UBC Winter 2002 English 222 course description.
I thought this course would be in class essays, take home essays and multiple essays written for the final exam --  but it was the complete opposite. I haven't had to write one essay for this class. I'm relieved. I prefer this criteria much more where Erika tells you from the beginning "this is an unusual course of studies." .. unusual, but unique.
That's how I would explain it all. Unique. I have never enjoyed a class more than this one. Where a certain "criteria" is not set, marks are still given for interpretations because everyone has their own story. You can't tell someone that what Canada means to them is wrong. Everyone has their our memories and their own stories to tell.
I think that's what I liked so much. There are no wrong answers - only encouragement. 

I find it funny that this is the class where I have the least notes written from lectures.. but I could tell you pretty much everything I learnt from just listening. As Erika points out, this is an important part in certain methods of teaching. 

Perhaps the only negative part was that it was an early class. Clearly there are more positives than negatives. I over all enjoyed this class. The best one i've taken so far. 

In terms of advancing this course for future students, I would suggest explaining the final project a bit more clearer. I think that in the beginning of the course a lot of people (including myself) were really confused about what we were really suppost to be completely at the end of the term. Erika prefers to let it "organically grow" (which is what happened to me, and look at how far along myself and my group have come), but the not knowing bothered me a little bit. Perhaps because I get stressed easily and not knowing bothers me more than others.
The idea of blogging though is an excellent idea. I think that blogging expresses your thoughts and opinions much better than having to write a "formal" essay where you can't even say "I." Blogging is like the thoughts that come from your head... likee uhh you know what I mean right? You couldn't say that in an essay. Maybe you could, but I don't think you'd get a good mark. I just really liked the format of the course. It was very unexpected. I vowed I'd never take an English class again.. and look at me. I'm leaving it extremely impressed and thankful that I took it. Thanks Erika for all the hard work and time put into this course. I couldn't imagine reading.. what 5 or 6 novels at the same time.. let alone remembering the details from each. I've learnt a lot about Canadian Literature without having to be lectured 3 hours a week and writing essay after essay to test our knowledge.
I wouldn't change much about this course. Hopefulyl students in the future liked it as much as I did.
and... I could go on forever. I'll stop. Last blog entry Done.
11/23/2010 10:01:37 pm

Good morning Kayla, I am up early to read through your blogs in anticipation of your conference presentation this morning. Thank you for the suggestions, from your comments, and others, I think I need to spend more time at the beginning of term developing working teams, and perhaps a small initial project to get people warmed up to working with each other. Overall, I am hugely impressed and honored by the amount of work and commitment people have dedicated to this course of studies. I am most pleased to hear comments about 'learning to listen; ... Yahooooo! <-- that's a howl. Life is just so much more rewarding when you listen ...for everyone. And you are right that it is difficult to not know where you are 'supposed' to be at the end, but ... if you believe ever ending is a beginning, well, 'let's begin again'. And, I says, remember what Raven and Coyote said: ”be willing to not know” ... You can follow the link above to see more advice from Raven and Coyote - thanks for a wonderful semester Kayla.


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