The above quote is from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes story, “The Adventure of the Empty House.” It is one of the several readings we had for this class and the line is how I have been feeling about this class lately. Three hour classes are not usually my style and this one drags on. Don’t get me wrong, Morgan, as we call him in class, instead of the more formal Professor Schulz or Professor, is an interesting character. He has tousled dirty blond hair, blue eyes and every other day wears a baggy orange pants, all of which makes him look like a surfer dude. He has a background in the military and went to West Point, but gave it up for his true passion in English and writing. Morgan knows a lot of information about books, movies, history and the process of writing (five W’s, five senses, time/situation/space,etc.) that is really helpful because I want to know how to effectively write long stories. He has introduced us to a wide range of stories, novels, books, authors, new ways of thinking about works that are now part of mainstream culture, such as Harry Potter, Dracula, V for Vendetta and to questioning everything, including ourselves. To top it off, he is actually funny and is not afraid to mock us and our cultural norms in a non-offensive way.
However, at times it is hard to connect to all that he is saying and sitting in class with him for three hours can be overwhelming and tiring, including the tiredness from touring around the city from the previous night and doing the readings. I understand most of what he says, but it is a lot to digest. Also, Morgan seems pompous in his deepness sometimes, as if he is claiming to know everything while at the same time stating he knows nothing. Moreover, he shows his privileges as a white, middle-class man at the strangest points. For example, a group of Jewish female students are in the class and he stated they were from Israel or declaring that the four African-American women, including myself, in the class were connected because we wrote about water and our mothers, our race and our names start with an S. He looks for something deeper in something that is just a coincidence or brings up a characteristic about us that has little to do with the conversation. Now I am in a conflicted space where I want to stay in London, but I also want this class to end or ease up a little. Maybe when this is over and I can reflect, I will appreciate it all more, but for now, while I am in the midst of it, I am getting antsy.