Scott Hardie | January 16, 2002
Today was the first day of my last semester of college. I had planned, without telling anyone, on attending every class this semester. It looks like I may not get a choice in the matter.

First class was Minority Peoples (a sociology class). It should be neither good nor bad, just like most gen-eds I've ever taken. The teacher has a weak voice and is really soft-spoken; I'm glad I'm in the front row. The class is about 90% white, with the rest mixed. There's a lot of little assignments to be done, but with her grading curve it should be very easy to get an A as long as I do the work.

Then came the really bad class, Writing Workshop: Nonfiction. The class itself seems fine, but the teacher really rubbed me the wrong way. I hope that my first impression of her today is wrong, and that may be so since many people in the class had taken her classes before and liked her a lot. Her first problem was that she talked about herself for what seemed like forever. There were lots of little tangents, all about herself, but the main topics were her professional writing career in which she wrote for magazines and her daily writing process that she does every morning. She discussed this for about 50 minutes. Sorry, teachers who talk about themselves that much are a turn-off. Her other problem is that she teaches down to us. She's one of those creative writing teachers in college who assume that all of the students have these hang-ups about writing because they're used to writing for an audience, and she sees her job as to free us from our cages, to get us to write honestly, to get us to write in our own genuine voices. That would be fine, but I've had over a half-dozen teachers like that, and the first one succeeded six years ago. We had do a writing exercise today in which we described a day from our past, and then she had us re-write it in our "true" voices, imagining that no one would read it but us. What the fuck? I wrote it in my true voice the first time. Whenever I write nonfiction, I write in my true voice. She should give us more credit. Oh, and one other wonderful part of the class: No absences. Period. If you miss a class, she tells you to withdraw. Even if it's the last week of the semester and you've attended every class up to that point, you still can't pass. I really hope that I change my mind about this teacher in the weeks to come, but for today I have to type: Fucking bitch! (And that's in my "true" voice.)

Third class, Myths and Legends in Literature, was fine. Big reading assignments, about 90-110 pages a day. But it should be an easy A. There are three short essays in the class, but the teacher will let some of us write one long story instead if we want. Sounds good to me.

Fourth class is a night class, Creative Writing Seminar, the third in the series of workshops, taught by my myths teacher, who is definitely one of the best teachers I've had in college. There are a lot of people in the class, so after a few weeks we're going to divide in two so that our stories can get more personal attention. We are only writing a single 30 page story, which is kind of disappointing. The previous class got to write 70+ page novellas, but the teacher explained that while the stories were all good, the class couldn't keep up with reading all of them. Oh well. This class meets about a dozen times only, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

One more class tomorrow, in which we seniors get to talk about writing our Senior Projects with each other. Yay. I hope I can write my Project early and stop going. It's Wednesday evenings every other week, which ain't so bad, but I arranged my schedule for Tuesdays and Thursdays only. If I'd known I was going to get a Wednesday class whether I liked it or not, I would have arranged things differently. We'll see how it goes. I'm pretty sure the Senior Project is pass/fail, so while I'm certainly going to do a good job on it, I'm not going to let it concern me as much as my real classes.

A note on talking freely about my teachers on this site: I don't name them, but they are real people and I can be mean about them sometimes if I don't like them. As far as I know, none of my teachers read this site, but I won't edit my words if I find out that they do. All I'm stating is my opinion. Some teachers in the past have made it clear that they don't like me one bit, and I'm fine with that. It's life. So, the nonfiction teacher above has given me a very sour first impression, and I'm going to describe it honestly. If my opinion of her changes, I'll try to remember to note it here.


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