major as well. I already took Modern Philosophy last semester, so I’m moving a bit backwards by going to Ancient Philosophy next. Our newest addition to the Philosophy faculty will be teaching the course, and I’m excited to work with her. She has a background in feminist philosophy, and as someone interested in contemporary philosophies of identity the idea of applying more contemporary concepts to ancient materials is fascinating.
Philosophy Senior Seminar: You read correctly. I am a Junior, but I’m taking the Philosophy senior seminar a year early. Both my senior seminars for Literature and Philosophy are only offered in the Fall, but the senior seminar has the option of taking it in your Junior year (with departmental approval). Since I didn’t like the sound of taking two senior seminar classes AND finishing up my thesis work, I decided to do this one early. It’s a small class (currently six students) and the topic varies from year to year. This year the topic focuses on Hegel, particularly as presented in the first English translation. We’ll be talking about translation alongside Hegel’s philosophy, which I’m really excited about.
Independent Research: I’ll be continuing my thesis research in the Fall. I’m still working on the short fiction like I did in the Summer, but in the Fall I’ll be examining more stories focusing on disability and more centered in Afrofuturism. It will be a lot to tackle, but it should give me a solid foundation to continue working on my project while abroad in the Spring
Teaching and Learning Assistant (TLA) for Methods of Philosophical Inquiry: I took the Methods course in Philosophy last Fall, and now I’m going to be a TLA for the course! I’ve been in contact with the professor I’m working with over the summer to prepare and I’m excited to get a taste of teaching at the college level. Even though I’m pretty sure about pursuing a degree in archival work, I’m keeping an open mind towards the possibility of teaching Philosophy in the future. This TLA experience will also be part of finishing a research project in philosophy which I won a scholarship for last Spring.
Tabletop Gaming Club: With my courses taking up a lot of my time, I am trying to keep my extracurricular commitments at a level which is both manageable and continues to give me joy in the things I’m doing. I’ll be the President of the Tabletop Gaming Club this semester (my vice-president will step in as the acting president when I am abroad in the Spring). As far as clubs go, the Tabletop Gaming Club is fairly chill. We normally meet on Friday evenings, and it’s nice for me to have a protected time in which I can play games with fun people and take a break from school-related activities.
Philosollamas: I will also be on the executive staff for the Philosophy Club on campus, the Philosollamas. This club also meets once a week to have casual discussions about various topics in philosophy. Last semester we partnered with a few other clubs to even bring a speaker to campus. While it might seem like this wouldn’t be too dissimilar from my academic efforts, I thrive off of interesting conversation. Even when I’m busy, it’s nice to bounce ideas off of others and meet people who have a similar passion for philosophy as well as other types of knowledge.
Honors Advisory Council: Okay so we’re back in academics. I’ll be the representative for the Junior Honors Fellows on the Honors Advisory Council, which meets roughly once a month to discuss proposals for new honors courses and student thesis proposals.
Elon Archives: I’m not sure whether I should place this under the category of extracurriculars or job. I will be getting paid for my work with the Elon Archives this upcoming semester, but one reason I was not too hesitant to commit to this role was the level of understanding and flexibility among the archivists. I might not have a super regular schedule for my work, but it will be enough to continue gaining experience in the world of archives, a task which I think will be particularly useful when applying to graduate schools.