The amount of reading and the lack of writing a creative major has to do is astounding. In a not good way. I have already read (I've been counting) more than 500 pages of Renaissance and 1500s American literature. And written one poem. I could go on and on about how angry I was about this two weeks ago (or yesterday, which sure feels like two weeks ago) but I'll make it short because of how I feel now.
Yes, reading pages of middle English is hard and the weather reports of Geoffrey Bullough on just how frozen the Thames was in the of our lord 1631 does get exhausting and put me to sleep. Now, understand that I love reading. I really do. I will read almost anything. That's why the sleeping spell of Renaissance literature came as such a surprise and made me so angry. I love that era and wanted to learn about it. At the same time, though, I'm screaming: "Why do we care about the dialogue between a citizen and a countryman!" I was losing it.
Now, if you can imagine combining that with John Smith's "History of Virginia", Thomas Morton (guy was crazy!), William Bradford, Thomas More's "Utopia" and others, you can see where I am coming from. Also, add to that pages of historical context. Phew! I complain a lot and was trying to tell myself it really wasn't that much reading. After all the essays and blog posts I had to write in response to them all, I took a step back realized: Yeah, that WAS a lot of reading. And I did it all!
Weeping the whole way.
Here's where it gets better though!
After reading all this literature, I have all kinds of facts running around in my head (none of which I will be able to recall by the time the test rolls around, of course), people I've become way to acquainted with (I really didn't want know how that guy had intercourse with a cow, sheep, and goats...), and times and trials of rebellions and strange lands. I know a lot now. And this is only two weeks (almost three) into the semester. Think of how much smarter I am now that I've read about things that probably no one else in the world (excepting a few weirdo people) has read ? I have to look at this as a writer. Not a tortured students who wants to preach her own words (why else do we become writers?). Though that is the ultimate goal. I have things to say as well, but now I can say them so much better. I have sources, historical facts, knowledge, stories, and examples to draw from.
Kids, do not underestimate the power of knowledge. Being able to figure things out in science and math is great, but knowing things is too. This brings me to a point I try to make every day of my life: When you are arguing something have sources and backups. Maybe it comes from me being a research nut (and yet I hate reading sometimes? What is up with me...) and a writer and lover of truth, but I hate people who base everything on opinion. It happens more and more these days with internet debates sneaking their way into the few precious human to human encounters we have these days. Everything is about opinion and logical fallacies that go unnoticed because no one knows any better.
Right, well, I'm out of time for now, but I'll be back with more. My point being I learned to appreciate knowledge. Again.
And it's RenFest season!!