When I went back to university, one of the courses I had to take to get entrance to the degree program was an English course. I never enjoyed it when I was in high school, mainly because of the essays and I wasn’t a big fan of reading. Needless to day, I enjoy writing blog posts not only because I get to choose the topic, but it doesn’t have to be that long.
The first one that I took was called the Hero’s Journey. This is the first time I really learned how to properly write an essay. I actually read the books, including Dracula and many of the mythologies, such as Hercules. I enjoyed it so much that I took two more English classes during my degree and made it a point to take one whenever I could. I was actually ENJOYING English and reading!
The next one was Zap, Pow, Bang!: Popular Literature. How could I not take this course? We got to read comic books! Specifically, one of the best known graphic novels of all time: Watchmen. I knew that it was influential, but I never realized how deep it actually went. We also read The Maltese Falcon and From Russia With Love. Our group project: Comparing The Maltese Falcon to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” as a film noir. We of course got top marks for that one. It was definitely one of my favourites.
During my last year, I took one more. However, it wasn’t my first choice, nor my second choice. They eliminated both of those, one of which included Eastern Literature and I ended up with Science Fiction. Now this may surprise many people who know me, since I am a big geek when it comes to Science Fiction. But I’ve never been a big fan of the writing or reading of it. Give me a screen any day and I’ll watch “Firefly“, “Battlestar Galactica” and of course “Doctor Who” any day, all day. I have to admit, I wasn’t very fond of most of the novels required for the class, including Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Octavia Butler’s Kindred or H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine. I appreciated them for what they were, but they weren’t a pleasant read for me. It felt more like high school all over again: reading stuff I didn’t want to read just to pass a class. But I am happy to say that this was the only piece in the course I didn’t like. There was plenty more! We got to watch “Ghost in the Shell” and “Bladerunner” as part of our studies, so there was some video thrown in which made my day.
I did enjoy reading William Gibson’s Neuromancer, especially when I was told that it was what sparked the famous Role-Playing Game (RPG) “ShadowRun“. I actually found the audio book narrated by Gibson himself. Very interesting to say the least. One of the assignments was to do our own bit of creative writing (which I was terrible at in high school). But I actually enjoyed it too. Based on Neuromancer and a ShadowRun game that I used to play, I came up with the ending to a campaign that my GM never finished. And no, I never forgave him for that. At the time, he said that he figured everyone could do their own ending. So I did. It’s still not finished, but I completed the assignment and have actually created a blog on it. There I also describe the back ground to the story as well as a totally different storyline which I think I need to pick up again very soon. Check out ShadowShui here.
So thank you Ryerson University for renewing or rather starting my love of literature.