Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

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So. It's 2004, and already I have a decision to make that will affect my life for the next... oh, four months, to be certain.

Here's the thing: I signed up for three classes (a full grad student load): fiction workshop, children's lit workshop, and an American lit class that I naively thought was going to have a Gilded Age bent that would be nifty for my Black Ribbon serial, and now I find out it's antebellum literature. Maybe my time lurking over at Journalfen has prepared me for the inevitable fount of Civil War wank I'm sure we're about to face. And as if that didn't sound fun enough, I get an email from the professor asking us to go ahead and read the first two parts of Foucault's Discipline and Punish in anticipation of the first class later this week ("You may find his ideas difficult at first {I sure did}, but if you can at least try to wade through them our discussion will go much more smoothly I think"). And as a straight-A-and-one-B student, I would like to take this opportunity to say, Oh, hell no.

So I'm going to Snoozy's on Monday. Shut up, man.

And this isn't even the problem. The problem is this: my beloved visiting writer-in-residence professor has up and quit in the middle of his year. I don't know why, but I call shenanigans, quite frankly. Whose shenanigans? We shall have to see. Anyway, I got a voice mail to the effect that Favorite Professor is being replaced by Crazy Drunk Writer (I would say more, but--it's LiveJournal, for chrissakes). Now that I'm 25, my insurance, such as it is, isn't dependent on my taking a full load, so I can drop this class if I want to (and given that Foucault email, it's looking more and more like a good idea). The bottom line is, I have a strict No Drama (I Get Enough at Home, Thanks) policy, and Crazy Drunk is renowned for--well, her crazy drunkenness. A lot of the writing program staff seems to be there as a result of their literary accomplishments rather than their professorial training--I'm just saying, a lot of them aren't called "Dr." They're teaching from experience rather than Ph.D's. And most of them have been really good teachers. But when you've got a crazy drunk writer who doesn't even have any pedagogy under her belt to make up for it, and likes to hold class in bars if she bothers to show up at all, well... I'm not paying $500 for this. And I've had crazy-writer professors before. At least three, over two different schools, by my count. But they still managed to show up and act in a vaguely professional manner.

(And if you're wondering, my main objection to the workshop classes-in-bars thing is that you go to the bar after the class, not instead of. You can't hear a damn thing in there, you know. Gah.)

My mother went to school with this woman, and she's adamant that I drop the class, mostly because she knows firsthand how loony Crazy Drunk is. My one sticking point is this: I have, and I get this from my mother, a really strong belief that Things Happen for a Reason. The problem is, I can't decide which Thing has Happened here. Have I been given an out so that I only have to take two classes, I don't shrivel and die trying to get through this antebellum lit class, I have more time for the Digest and Black Ribbon... or has Crazy Drunk been thrown into my path, particularly since I would never voluntarily take her class, for some reason that I cannot yet perceive? I mean, if nothing else, maybe there's someone else in this class I'm meant to meet. Maybe Crazy Drunk will take a weird shine to me. I don't know. On the former, I can perceive very real and immediate benefits. On the latter... it's just me going in with some faith that whatever happens will pay off in ways that I can't yet imagine. I don't know... I need some sort of sign.
Tags: black ribbon, school, writing

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