Posted by: beansai | April 10, 2008

Journal Entry #13: Coming to Terms

    It was a hard week for me. A lot of addressing and coming to terms with adoption and such. It just so happened that it all came to a head in the same week. Realized suddenly with the book I was originally using in my final project carried a lot more emotional weight than I was ready to carry and articulate. Then on Thursday I had a workshopping in my non-fiction class of my personal essay that had to deal with what else….that’s right, mine and my brother’s adoption and the other issues that come along with it. Then that same evening I had to read a poem in my poetry class that had to deal with what other than my adoption. And somebody called my poem self-indulgent…I’m not sure how to take that. I’m not sure why it’s okay for this one guy in the class to make asshole comments on people’s work. It’s not really funny. I laugh because if I don’t then it’s a serious comment and I’m not sure how to take that. And well at first I thought I had hardened myself against his comment and that it wasn’t going to affect me, but as the night wore on, I realized that it really did bother me.

    I thought the entire point of workshops was to create a safe environment where people can receive constructive criticism on their writing. I’m sorry, but there are some things you just don’t make asinine comments about for laughs…and that’s what I can’t figure out. Is he saying these things because he means them or because he needs the attention. And the teacher encourages him…that’s insanely frustrating. And what am I supposed to do? I’ve bit my tongue and put up with this crap for two semester because frankly, I would benefit from a good refrence when it comes to applying for graduate school. Seriously, if there had been another option for a creative writing professor to write my recommendation letter that had her….clout I guess…I would pick them. But none of the others really know me. And I know I’m not the first person that has had issues with her system of running the class.

    I know more than a few people that have been frustrated and offended by some of the going ons in class. Frankly I think she’s insane. And I’m ranting here, but when it gets to the point that I’m not really comfortable reading my material in class… I think she loves writing and she really is enthusiastic about teaching it, but she just sucks at it. Well I’m getting off this topic, because it wasn’t my intention to go off on this, but this week hit a seriouslly sensitive chord and I don’t…..

    I was glad to hear that other people in class were not that comfortable with peer editing. I just freak out more when my peers have to read my stuff than a professor. Maybe I’ve gotten too many insensitive comments in the passed or maybe I just don’t handle criticism that well from someone that I don’t see as having any authority over me or any more concept of what we’re doing than I have. That sounds more like it. I mean, I get that it is a way to get perspective on your writing and it can be helpful for seeing something that you didn’t notice on your own, but I don’t know… I also don’t think I’m very good at peer editing. At least not “on the spot” peer editing. I’ve never been one that could think super quickly on my feet. Especially if I feel like I don’t have any authority or any more knowledge than the person I am working with. See, it works both ways, so I’m not such an ass….I hope. If I had time to take it home, mull over it, read it and re-read it and then read it again…then maybe I might actually be constructive and helpful. On the other hand, if I don’t know what they’ve read, I might not be that useful. I’m not horrible, but I’m just not one of those people that has a knack for it. I have to know the person and what they’re working and what direction they are wanting to take before I can give really really useful feedback. What can I say, I’m very much a one on one kind of person.

    So…this week is almost over, but I have tons to cram into a couple of days. Which means I’m not done freaking out yet. But I’ll manage, somehow.


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