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Global Literature: A Capitivating Experience

There is so much to be said about this course but before I am give any feedback on this class, I must state a couple of things. I graduated with my Associates Degree from Queensborough Community College in January 2010 after a long journey of indecisiveness. From the very beginning I always knew that I wanted to be an English teacher because of my passion for literature but I was stuck on majoring in Business.  I come from a family of business owners and I knew I had what it took to be successful.  As the years went by I realized that this major I so called “loved” was all about entrepreneurship and numbers which I actually hated. I was so focused on working for a big corporation and making it “big” that I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture. The bigger picture was that I wasn’t able to be myself,  there were no classes where I was able to give my insight on things because everything was about MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. What insight can you give on money? We need it to survive, we work had to make it and then waste it, The End!

So I came to Queens College with a different mindset, doing what I love. Since I came with so many business credits,  I had to choose to get my Bachelors in either Psychology or English and later on do my Masters in Education. I knew the amount of papers I would have to write if I  but I have always loved writing and after all, hadn’t I been complaining about lack of expression all along? It was finally my time to do what I loved, read  books of all kinds and write about them. I am now one semester of graduating with my BA in English.

As you can tell, I have been in college for quite some time now and I have pretty much experienced everything type of English class possible. All my Professors have been completely different, they have all had unique teaching habits but I must say that Global 255 has been the only class where I have been able to be myself in. In fact , I feel privileged that I got to take this course because I am not sure if I will ever be given the chance to take one like it. In this class I have been able to express what I felt without any hesitation because every response was accepted. I was able to freely discuss the highlights of each book but also express my hatred towards a particular character. I was even able to use humor when I felt completely lost. Most importantly I was taught that there is no such thing as a bad blog entry as long as you write with commitment and complete perceptiveness. So what differentiates this course from any other English course? Well, everything. Unlike most classes, in this class we weren’t required to write 7-10 pages about whether or not the narrator of the story is reliable or not. What’s sad about this is that we only complete these assignments because they are all an important part of our grade so we have no other option. But the truth is that each paper is excruciating pain and torture. It is foolish to think that we are going to understand a text better if we write pages and pages that cannot use the word I, or give any personal opinion. (That’s High School form of writing)

Well thank GOD for this class and our personal blog entries where we were encouraged to say “I” as many times as we felt necessary. I truly connected with my blogs the further we went along. In the beginning of the semester I  wrote little, I was limiting myself in my writing, perhaps because I had never done anything like this before. I also felt like I couldn’t be as blunt as I wanted to be because I thought I would get penalized. It was only when I sat down with you that I really came to realize that I wasn’t giving my all. In other words you told me that I had so much potential but I wasn’t transmitting it through my writing. It all changed from here on forward because I promised myself to write exactly what was on my mind and it worked. Believe It or not I have chosen to continue blogging, I feel like it gives me peace of mind with all that it going on in my life right now. This is how I know that this class was  successful for me.

What really worked for me?  Everything. What truly struck me most about this class besides the blogging was the diversity of books we read. Dreams From my Father was one of the highlights of the semester, but not because it was one of the favorites but because of it was the most controversial. On one side of the classroom  we have people that think that Obama was trying to promote himself in this book and not really tell his story, while others dispute that and so on. The Sound of The Fury was probably one of the most difficult books I have ever read because of the format which it was written in. One minute we were reading Benji’s narrative in the present and the minute we were back in the past. You would think this would make me hate the book and William Faulkner for creating this 10,000 piece puzzle, but I actually enjoyed it. The fact that this was such a challenge shows that literature never gets old, it is a new experience each and every time. Drown and The Woman Warrior were both AMAZING works of literature that brought a piece of their own culture into our lives. It is only through the beauty of literature that we are able to explore a different world and for an instant think it is our own. Persepolis shows us that comic strips are not only for children. Through the eyes of a young girl we are taken back through time during  a revolution that will never be forgotten. We were required to read books in this class that we would have probably never chosen to read on our own, all unique, all captivating, all great works of literature.

I think this class should continue being called Global Literature because the name fits what the class is truly about. This class is free in the sense that it not only covers different writings from around the world but it also touches diversity of subjects, from religion to different ethnic groups etc. The word Global can also be defined as universal, international, worldwide, a direct correlation to what literature was, is, and always will be.

I cannot end this blog entry without wishing you the best in your future endeavors and also by thanking you Professor Gross. Thank you  for changing the structure  , for allowing your students to be as creative as they want to be, for giving us a voice.

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~ by Jessica Ruiz on December 23, 2010.

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