Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Me-a Novelist?

As an English Master's candidate with a concentration in creative writing, I have been invited to write a novel instead of a Master's thesis. Perfect, right? It's the reason I went to grad school in the first place: to hone and practice my creaky, web-covered writing skills.

Anent this (I love that word, it solves so many crossword puzzles) I saw in the Spring schedule a course called Modern Composition Techniques. Perfect again- should be just what I need. So I called the professor to make sure I had the right take on what the course would be like, and naturally she didn't call me back. I have since discovered that the not-calling-back part is a deeply imbedded part of her behavior pattern. (She denies this, of course). I really have come to like (and respect) this woman, but I've never been able to get her to return a call or e-mail.

So I walk into my first class like a lamb to slaughter and discover that this course is not about learning composition techniques, but rather about learning how to teach composition techniques. Worse yet, nearly everyone in the class was a school teacher and most were teaching- wait for it- composition techniques. On the plus side, almost all the students in the class are women (it is an education class, after all) and to a person (PC I am) are ineffably attractive (including the prof). This is an overweening factor (for me) so I've decided to gut it out and fantasize away when I get bored. So far, this has worked. By the way, the only other guy in the class is attractive too, I guess, but my fantasies don't tend in that direction.

The reading has been in the main excruciatingly boring. One guy spent 4 years disecting sentences to see if paragraphs by good writers had topic sentences (they don't, apparently). 4 women and the professor found this fascinating. "An Ontological Basis for a Modern Theory of the Composing Process" and "A Discourse-Centered Rhetoric of the Paragragh" are two of the other titles we were assigned. Could academe be more a satire of itself? Strolling through this Oz without color must have an upside, if I could only find a good witch to lead me down the road (or even just show me one yellow brick!).

Surprisingly, I've managed to choke down my sense of the ludicrosity of the subject minutia and am enjoying the course. We do write a lot and that's what I want out of my courses, and I'm developing a (scholarly) crush on the prof, which I tend to do with all really intelligent women. I'll keep all who are enthralled by all these events apprised.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


Would you please give your opinion of this interview with Eustace Miller.


2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I meant Mullins

2:51 AM  

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