Sunday, March 19, 2006

Course Selection

A Look At My Choices

Tomorrow kicks off My Enrollment Appointment, when I choose, for the last time, a course to take at Ryerson (and do click on that to see the new Ryerson homepage - I like it).

Despite being listed, the documentary courses aren't actually available to print/online/mag students, because we don't have the prerequisites needed.

Here are my choices:

ENG 700 Great Journalism

A fourth year seminar on selected twentieth century journalists who have not only reported on but been actively involved in and sometimes affected the world around them. Their work is marked by stylistic experimentation as they explore the boundaries of conventional journalism and search for prose forms capable of expressing the complexity of contemporary life. (PR)

Lect: 6 hrs.

This seems like it would be a fun course to take. I've even heard good reviews about it, but the problem is it asks for quite a bit of reading. Like 10 books in 13 weeks. And some of them, like Thompson's The Great Shark Hunt, are fantastic, but they're also long. And I'd have to write one final exam. If I don't take this course, I'm finished writing exams April 18, which I've said before because I like to repeat myself.

JRN 802 Investigative Techniques

This course assists students in gaining the necessary skills to create investigative pieces for publication on a freelance basis for traditional and new media, including The Ryersonian and other mastheads. It emphasizes the use of documents and computer-assisted techniques, the Internet, website creation and online journalism skills.

Prerequisite: JRN 16A/B or JRN 16 or JRN 50A/B or JRN 50 or JRN 53A/B or JRN 53 or JRN 57A/B or JRN 57.
Lect: 3 hrs./Lab: 3 hrs.

This is another choice I've looked at. The title makes me want to take it, and the description makes me feel I should take it. The problem: I'm lazy. And this course calls for a ton of work, which I could bring myself to do. But do I really want to put myself in that position? Um, good question...

JRN 803 Freelance Writing

Deals with the differences in structure, logic, and philosophy between reporting and article writing for magazines. Among subjects covered are the in-depth interview, the cross-check interview and the research involved for both; pre-story, preparation and development, finding the “angle” or point of view; anecdotal and other writing approaches; making the “think” piece readable; the use of facts and examples to balance and substantiate opinion and statement; logic, clarity, structure, drama, humour, and rhythm - the architecture that breathes life into a story. Also covered are the pitfalls and rewards of staff and freelance writing, the development and selling of ideas, how to tailor stories to editors’ specific length and market requirements, how to “fix” or rewrite your stories; what you should know about primary and secondary markets.

Prerequisite: JRN 16A/B or JRN 16 or JRN 50A/B or JRN 50 or JRN 53A/B or JRN 53. Antirequisites: JRN 56A/B, JRN 56, JRN 54A/B, JRN 54.
Lect: 3 hrs./Lab: 3 hrs.

The last choice sounds like a rehash of things we've learned in other classes, mostly in the feature class last year. And I believe secondary markets are usually ones overseas. You write for your primary market, say Toronto, but also sell your story to a publication in Europe -- the two markets are not in conflict with each other. But I could be wrong and primary and secondary markets could be something totally different. Regardless, I won't be enrolling into this one.

It's down to ENG700 and JRN802: which will I choose? Have some thinking to do.



Laura said...

i'd do the english, simply because it sounds most unlike all the other courses we've ever taken.

then again, i dropped out of all things journalism to pursue other fields, so perhaps my opinion isn't completely valid.

Czobit said...


Nah, I think you're on to something. And other than the reading, the course is light on work: one essay, a mid-term and the final.

nicole said...

I think I'm going to take ENG700.

Czobit said...

I did. It's a time thing, really. I don't think I could devote the time necessary to JRN 802 and work a part-time job.

Actually, I probably could, but laziness wins out.

Nicole said...

Yay for laziness ... I did enroll in ENG700 too.

I enrolled in the three online courses, because I don't know what to do. I emailed Bev on Monday ... but no response. :/ I guess the main thing is to enroll in something right??

Czobit said...

RAMSS wouldn't let me enroll into the online courses - maybe that means there are more than 20 students vying for a spot. So, I enrolled in the print courses. If I go to online, I'm sure they could easily switch the courses.

nicole said...

That's really strange. I wonder if I should enroll in print classes instead until/if I really am accepted ... no word from Bev yet so I don't know what to do ... heeelp meeee!

Czobit said...

If you get accepted into online, they'll have to switch you out of your print classes. If you don't and you're enrolled in online courses, then they'll just have to switch you back to print courses.

When did you enroll? I did my course selection Monday, so maybe at that time, you couldn't yet pick online courses.

nicole said...

Yes, Michael, I guess I'm a no win situation ... and I'll just stay enrolled in my online courses eee. I enrolled Monday morning at 8am ... since it was 2pm here and I was waiting to go to class, I think I was the first person to enroll, bc RAMSS took my 2 min to use, it was wonderous and I was shocked.

Czobit said...

Actually, RAMSS has been working like a charm lately.

I applied though for online today. But Joyce told me that I probably won't get in.

nicole said...

You're a bad liar ... I know she said the opposite! If you even did talk to her -- did you ask her about signing up for online courses on RAMSS? Bev refuses to reply to my email.

Czobit said...

I talked briefly with Joyce. She didn't mention anything about course selection. But I didn't ask.

I'll let them figure it out later.