I have chosen to take this class for a few reasons. One reason (while it is not an interesting or inspiring answer), is that I am a transfer student; and even though I am a junior, I am still required to take an SIS course. However, I chose this class specifically because it immediately peaked my interest, compared to other options available. The second I saw “Once Upon a Time: Folk and Fairy Tales Around the World,” I knew I had to sign up. I believe this is because I was unknowingly jumping at the chance to take a course that was not only vastly different from my usual course of study (social work), but also because I wanted an opportunity to take my mind to a whimsical and fantastical place a few times a week amidst all of the stress and hard work I frequently endure throughout a typical semester.
Throughout this course, I would really like to learn more about the ways in which fairy tales can be seen in everyday society- in movies, music, TV shows, magazines, etc. I am especially interested in the way fairy tales connect to music. This interest began in high school, when I was in the orchestra. At one point we practiced and performed Russian composer ModestMussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition: Baba Yaga,” (note: the linked performance is done by the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and if you are interested in listening to it, I recommend using headphones to more clearly hear all of the intricacies within the piece). Although I was not (and am still not) familiar with this Russian fairy tale, the brooding and menacing nature of the music made me very intrigued to learn more about the tale itself (which I also hope to do in class, or at least learn where I can find it and read it on my own). This interest was also further developed in our first class of the semester when Dr. Esa described the way rap music is connected to fairy tales, because I listen to and enjoy rap music (and pretty much all types of music, for that matter). Additionally, I hope to become more exposed to/familiar with fairy tales from cultures all across the world, and throughout history.
One of my favorite fairy tales of all time is one that Dr. Esa mentioned in class, Pan’s Labyrinth, for a few reasons. To start with, I don’t really remember many fairy tales in great detail that were told to me when I was little; and I watched Pan’s Labyrinth when I was older so I remembered it more and was able to process it on a more intellectual level. While this may sound odd, I enjoy the dark and creepy aspects (both in the plotline and visually) of the movie in comparison with the usual light-heartedness of most fairy tales I have been exposed to. I also really loved that the movie was in Spanish, because I speak intermediate Spanish and wish I had the time/room in my schedule to learn it and practice it more. However, my biggest connection to the fairy tale was the way in which the main character, Ofelia, would do anything for her baby brother- and ultimately sacrificed her life for him. This resonated with me so deeply because I love my younger sister in the exact same way.
I am really looking forward to this class, and expanding my limited knowledge of worldly fairy tales!
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8W86beHgIY
Image link: http://cdn-7.nflximg.com/images/7507/1067507.jpg