Today was the first day of class! At 5 minutes to 8 o’clock, I gathered my brand-new note pad, my planner, and a mechanical pencil, and headed down the hill to the library building, room 207. I filed in with my 18 classmates, took a seat, and class was underway. After quickly taking attendance and introducing me (aka “the weird lady in the room”), our teacher, Nicole Stanton, asked the students to introduce themselves and share their favorite novel. The Count of Monte Cristo, Le Petit Prince, and Life of Pi were among the students’ favorites. I chimed in with my favorite: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Because the texts for this course are all considered modern literature, today’s class focused on modernism, which is characterized by the author or artist throwing aside traditions of the past in the spirit of experimentation. As I have known since my first day back on campus, Marin Academy students are SMART! Using words like contemporary, origin, and realism, they referred to concepts presented in classes they took previously and drew from real-life experiences such as the museum exhibit they saw over the weekend. Today’s class was a reminder that being a student at MA is about much more than just showing up.
Tonight’s homework (due Tuesday) is to read and annotate* the first 25 pages of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Despite being considered one of the great Southern writers and receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, this is my first time reading Faulkner – I am excited to get started. Who’s with me?
* “ANNOTATIONS: To ensure that you are reading actively, I require that you annotate your reading assignments. I will do frequent, unannounced annotation quizzes. I don’t think that you should turn the page in a book without having underlined at least one passage or written at least one thing in the margins – what you write could be a question about vocabulary, themes, or motives; a note about a repeated symbol; or a connection you make between something before your eyes and another book you’ve read.” – 20th C. American Novel syllabus.