Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:15 pm
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Well, I went to my seminars today (the ones I missed last week). The Renaissance one was fine, unremarkable, I said a few things, no big deal. The Women's Writing one was with the infuriating lecturer who prompted my can'o'worms feminism post. She is not a lot less infuriating in a seminar situation.

In her defence I have to say that I am hungry, which never puts me in a good mood, and the layout of the room sucks - all of us are round the edges writing on our laps, and we can't all see each other, and it just doesn't encourage involvement. I am going to try to not sit behind the door next week. Then again, it is her darn room, so she could arrange it however she liked. Tables would be good. They make people feel more like they are working together.

The seminar was on Aphra Behn's The Rover. I found quite a lot of the points made were rather too simplistic. Lecturer kept making statements like 'The men in the play don't wear masks! They don't need to disguise themselves!' when actually the men *do* disguise themselves; she made a little aside comment to this end but focussed on the men Not Being In Masks when it would have been more sensible not to draw a black-and-white distinction but to explore how the sexes use disguise differently, and why the women do masquerade more than the men. (She made a similar unqualified point about a character - 'Angellica does not disguise herself! She advertises herself!' - who, again, jolly well does appear in disguise, and we ought to be asking why instead of forgetting it.)

There was a whole lot of bollocks, basically, and from my seat in the corner it was pretty hard to challenge. I will hopefully be more prepared for next week. But I don't know how this is going to work - it's all simplified, and it probably does have to be simplified given that per text we have one 50-minute lecture and one 50-minute seminar. But does it have to be simplified to this extent, to the point where it sounds to me like a load of rubbish? Her whole approach seems about a notch and a half below where I want it to be, academically. I don't know what to do about it.

I did wait behind and bring up the crap lecture of crap with the lecturer, but it was very hard not to be accusatory about it. She said, basically, that they had talked about a lot more of that stuff in the seminar I missed, and in 50 minutes you have to be simplistic, and I couldn't think how to respond, so I didn't.

I am a bit depressed about this module. I think I'm going to spend the entire term really flipping irritated.

(Oh, and for those reading along who were stunned by this woman's unprofessional language in the lecture - today she mentioned but refused to read a poem by the Earl of Rochester because it included 'a word I never say under any circumstances ever' - a student asked 'the C-word?' and she assented - and she left her mobile phone on, which beeped, because 'she's worried the nursery might ring'. Now, I have sympathy there, but that's what pockets and vibrate mode are for. I nearly offered to read the damn poem myself except I am not familiar with it, did not have a copy in front of me, and so did not know what I would be letting myself in for. But I do dislike people being namby-pamby about literature. She did not have to mention the text at all if she did not want to be asked to read it.)

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