Friday, August 5, 2016

Kim's Top Ten Moments at Dickens Universe!

Treating my taste buds to Hawaiian Ceviche, my first brussel sprout, a Crispy Coconut Shrimp Roll, and a Mango Chicken Caesar Salad.

Facing my fear of roller coasters by riding the notoriously shaky and rickety 1920 Big Dipper- TWICE!

Meeting my writing mentor, The Master of the Universe, John Jordan.

Deer! Fearlessly approaching a deer family on their lunch break- bravery.

Being an active participant in my undergraduate seminar- bravery.

Exploring the woods surrounding UCSC and the hidden beaches of Santa Cruz!

Connecting with the passionate dickensian public through lecture topics and personal experiences.

Living with Ms. Barrios, Mr. Story, Mauricio, and Kenia for a week of literature- a true theater outing!

Singing to an adapted Lady Gaga song at this year's farce- "dove, glove, shove!"

Mistreating my taste buds with blue cheese- a delicacy best enjoyed with a sweet strawberry.

Exactly 14 days ago, I took a plane to Santa Cruz carrying a suitcase of sweaters, the novel, and a nervous Kim not knowing what to expect from a literature trip. Exactly 7 days ago, I took a plane back to Los Angeles carrying a collection of irreplaceable experiences and an admiration for the people who continue to attend the 19th century universe. 

The Dickens Universe gave us a warm welcome and a big surprise upon seeing our essays published in their booklet for all of the universe to read! Soon everyone who was present was not only invested in exploring Dombey and Son, but in meeting the young undergraduate essay winners, too. I admit that I was nervous in meeting the passionate Dickensian fans who have read many, if not all, of Charles Dickens’ works, several times. Those nerves settled down after the first two days of talking to the DU public who just wanted to check in and get to know me and not question me about the different methods of analyzing text. The lectures were a hot topic in the seminars and out of class discussions, revealing the multiple ways one can study the novel. So, I did have conversations about the novel and the various approaches of examining and interpreting a piece of work with my trip buddies and during lunch dates with the sweet elders.

Although I was not the most active participant in my graduate seminars, the space was fun and allowed me to interact with the Dickensian public who touched many of the topics that were presented in my class months earlier. I did, however, contribute a lot more in my undergraduate seminar class. During that hour of the day the undergraduates, all six of us, led text based discussions and, encouraged by our seminar instructors, examined our wild interpretations. My biggest treat was being able to lunch with a crowd who allowed me to present to them what we as high school students did back at our school with literature and performance. I will be studying theater and although my studies will not focus directly on 19th century British work, it is crucial that I become familiar with the vast collection of text that exists. 

The Dickens Universe has exposed me to a number of analysis techniques and introduced me to a pool of people who marvel at textual patterns and the different ways a character can be perceived. The Universe is intense, but aware that the students they welcome are eager to learn and very capable of following the concepts presented to them every day of that week. I was blown away by the heavy syntactical study we were presented on our first day, but re-grounded after my teacher broke the lecture down and other people made helpful comments. The Universe was fun, to say the least, and I cannot wait to go back- I am coming back!

Middlemarch here I come!

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