Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Yesterday I received an e-mail from Dr. Kensak, one of my former college professors at Northwestern. Got me thinking college thoughts.

I'm not sure, but I think I might have had one of Dr. Kensak's very first classes he taught at NWC. A whole class on Chaucer. Four of us started the class, only three of us finished. That class was one of the two most challenging classes I took* and was probably the most rewarding. I struggled some to read and comprehend the text, he had us memorize and recite the first stanza of the prologue in its original Middle English with correct pronunciation, and I nailed it. I think I was as proud of that memorization as anything else in college. I can still knock out a couple of butchered lines. What? It was September 2006. You do better.

I worked my ass off for that class, truly put my best effort into the papers (which didn't happen as often as it should have in other classes), and if I remember correctly, my grade reflected it.

As much as I focused on and enjoyed Dr. Fynaardt's American Lit classes (and that's where my core interest was), or the religion classes from Drs. Manetsch** and Kinsinger***


The English Department newsletter, which I always looked forward to when I was a student (book recommendations, yo), is now available online.

That's way cool.

So, here's the Spring 2010 issue of Wordhord.

There's book recommendations for summer reading.

Blood Brothers
, by Elias Chacour
Slavery By Another Name, by Douglas A. Blackmon
We Don't Know We Don't Know, by Nick Lantz
The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors' House, by Nick Lantz
The Disappearing Spoon, by Sam Kean
Silk Parachute, by John McPhee
The Room and the Chair, by Lorraine Adams
The Ask, by Sam Lipsyte
Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, by Linda J. Lear
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Writing Places, by William Zinnser
Exit Music, by Ian Rankin
A Private History of Awe, by Scott Russell Sanders
Where Clouds Are Formed, by Ofelia Zapeda
The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection, by Gardner Dozois
The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Beekeeper's Apprentice, by Laurie King
Deep Economy, by Bill McKibben

That, folks, is quite a list.

*The most difficult class was the dread Seminar in Interpretation from Dr. Westerholm. A whole class on the theory behind literary criticism? Oof. Luckily, this every other year class was offered my Senior Year rather than Junior.

**If Dr. Manetsch was teaching in the Twin Cities metro, I would absolutely take one of his classes right now, ten years later. Assuming it didn't mess with my work schedule.

***Mitch Kinsinger was awesome. Really liked him. I had him in his first year teaching at Northwestern, and my final year.

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