Like the loveable but maniacal young lady above, that is what the last three months of Fall Semester have been like: Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Each day is the same, a repeating cycle. There is no walking across campus high-fiving fellow students, pulling pranks at the girls dormitories (actually put on pause because of a restraining order), or stepping out of Wilson Library for something refreshing at Stub and Herbs (again, darn those restraining orders). Final grades are in so I finally have something to post with a brief recap of my classes.
PORT 1101, Introduction to Portuguese. I am amazed I pulled a B (87.12/100%) out of this class. While I think it is one of the most beautiful languages on earth, it turns out to be also one of the hardest. Someone once described it to me as Spanish with a potato in your mouth. Believe me, it is much more than that, more like a water buffalo. While I’m not necessarily looking forward to PORT 1102, I am signed up for it Spring Semester. Me deseje sorte (wish me luck)! For my final assignment we had to come up with some creative use of Portuguese highlighting our lives. Since restraining orders seemed inappropriate to dwell on I did this:
If you are at all interested in Brasilia City—and who isn’t—here is a StoryMap with a bit of information I made for class: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/d87568068efa4837817773bd1cb487a8
Naturally it is in Portuguese, but you can figure it out, after all I did.
HIST 3547, The Ottoman Empire. I got an A (96.1/100%) This was a great class full of intrigue, fratricide, eunuchs, and the discussion of a 600+ year empire that lasted until the end of World War I. The take-away from the class? It’s good to be Sultan (but don’t ignore new technology). If you are at all interested in a paper on 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi, that mashes him together with Leonard Cohen and George Floyd, you might enjoy reading this paper, below.
HIST 3468, Social Changes in Modern China. Received an A (97/100%, which is technically an A+ but who’s counting?). This was an absolutely amazing class and an eye-opener to the atrocities of Chairman Mao. The man is literally responsible for the death of over 30,000,000 of his countrymen. The only conceivable thing he did is delay the seemingly inevitable rise of modern China that we see today. Had Chiang Kai-shek not escaped to Taiwan to build that juggernaut country in 1948—but triumphed in mainland China—we would all be learning Mandarin as a second language today. For more, here is my final exam paper below.
AFRO 3301, The Music of Black Americans. Yes, another A (272.50 out of a possible 244.00, an A+) Another brilliant class about the roots of Black American music that starts in Africa and wends its way through history. Sadly this class was asynchronous, meaning the professor (Yolanda Williams) taped her lectures and we listened when we could. It would have been a great class in person—even zoomed—as the other students were so smart, informed and cool (inteligente, infomred e legal).
Which brings us to Spring Semester.
I’m looking forward to it, although we will still be home-schooled. Next semester I have:
PORT 1102 (me deseje sorte!)
HIST 3053 Ancient Rome and Byzantium
HIST 3476 War and Peace in Japan, 1940’s – Today
CSCL 3212 Documentary Cinema
Finally, history is hard.
It’s hard not because of the exhaustive reading, the lengthy papers, or trying to tie every aspect of 5,000 years together; it’s hard because you witness every shitty thing people have done to each other through the millennia.
That’s it for now, time for me to go wash my hair, rinse and repeat. More later, yip yip.