Thursday, February 02, 2006

Participation points

I am debating whether I should go on some kind of silent strike at my next class over at IPFW.  I’m in this pretty good writing class right now devoted to creative non-fiction, and, so far, I just won’t shut up in it.  Maybe it’s because during my day job I try not to talk too much, thinking it’s a sign of lazy teacher planning.  During this class, then, when the role is reversed and I’m actually expected to contribute, I feel rather liberated.

But I think I’m going overboard.  I don’t know how I know this, and I don’t think the other students hate me too much—most of them laugh (with me, I think), but still, I’m thinking about a strike, or at least making sure that I say something nice about a fellow student’s paper before I start saying what’s wrong with it.  That would be a good start.

6 comments:

letsgothrow said...

Maybe all the other students are having a silent strike against you in hopes that you will be unnerved by the silence.

acoolbreeze said...

I was in a beat generation literature class once where the professor (a well known and sucessful poet -- an oxymoron? you decide) didn't do much talking, but instead would just put some very brief open ended questions out there. I still distinctly remember the excruciatingly painful time that he asked a question and we sat there, all 20 or so of us, in complete...and utter...silence...just waiting for someone to speak up. He didn't budge; we didn't budge.

I'm telling you in all seriousness it must have been 60 seconds or so -- a really REALLY long time for 20 people to stare at each other in silence. Then, finally, one backwards baseball cap wearin' guy in the back broke the tension by pleading in a quivering voice, "Come on man, somebody SAY something!" Whew. After that, we all read our Ferlinghetti and our Gary Snyder and our William Burroughs, and we came armed with discussion points. We needed a blabbermouth know-it-all egomaniac like you in that class, Scott.

Mr. Hill said...

I totally told that story in one of my classes the other day! I meant to tell you about that . . . I found this brief piece of, I dunno, memoir by Yusef K. called "Deck" and the first line is "I have almost nailed my left thumb to the 2x4 brace that holds the deck together."

Do you think this could be the same deck that used to go to the back door in your old house? The piece is (c) 1998. That would be pretty funny. If I remember right, that deck always did seem a little DIY.

Mr. Hill said...

And no, I don't think there is a conspiracy against me in that class. You could ask Sarah the librarian, though--she's in it too and would be one of "them." I spew nonstop garbage in there, and in the periods where I stop to rest for a bit she always says smart things.

acoolbreeze said...

Hmmm....the Deck. Could be. I do suspect that he built that deck. Yusef's father was a woodworker, and he has some poems about his father that make mention of how he could figure out complicated measurements and angled cuts just by looking, but clinched his fists in frustration whenever he tried to read. He also makes mention of working with wood himself a lot, and I've always suspected that he has long tried to develop some carpentry skills as a way of better understanding his father, with whom I don't think he had much in common or much of an ability to communicate. I sound like someone who has done an annotated bibliography here, which isn't the case...but it's funny that you mention these things that really resonate when I think of him.

Mr. Hill said...

all of those things are in the short piece I mention--it's all about his dad and how he has some unstated questions to ask him but somehow after using hid dad's old tools to hammer a deck together he knows the answers