EC Final post (due Monday, Dec. 5 by midnight; EC comments due Wednesday by midnight)

This post may be a little trickier to write than most, because I’m asking you to combine several strands of thought.  But it should be interesting, so have fun!

Look back over your experience of this semester (course goals, readings, essays, discussions, blog posts. . .).  Have your ideas about your writing or your education changed in any significant way?  You might consider your approach to writing, your voice, your ideas about theory or about literary studies more generally, your arguments for the relevance of the humanities in a world that often seems to favor STEM. . .whatever is relevant to you, at this moment in your educational career. Encapsulate your thinking in one well-crafted, creative final post. 

No restrictions in this final week—prose of whatever length, verse, art images, or a clip of your own interpretive dance, or whatever effectively communicates the story you seek to tell.

Extra Credit prompt: due Monday, Nov. 14 by 5 p.m. (open to all students); EC comments due Wednesday by 5 p.m.

Two choices this week: EITHER

Write your take on the Thanksgiving prompt from last week, explaining the value of your education to someone who just doesn’t get it;


‘Tis the season . . . for college admissions, and prospective students are flooding the campus. 

Just a couple of years ago you too were prospectives, trekking round the country or the world to scout out colleges. Now you are here, all but settled in a major, contemplating the future. Do things look different on this side of the wall between high school and college?

In his poem “Tintern Abbey,” William Wordsworth has a thought or two on the sometimes dramatic shift from adolescence to adulthood:

  –I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love. . .
                    –That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. . . other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense.

So, the blog prompt (you were wondering if I’d ever get there?):

How has your perspective changed since you were a prospective student? How has it stayed the same? Write a reflection that captures your shifting perspective on Wooster, college, texts, or even on life in general. Focus your post very specifically—establish one central, defining place, issue, event, text etc.—but your post should also (like a good close reading) have wider resonance, to capture more global shifts in your worldview

Possible topics, if the broadness of the prompt leaves you at a loss:

The College of Wooster from the outside (then) and inside (now)
Election season: perspectives in high school versus college
Fairy tales:  early listening, current reading
An iconic song, then and now
. . .etcetera.

Have fun! No length restrictions this week.

Blog prompt 8: due Monday, Nov. 7 by 5 p.m. (surnames P-Z); comments due Wednesday by 5 p.m.

In a couple of weeks, many of you will go home for Thanksgiving; those who don’t go home may have Thanksgiving with friends or acquaintances. Either way, you are likely to encounter those awkward dinner table conversations that go something like this:

Distant Aunt:             So, what are you majoring in?
You (cheerfully):        English! [or fill in your own Liberal Arts major here]
Distant Aunt:             English? What are you going to do with that – be a barista??
You:                            . . . .               

This week, fill in the ellipses with your thoughtful, reasoned response to casual questioners who doubt the value of an English (or really, any humanities) degree. What do you always wish you’d said, after one of these awkward encounters? This is your chance to be as eloquent and convincing as we can’ t always be when put on the spot. How could you convince a skeptical audience of the value of the humanities in an increasingly data-driven world? For that matter, what is the point of the liberal arts – why did you choose this type of institution rather than, say, a large university that does not have core courses or distribution requirements?

Remember that humor is a great strategy when convincing the dubious, and have fun with this prompt! Again, no restrictions on word limit or format.