I never thought the weather outside influenced my habits much until recently. Having spent a lot of nights staying up till one or two (or three…etc) a.m. just to write, I became used to writing (and subsequently working) in the dark (or well, by night). As the Mediterranean summer crawls closer and days get brighter (and brighter for longer), I’m finding it incredibly difficult to focus on the work at hand!
Admittedly, it’s not that interesting. More specifically, I find the study part of it is, the writing assignments based on a teeny tiny section of the notes part isn’t. A strong sense of a lack of originality fills me; sure, this course I’m on is introductory, but these assignments are testing my understanding of notes I could’ve written using Wikipedia (actually Wikipedia was more informative). Of course, philosophically speaking, I’m aware that ‘originality’ is an out-dated concept. Anyway, I’m expected to learn what’s in the notes and nothing more – sort of like learning just to pass an exam and tick all the right boxes.
Education without learning. Learning without engagement.
Alright, so most of this is history (literally – learning about Socrates, the sophists, and how Aristophanes represented them in his play The Clouds) and there are only so many ways that you can state facts, but there are ways of doing it without killing off someone’s interest in the era or drying up their thirst for knowledge.
In order to keep things fresh, I’m creating my own set of notes (and sticking them on my theatre blog for further use). In theory, that might be considered copyright infringement, but I’ve added so much stuff (my own commentary and things I read in sources other than the course notes) that I doubt they can make that claim. Besides, no one can ‘own’ learning and knowledge [look at me, so radical… not! >.<] . They might own the educational institutions but the Internet has kind of made learning free (just look at Futurelearn and all the other websites that host MOOCs).
Meanwhile, as I’m a glutton for visuals, I’ve discovered an exciting website for making timelines.
Here’s my classical Greece timeline so far (and yes, I know my timescale is kind of inaccurate – I only wanted reference points):
I plan to add more events as we go along, since we’re going to study five more plays from classical Greece (Aristophanes’ Wasps, Peace, Aeschylus’ The Suppliants, Sophocles’ Antigone, and Euripides’ Bacchae) – can’t wait!!! [I am such a geek sometimes…] Then we head for the Shakespearean era and absurdist theatre.
Anyway, pretty visuals aside, this is not why I began this post!
It’s not so much that I’m bored – I’m just not designed to function with this much sunlight! My inner child just wants to go out and ‘play’ – or at least, do something more fun than assignments – but I’m determined to get them done so I can start working on my audio project*, my penguin short story, a comic, and other fun things. Aye, I have very strange ideas about what constitutes ‘fun’…
*Oh yeah, I decided I’m going to try and put together an audio mash of cut-ups using the first page of Burroughs’ Nova Express as a script. Not sure how yet, but it should be fun!