Friday, August 2, 2013

More Thoughts on the Composition Curriculum

I spent the late 1990s teaching in a small town in Kansas where there was really remarkably little to do that smacked of entertainment or interest.  It would have been an excellent place from which to launch an academic career with minimal distractions, but for better or worse workaholism was still more than a decade in my future.  Instead, if memory serves, I filled the idle hours mostly with playing Civilization on my office computer, dodging angry ex-girlfriends, and writing a continuous flow of snarky email messages.  At some point, I printed off many of the emails and put them in a box.  Recently I opened the box and threw everything in the recycling bin, which felt very productive.

Here are a few representative snippets, photographed on their way to the shredder. 

1) In December 1996, I offer some helpful advice to sisterjen, whose writing students have been turning in boring papers.

2. In May 1998, I ask one of my own students some follow-up questions.

I don't think I ever heard back from him.

3. Lastly, in April 1999, I try to help out one of the angry ex-girlfriends, who had been tasked with arranging entertainments for a bridal shower.

She didn't find it one bit funny.  But then, maybe you didn't either.

Happy Friday!


mrs.5000 said...

Well, I think that game's pretty funny. Which is probably a key indicator why I ended up in the role of amused wife rather than angry ex-girlfriend (without a bridal shower along the way, praise the lord).

Michael5000 said...

Oh, I dunno, Mrs. When we were first married and I was amused to introduce you as "my ex-girlfriend," it always made you kind of angry....

Chance said...

I really like the note to the plagiarist, who clearly was not a particularly clever plagiarist.

Michael5000 said...

He wasn't, although I had plenty of less clever plagiarists. What got me about this one was that he was, otherwise, one of the smartest and most capable students I had seen. It was very disillusioning and insulting both.