Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How a Novel (re-)Sparked My Intellectual Excitement

Excuse the (non-)capitalization in the post below. It started as a Facebook post, where I'm much less formal, but I decided the theme was worth sharing more widely.


i am filled with such a vibrant sense of life! and an intellectual excitement that has evaded me for some time!

after seeing the movie trailer a few times, i knew i had to re-read The Perks of Being a Wallflower again before it comes out. it was one of my favorites in high school. i started last night, intending to get a few pages in before nodding off. before i knew it, i was done. and i had a plan.

i'm restructuring the adolescent psyc syllabus i've been developing (for my general developmental prelim) around the book! it seriously addresses almost every issue i want to cover. the book IS adolescence. and i'm sure any student would be thrilled to read a smart novel supplemented with applicable journal articles and chapters instead of another dry textbook (i can't find ANY i like enough to include). 

i'm no longer dreading the next week and a half of finishing this syllabus that's been haunting me all summer. i'm ecstatic to trash a lot of the work i've already done and replace it with something much better. because now i'm inspired by a clear vision. it's better content, better pedagogy... and better to have an enthusiastic author. because it's starting to look like a syllabus for a course i would actually want to teach.

remember a few days ago when i was feeling the "socially-enforced grad school guilt" we all fall prey to? screw that. picking up a young adult novel turned out to be the best thing for my Serious Academic Work i've done all summer.