The Hamline Review: Part II

And now here’s an overview of my homework. Specifically, it’s just half of my homework: I’m not listing all of the work I produced – the papers I wrote, the tests I took, or the online ‘discussions’ I was involved in. Instead, I’m only going to list the half I consumed.

First, the books. Here’s every book assigned in my classes, along with notes, where applicable:

#ClassBook TitleAuthorNotes
1American History 1607-1860American Slavery, American FreedomMorgan, Edmund S.
2American History 1607-1860Letters from an American FarmerSt. John De Crevecoeur, J. HectorOnly assigned to read the Introduction and chapters 2,3,4,5,9, and 12
3American History 1607-1860American Revolution: A History, theWood, Gordon S.
4American History 1607-1860Andrew Jackson and His Indian WarsRemini, Robert V.
5American History 1607-1860American Reformers, 1815-1860Walters, Ronald G.
6American History 1607-1860Lincoln at GettysburgWills, Gary
8Textual Studies and CriticismThomas and BeulahDove, RitaDespite being <100 pages, I didn't finish this one. I don't really like poetry. Still got an A- on the paper, though.
7Textual Studies and CriticismAlmost an EveningCoen, Ethan
9Textual Studies and CriticismRaisin in the Sun, aHansberry, Lorraine
10Textual Studies and CriticismLovely Bones, theSebold, Alice
11Textual Studies and CriticismBest American Short Stories of 2009, thecompilation
12American Literatures (to 1860)Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. A, thecompilationDidn't have to read the whole thing, but big chunks
13American Literatures (to 1860)Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassDouglass, FrederickI read this years earlier, and decided to reread it for class
14American Literatures (to 1860)Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. B, thecompilationSee Volume A's note, above
15American Literatures (to 1860)Bartleby, the ScrivenerMelville, Herman
16Women and LiteraturePride and PrejudiceAusten, JaneOf the books I completed reading, this was my least favorite.
17Women and LiteratureWuthering HeightsBrontë, Emily
18Women and LiteratureBrokeback MountainProulx, AnnaAt 56 pages, this is the shortest book on this list.
19Introduction to US HistoryPivotal DecadesCooper, Jr., John Milton
20Introduction to US HistoryGrand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974Patterson, James T.At 830 pages, this is the longest book on the list that I read in its entirety
21Introduction to US HistoryRestless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. GorePatterson, James T.
22Literary and Cultural TheoryTheory Toolbox, theNealon, Jeffrey / Searles Giroux, Susan
23Literary and Cultural TheoryAdventures of Huckleberry Finn, theTwain, MarkI read this years earlier, and didn't reread it for class
24Literary and Cultural TheoryPiano Lesson, theWilson, August
25Literary and Cultural TheoryDiving Into the WreckRich, Adrienne
26Introduction to African American StudiesMaking of African America, theBerlin, Ira
27Introduction to African American StudiesMercy, aMorrison, Toni
28Introduction to African American StudiesTwelve Years a SlaveNorthup, Solomon
29Introduction to African American StudiesWomen, Race, and ClassDavis, Angela Y.
30Introduction to African American StudiesBrothers and KeepersWideman, John Edgar
31Introduction to African American StudiesFrom Black Power to Hip HopCollins, PatriciaI decided not to finish this one.
32Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theDead Until DarkHarris, CharlaineOnly assigned chapters 1 and 2, but I read the whole thing.
33Cults in AmericaRevivalism, Social Conscience, and Community in the Burned-Over DistrictAltschuler, Glenn C. / Saltzgaber, Jan M.
34Cults in AmericaSeventh-Day Adventists and the Civil Rights MovementLondon, Samuel G.
35Cults in AmericaHow the Millennium Comes Violently: From Jonestown to Heaven's GateWessinger, Catherine
36Cults in AmericaWhy Waco?: Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in AmericaTabor, James D. / Gallagher, Eugene V.
37History of Jehovah's WitnessesJehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious MovementHolden, Andrew
38History of Jehovah's WitnessesCaptives of a ConceptCameron, Don
39Horror FilmHorrorCherry, Bridgid
40Horror FilmPretend We're Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop CultureNewitz, Annalee
41Censorship in FilmsWages of Sin: Censorship and the Fallen Woman Film, 1928-1942, theJacobs, Lea
42Censorship in FilmsHollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film IndustryLewis, Jon
43Censorship in FilmsHas Hollywood Lost Its Mind?: A Parent's Guide to Movie RatingsHicks, Chris
44Censorship in FilmsNaked Truth: Why Hollywood Doesn't Make X-Rated Movies, theSandler, Kevin S.
45Historical MethodsReturn of Martin Guerre, theDavis, Natalie Zemon
46Historical MethodsUnredeemed Captive: A Family Story From Early America, theDemos, John
47Historical MethodsManual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and DissertationsTurabian, KateOnly had to read chapters 1,9-14
48Historical MethodsPursuit of History, theTosh, John
49World LiteraturesHome and the World, theTagore, Rabindranath
50World LiteraturesCracking IndiaSidhwa, Bapsi
51World LiteraturesAnil's GhostOndaatje, Michael
52World LiteraturesRed AzaleaMin, Anchee
53World LiteraturesArtist of the Floating World, anIshiguro, Kazuo
54World LiteraturesObasanKogawa, Joy
55World LiteraturesPostman (Il Postino), theSkarmeta, AntonioThis technically wasn't assigned, but my group had to divide up the work of presenting about the film Il Postino, and I opted to compare it with the novel.
56Reform Movements in American HistoryAmerican Reformers, 1815-1860Walters, Ronald G.I had to read this before (see #5), so I didn't reread it for this class.
57Reform Movements in American HistoryAmerican Heroine: The Life and Legend of Jane AddamsDavis, Allen F.I didn't finish this one.
58Reform Movements in American HistoryFranklin D. Roosevelt and the New DealLeuchtenburg, William E.
59Reform Movements in American HistoryMad Among Us: A History of the Care of America's Mentally Ill, theGrob, Gerald N.
60Reform Movements in American HistoryAge of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s, theFarber, David
61Senior SeminarBlind Assassin, theAtwood, Margaret
62Senior SeminarSecret Life of Stories: From Don Quixote to Harry PotterBérubé, MichaelOnly had to read chapters 1 and 2.
63Senior SeminarForms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, NetworkLevine, Caroline
64Senior SeminarCrying of Lot 49, thePynchon, Thomas
65Senior SeminarOsama: A NovelTidhar, LavieI didn't finish this one.
66Senior SeminarTales of the Metric SystemCoovadia, ImraanI didn't finish this one.

