To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Year 2: Part 1: Post 12: Looking Forward to Classes

I got my course schedule today.

Which is actually pretty amazing because we only had sign-ups last week. Sign-ups, of course, had to wait until after all the yearlings got placed--after the masters figured out how many credits in what each of them needed. And that had to wait until after the yearlings all got oriented enough that they could even participate in the interviews and testing they use to assess advanced standing.

I still have friends at other, more normal colleges, and they say that scheduling and placement and grading and so forth all takes a couple of weeks at least. Here, it's always so smooth--like magic.

Anyway, so I don't have required classes anymore, they're all done, but I do have to take a certain number of credits in each of the academic areas. It's just that I get to decide where those credits come from and in what order. I've decided to take a full credit load--that's eight credits because this is a short semester.

I'm taking American Minority Perspectives, with Greg, which is a history class; Deep Waters, with Allen, which is mostly about psychological problems; Messing Around Outdoors, with Charlie, which I took last fall, but the outdoors are different in the spring, so the class will be, too; and Gender Studies. That last one looks complicated. It's actually two classes that mix together. There's a women's-only women's studies class, taught by Kit, and a men's-only men's studies class, taught by Allen, but then both classes meet together sometimes.

I'm looking forward to all of these, though, as usual, I have no really clear idea what they're about. We get descriptions on the sign-up forms, but there's only so much you can get from a blurb and there's always some intangible something that happens anyway, something that can't be described or predicted. There's no way a blurb can explain what a person will learn, even if it does list what the teacher will teach.

Looking over this, what I wrote, it looks so banal--signing up for classes, credits, schedules, etc. Sometimes I wonder what happened to my ambition of last spring, to "learn magic like Harry Potter."

And yet, Harry Potter had to deal with banal details, too--class schedules and homework and everything. The books just seem more exciting because J.K. Rowling didn't write much about all those details and I have to live them.

Anyway, it might not show as much when I talk about the details of my life, but this place really is still full of wonder for me.

I mean, I still sit at breakfast and listen to people explore these fantastic ideas and insights...some of them talking about spirit journeys and spells I'm not sure I even believe in and others talking about subtler kinds of miracles--like Andy slowly recovering from addiction and his other ills, or Kayla triumphing over what happened to her.

Allen does his tricks, Joy whispers to horses, Charlie grows wilderness in his gardens, and Sarah grows the most fantastic things to eat. Like, seriously, you don't need to season or salt these vegetables at all, nothing. They're as good as candy.

And hearing the sigh of the wind in the branches of the spruces and firs, or sitting by the stove in the beautiful Great Hall with the fountain playing in the Green Room nearby, or looking out my window at night to see deer crossing the snowy field by moonlight.... The more I think about it--how could waving your wand and just making something levitate be all that magical in comparison?

In other news, I can tell that spring is progressing, if still fairly subtly. It was warm last week and the snow melted down to just a couple of inches thick in places. There were even a few small, bare, brownish spots, and the remaining tracks on the old snow grew huge, soft, and distorted. But then it snowed again, another inch or so...but it is getting warmer, and the red maples near the Dining Hall are starting to flower, and the birds seem more active...and yes, I've found owl nests.

I am so going to win that contest.

[Next Post: Monday, March 17th: Interlude]

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