Doomsday is slowly approaching, everyone. I am literally one week away from my comprehensive exam over EVERY CLASS I have taken for my major. That’s 10 awesome courses where I worked my butt off, pulled countless all-nighters and read thousands, no, TENS OF THOUSANDS of pages. And now, I have to take a test that covers all of that material in the past four years. Am I scared? Psh, no.
I’m actually terrified. Comps also includes courses in which I was a freshmen and sophomore sitting in class thinking, “Why do I ever need to know this? I’m never going to use this in my future, let alone in the next four years.”
I’m an idiot. Thankfully, my most recent classes from my junior and senior years aren’t that bad since I knew I wanted to be an English major by then. The only problem is that my class notes from freshmen and sophomore years contain multiple doodles and sentences such as, “Oh boy, I’m tired. I think I’ll write in my notebook to keep from falling asleep. Here I go. Writing in my notebook.”
So, I really regret the stupidity of my younger self and desperately want a time machine to go back in time to punch myself in the face to tell me to “PAY ATTENTION!”
Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do. All I can do now is just study my butt off and try to find some themes and motifs from the little notes that I do have.
Now, compared to other comprehensive exams for other majors, English comps aren’t that bad (from what I’ve heard). It’s an oral exam in which two English professors will ask questions and I have to come up with answers. For the most part, it is supposed to be a conversation, but there’s also questions about poetry and scansion.
Poetry is pretty self explanatory. You have some lines, they rhyme, have hidden meanings, etc. Now scansion. Oh boy, scansion. If you’ve never heard of scansion, click on this phrase: the hardest thing in the world.
Basically, scansion is when words in a line have certain emphasis in a line and scanning a poem involves finding those emphases and identifying what syllables are stressed or unstressed. Then after the stresses are found, the meter needs to be identified. Meter is found by counting the syllables and pairing them by spondees, trochees, iambs, etc.
If you’re still reading this blog, then bravo to you, because that was right around the time I would start to tune out my professors and think about things like singing birds, green grass or the great outdoors.
I should also mention that if you are a fellow English major, do not quote me on the process from the previous paragraph on scanning a poem. I honestly have no idea if that is correct or not. I just know that it’s a general idea of how it is done, and I just practiced by typing it all out without looking at my notes.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and continue to read my strange and somewhat pointless, yet hopefully funny, stories.
Until next time!