Friday, January 25, 2008

Semester of Independence

(The voting for stories is still on, polls to the left, story synopsis and further explanation under January 19th, or click right here) (and yep, I'm gonna keep repeating it till the end of February...)

One of the (many) things I definitely wanted to try while at an American college is doing an Independent Study. The whole idea is quite new to me (project, independent work, making my own schedule, being creative, coming up with ideas, and of course our favorite can-do spirit... nobody takes a single step without it), so I kept nagging teachers and students and other random people till I found out how to start...
And here I am.
The Role of Storytellers in Traditional Communities
(What, you thought I wanted to do an I.S. on Applied Mathematics?...) (er...seriously, where did you get that idea?...)
It's gonna be so much fun!
Well, maybe I went a bit hyper on my mentor: we (I) decided I'll write 3 shorter research papers on 3 different cultures, following the same list of questions. After almost 5 whole minutes of thinking, I came up with 2 of the topics: the griot tradition of West Africa, and the Irish bards (*eyes go pink and heart-shaped*) (er, sorry). I'm still not sure about the third one though (or even whether I, being a mortal human being who needs sleep once in a while, would have time to write three, or should drop the idea of the third...). Right now I'm getting interested in Chinese storytelling... (I came across a nice book about it while browsing the library shelves, looking for the Romance of the Three Kingdoms - one of those books that you start reading and the words just echo in your head... and just talking about those books I suddenly feel the itch to read Water Margin again... not to mention my best friend Sun the Monkey King... oops I got distracted)
So... yeah. Chinese might be the third one.
(And one day I will become a real traveling storyteller and visit all the places I read about... and then I will definitely have to visit a storytelling school in China) (sorry, distracted again, hehe).
Anyway. I thought I would be well off with making my own schedule... but I realized I have to make myself read and get the work done, and I can be more annoying than I thought... I'll get used to it, I guess. I started a new notebook for the notes (it's pink, blah. But this was the only one I could get), and created a pretty two-page syllabus (so funny, at home college teachers don't even know what a syllabus is, but now I can't live without it...) Now all that is left is to start doing my homework...
I just don't know whether the huuuge pile of Griot and African Folklore books on my table is the fault of the "teacher-me" or the "hyper-student-me"... eh, whatever.
Let the fun begin.

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