As you can see, I didn’t read everything that was assigned. But I read most of the books and, even those I didn’t finish, I still read large swaths of them. Every class assigned critical essays, articles, or short stories, too, and I usually read those. All together, my readings represented around 15,000 pages.

And here are the films – including a couple TV miniseries – that I was assigned to watch for class:

#ClassMovie TitleMovie Release YearNotes
1Textual Studies and CriticismLimbo1999
2Textual Studies and CriticismLovely Bones, the2009
3Textual Studies and CriticismRaisin in the Sun, a1961
4Textual Studies and CriticismRaisin in the Sun, a2008
5Women and LiteratureBridget Jones's Diary2001Already seen, watched again.
6Women and LiteraturePiano, the1993
7Women and LiteratureBrokeback Mountain2005
8Literary and Cultural TheoryPiano Lesson, the1995
9Introduction to African-American StudiesDaughters of the Dust1991
10Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theNosferatu1922
11Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theBeloved1998
12Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theNight of the Hunter, the1955Already seen; watched it again.
13Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theEve's Bayou1997
14Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theDeliverance1972Already seen; watched it again.
15Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theNight of the Living Dead1968
16Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theSugar Hill1974
17Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theTexas Chainsaw Massacre, the1974
18Night the Hogs Ate Willie, thePumpkinhead1988
19Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theNear Dark1987
20Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theSilence of the Lambs, the1991Already seen; watched it again.
21Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theWild at Heart1990
22Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theDoe Boy, the2001
23Night the Hogs Ate Willie, theBeast of the Southern Wild2012Already seen; didn't watch it again
24Cults in AmericaJonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple2006
25Cults in AmericaAmerican Experience: God in America (parts 1-6), the2010This was a PBS miniseries, so technically not a movie, but still pretty long.
26Horror FilmSafe Haven2006Short film - still counts
27Horror FilmHaunting, the1963
28Horror FilmShining, the1980
29Horror FilmBlair Witch Project, the1999
30Horror FilmHalloween1978
31Horror FilmZodiac2007
32Horror FilmWoman, the2011
33Horror FilmThing, the1951
34Horror FilmThing, the1982Already seen; watched again
35Horror FilmGanja and Hess1973
36Horror FilmWhite Zombie1932
37Horror FilmDawn of the Dead1978
38Horror FilmAmerican Zombie2007
39Horror FilmCabin in the Woods, the2012
40Horror FilmLåt den Rätte Komma In (Let the Right One In)2008
41Horror FilmThere Will Be Blood2007Already seen; didn't watch it again.
42Horror FilmTwelve Years a Slave2013Already seen; didn't watch it again
43Censorship in FilmsThis Film is Not Yet Rated2006Already seen; didn't watch it again.
44Historical MethodsRetour de Martin Guerre, le (The Return of Martin Guerre)1982
45World LiteraturesGhare-Baire (The Home and the World)1984
46World LiteraturesIn the Time of the Butterflies2001
47World LiteraturesDiarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries)2004
48World LiteraturesPostino, Il1994Already seen; watched it again.
49Senior SeminarAfter Hours1985
50Senior SeminarMagnolia1999Already seen; watched it again.
51Senior SeminarWhen the Levees Broke2006TV miniseries, still counts.
52Senior SeminarFast, Cheap, and Out of Control1997

