I took it as my required literature course, and chose Canadian because I have always felt proudly Canadian, especially since I see our celebration of multiculturalism as a microcosm of what the world should look like. A 'colourblind' world. Granted I knew - even before this course and our exploration of various themes of discrimination in Canada against Native Americans and immigrants in particular - that this view of Canada was a little naive. But there is definitely some truth to it, and that's the part I choose to see and be proud of such that when encountering discrimination I can oppose it and work against it without losing my faith and pride in Canada.
I suppose I digress. In any case, I was interested to see what Canadian writers had to say, and was not expecting the broad conversations on identity and other complex issues which I found very rewarding. In that respect this course far surpassed my expectations.
I was very pleased with the choice of GGRW as it felt new and different: likely as I now know, since it would not have been "Canadian Literature" as far as the original canon was concerned! I was also glad to be able to choose the second novel, as choice definitely allows for greater ownership over the learning process. It's a little more self-directed and you get to read something you definitely want to read.
In terms of it being a literature course, I was very surprised about the use of blogs and no actual essays. Being so unconventional was disconcerting at first, but I'm now so happy about the skills I've gained that I never would have even thought to try to acquire. The idea of bringing the study of literature into the new media we have to use today makes a lot of sense. I think as time goes on, more learning will shift to online, living work. Or at the very least, it should!
The worst part of this class, though it wasn't too difficult to deal with, was the confusion that came from the fact that it was nothing like I've experienced before or was expecting. Blogging and doing presentations for the majority of marks with what felt like very little direction was scary to think about too much, but I definitely think the creative freedom allowed me to get more out of it. And ultimately, that's the point of this whole education thing: to learn and grow, not to fit into stringent guidelines for easy comparison and marking.
Thank you so much for this class. If it didn't conflict with required engineering courses next term, I'd be signing up for your Prose course!