And Again From Home…

I have to admit, I'm now pretty used to studying from my room. Yes, I long to experience in-person teaching at the university of my dreams, but I can't yet, so I try to look for the positives of online teaching. I recently wondered how amazing it is that I can try to improve my upward facing dog during yoga, then stop two minutes before my seminar, pull on something decent, turn on the camera and discuss my beloved books.

What's new with me? I broke my record in reading books. In the last six months, I've read 32 books and 144 literary essays. Regarding the essays, however, I read about a quarter of them in the style of "I'm only looking for the most important thing." I think that when it comes to reading, I have much more time “thanks” to the pandemic. 

Besides, I met (via Zoom) an amazing poet, Vahni Capildeo. I ended the meeting, and I was very excited because they liked my poetry! Besides becoming a teacher, will I be a poet, too? Time will tell... They gave me an hour of their time to read with me my poems. I am truly honoured to meet such inspiring people at my university. 

What about studying? I'm currently studying amazing modules in York. One is called A World of Literature: Empire and Aftermaths. This is my favourite module because here we discuss post-colonial studies. What is it? These studies may sound alien to us Czechs because we did not have colonies or explore the world like the British. Postcolonialism is an academic study of the cultural heritage of colonialism and imperialism, focusing on the consequences of controlling and exploiting colonised people and their countries. More precisely, we are looking at how culture, identity, nation rise and fall. 

My second module brings me back to my childhood. In Approaches to Literature: Other Worlds, we focus on monsters, dragons, fairies, zombies and other fictional creatures... Or not? Maybe you'll now stop and think about what's so important about monsters from the past. Indeed, I asked myself the same question. However, monsters give us an amazing insight into medieval civilisation. Such a monster reflected immoral qualities that no one would want to have. Most monsters in medieval literature resemble people, which is why everyone had respect for them. Not just because they were ugly, but because they were afraid of becoming a monster themselves. 

So, I introduced you only marginally to what I'm studying and what I'm doing. I could talk for hours and hours about my modules and everything I realised through my studies about the world, about society, about myself. I can't wait to discuss everything with my students one day. I hope I will make reading enjoyable for them because literature is the best encyclopaedia of people, both external and internal.

P.S. Vahni Capildeo are addressed in English with the pronouns they/their, so it is not clear which sex is it talked about. 


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