A few were viewed in class, there was one I saw at the theater (The Lovely Bones), two of them I had to show up on campus at special times to watch an out-of-class viewing, and the rest I watched at home. Of the three films on the list here that were assigned, but that I didn’t watch again, two of them I had seen so recently that I felt I didn’t need to take time out for a second viewing (Twelve Years a Slave and This Film is Not Yet Rated), and one I didn’t like enough to even want to sit through (There Will be Blood).

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The Hamline Review: Part 1

So now that the old college career is officially in the can, I am going to give an overview of the three biggest factors in my education: money, homework, and classes.

First, money: How much did it cost to get a Bachelor’s Degree from Hamline University?

I was a transfer student. Specifically, I attended Century College from 2000-2002, where I earned an Associate’s Degree. So when I walked into class at Hamline on that first day in September 2009, I was, essentially, already half done. I was more or less a Junior. Thus, the numbers that follow are really only half the story.

Back in 2009, Hamline charged $869.71 per credit. Since I was in a four-credit class, the bill for the class alone was $3,478.85. But as a new student, there were additional fees, such as the cost of transferring in my credits and other filing fees. These totaled over $250. Also, since my employer would be reimbursing me for the course, I delayed payment until the end of the semester, though this generated a monthly fee of around $15 a month. And once I finally did pay, there was an additional “convenience” fee that cost me around $40.

Most classes also required the purchase of books. As an English major/History minor, I was lucky to be involved in two disciplines with relatively cheap books. The most any class cost me for books was $116.95. In fact, the books for my first class at Hamline, which was a History class, only cost me $32.95. In contrast, the books for one Chemistry class back at Century were over $240…and that was nearly a decade earlier.

All told, that first course at Hamline cost $3,860.95. My employer paid for the tuition and the books, so I was only on the hook for the fees and interest. I thus received a check from my employer for $3,511.80, and I paid $349.15 out-of-pocket.

That was almost the most I ever paid for a class. Subsequent classes were less pricey. They did not have all those “new student” fees. I also took a couple summer courses, which didn’t accrue as much interest (since they were shorter), and were only half the cost of fall/winter/spring courses. When I could, I paid for the courses using my savings account, which didn’t extort a “convenience” fee. And for ten of my eighteen courses, I was able to use Federal and/or State grants. All of this reduced my costs. For example, a summer course I took in 2014 only cost me $45.61 total.

But Hamline increased the cost of their credits every single year I was there. What cost $869.71 in 2009, was up to $1,040.00 by 2012, and $1,190.00 by 2016. Generous as my employer was, they only reimburse up to $8,000 per year – a benefit that did not increased a single cent during my eight years of using it. Thus, during my last three years at Hamline, my costs exceeded the reimbursement cap. I was able to mitigate these increasing costs for a while, thanks to government grants, but those decreased every year.

By my final school year, my last two courses were $4,760 each. The first one was, of course, reimbursed, but the one was not, leaving $1,664.48 (including interest and books). A government grant brought my total down to $373.48, making it the most expensive class I took while at Hamline. It’s a good thing I finished when I did: a class this fall would have cost me over $4,100 out-of-pocket.

All told, the 69 credits I accrued at Hamline cost $65,394.85.  Then there were $1,034.80 for books and $1,728.83 for interest and various fees. This brought the grand total to $68,158.48. The Federal and Minnesota governments footed the bill to the tune of $12,424.00. My employer reimbursed me $53,676.74, meaning that my total cost was $2,057.74, an average of $29.82 per credit, or $257.22 for every year I attended.

Not a bad price, really. Especially in America.

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The Submit Button

There was a time when what stood in between me and a Bachelor’s Degree were 65 credits, nearly $70,000, and eight years.

