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McGill

So I graduated from McGill University with a B.A. in English Literature and History on June 3rd.

which pretty much brings us full circle.

My favorite classes:

  • ENGL 418: A Major Modernist Writer

ENGL 418 was probably the most in-depth class I took in McGill. It focused solely on Ezra Pound, covering everything from his first published poetry, to Imagism, to the Cantos. Professor Hickman was this sweet lady who specialized in Modernism, and she was so knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. Also she made the class pound cake.

Pound was also the first text I studied that was actually difficult, like on a completely different level. I think the most I’ve ever pored over a text was when I was writing my essay on “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley.”  I actually wrote a poem about Ezra Pound at the close of the class, “Sestina: Ezra Pound.” Of the four books that I actually bought with me from Montreal to Toronto, three of them belonged to Ezra Pound.

  • ENGL 464: Creative Writing (Poetry)

The only creative writing class I took in McGill. Our professor was Steven Heighton, an actual poet/novelist, which was really cool. The class was a little large (~10 people), but it was interesting being in a writing group. I do wish that I had taken some of the other creative writing classes, perhaps for fiction. My favorite poem that I wrote for that class was probably “Madam Natasha.”

  • ENGL 327: Canadian Prose Fiction / ENGL 333: Development of Canadian Poetry 2

These two classes are put together before they gave me a much deeper appreciation of Canadian literature. I’m actually really glad that the English syllabus required Canadian literature courses, because I do not imagine I would have taken them otherwise, and then what would my life have been if I had never read Mavis Gallant or Robert Kroetsch. The respective professors for the two classes were very different. For ENGL 327, it was Laura, who was this grad student teaching a class for the first time. For ENGL 333, it was Robert Lecker, a veteran McGill professor who has a bit of a notorious reputation. But both of the classes were very comprehensive, and the amount of texts covered was very challenging in a satisfying way. This was particularly true for ENGL 333, where we had to write two essays every week. I wrote one of my cleverer essays for that class, “Iambs and I am’s: Syllabic Structure in Understanding Ego.”

I was in McGill and Montreal for three years. In my first year, I lived in New Residence, where my roommate offered me ketamine and I made a girl cry for the first time. In my second year, I lived in Little Portugal where I accidentally kidnapped a cat and I finally found the truth about Renard Noir. In my third year, I lived in the student ghetto and I went to a McGill orgy and I studied hard and then I graduated and then I left.

 

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