After dropping a class that didn’t fit in with my budget, then another class that didn’t fit in with my schedule, taking off one semester after my daughter was born, then taking off another semester when we moved into a new house, then taking off another semester when Emmett was due to be born, then showing up for class even though I had hand, foot, and mouth disease, showing up for class about 12 hours after I was discharged from the ER, finding out I had to take four more credits than I thought because I needed another Fine Arts credit, finagling with my professor to have her teach me a course independently of the rest of the class so that it fit my work schedule, showing up in the morning for early classes before work – while wondering how I’d get in my 40 hours of work that day – and showing up late in the evening, after dinner, because that was the only time I could fit in a class, and not being able to say goodnight to my kids that night, worrying that my dying Chevy Cavalier wouldn’t get me from my job to my class, answering my phone during class because my wife was worried about our sick child, or because a coworker had a question, studying late at night, on vacations, and during breaks at work, strategically arranging my course schedule to maximize my tuition reimbursement from my employer, and going through the annoyance of having to submit just the precise documentation on a user-unfriendly site needed to get said reimbursement, I slowly chiseled away at everything that stood in between me and a 4-year degree.

Now all that stands in between me and my degree is clicking this submit button, which will upload my final paper for my final course to my final professor, and which I plan to do promptly…

Submit button

The graduation ceremony is Saturday.

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5½ in Our Home

As of this week, we’ve lived in our home for 5 and a half years. As I’ve done semi-annually since we moved in, I will hereby provide an update on improvements we made to our home in the past six months.

By the way, if you’re interested, here’s the blog post detailing what we did during the six months prior to these most recent six months.

LIVING ROOM

-Sanded, painted, and re-installed trim around windows.IMG_1494IMG_1493

-Sanded, painted, and re-installed baseboard trim.

This really, really created a lot of dust. So much so, I was able to employ that time-tested joke of writing “CLEAN ME” onto a surface so dirty that a person can actually write by removing part of that which needs to be cleaned.

In fact, in the photo of the bush that is right next to our house, you can see splotches of white that resulted from our box fan which blew sheetrock dust out of the house all day while we worked.IMG_1331IMG_1332

-Painted ceiling and walls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUD ROOM

-Stained putty that had been the wrong color for about three years.

 

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In the before photo, at left, the wood putty is barely noticeable. It’s in that crack in the top right corner of the trim. Notice, in the right photo, I’ve stained it the proper color. I inserted that putty into the trim in, probably, 2013. Not sure how I forgot to sand and stain it until just last month but it’s good now.

LOWER STAIRWELL

-Removed accordion door.

There was an accordion-style door at the top of the stairs. We used it very rarely and, last summer, it tore. It was in pretty cheap, sorry condition and I’m actually surprised it’s lasted this long (it came with the house when we moved in). Jennifer finally tore it down last fall.

YARD

-Installed lattice work on north side of deck.
Here’s a picture from last September, following the installation of the beams that hold up the lattice (you can see the lattice leaning up against the house, just waiting to be installed): 4x4s-noth-deck

-New retaining wall installed.

IMG_1205 IMG_1206 IMG_1207 IMG_1208

This project began in early September, and actually spilled over our  year anniversary in our house. So here I’m showing the new retaining wall, installed just after our five-year anniversary here. The wall is longer than the previous one, extending up the whole length of our driveway on the east, and continuing to just shy of the little free library on the west.

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2017: More Loss

My sister came over to cut my hair today. She does that once in a while. While under the electric razor, I made tentative plans for her to come over and dye my hair one month’s hence so that I have no grays. I told her I was again attending the National Conference of Undergraduate Research and, unlike last time, I was going to put forth an effort to not look like the oldest student in attendance. “I don’t want to be the senior senior,” I put it succinctly.

I asked her if she’d heard from our dad or any Floridian relative lately, and she said she hadn’t. “I’m just wondering how Papa’s doing,” I added.

“I think he’s just the same. Still moving along.”

“Man, he just keeps going. I thought he was gonna die back in September.”

“I know, me too. Now it’s getting close to his birthday. He’s gonna be 90.”

After Diane left, I again commented on my grandfather’s unexpected robustness, and Jennifer asked if I had decided whether I will go to his funeral. I reiterated my general distaste for the Sunshine State. Coupling that with our impending vacation there in December, I’m not sure I can stomach two trips there in a single year. After not stepping foot in Florida for over a decade, I’ve just about recovered. All this would suffice in itself, but then there’s the whole matter of how I’ll be treated – if complete shunning can even be considered “treatment.”

“I’ll probably just celebrate his life in my own way,” I concluded. For the moment.

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