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Thread: college classes that helped you

  1. #11
    I loved my college courses (I minored in English). Yes, we read novels and stories, rather than write them, but exposure to all those books can be helpful to someone who wants to be a writer. They can serve as great "how-to" manuals.

    I took the general English lit classes and we read some excellent work in those courses. I also took a course in Shakespeare's work and we read many of his plays. And I recall a poetry course in Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop (I love Bishop's work to this day).

    I'm not usually a science fiction fan . . . until a college science fiction course showed me some excellent work out there. Through that course I discovered Vonnegut (got to see him lecture in person once and he has a wonderful, witty personality just like his writing), and Robert Heinlein, Roger Zelazny (sp?) and several others.

    I also took a college course in pornography. We read books, short stories, watched films (after taping newspaper to the windows so no one else could see in). I was surprised at the literary quality of some of the works we explored since I had previously thought it was all mostly a bunch of trash. We also took a look at the history of the genre and that was interesting too. Taking that course didn't destroy (or change) my morals either.

    I used to teach four-week online courses in flash fiction (and in haibun) and part of the course involved a lot of story analysis and a lot of discussion. We couldn't work in person but we did make it next best thing as much as we could.

    I think literature courses of any kind can be beneficial. Through the in-person courses we have the instructors and have other people around for good conversations and discussions on the topic. I think general literature courses could be great as would creative writing courses.

    We learn from teachers and from other writers. A little direction is helpful to those who want to go further.
    Free Download of My Chapbook: Flash Fiction: A Primer
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  2. #12
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    I blazed through college as a real & a proper gunslinger with my pony-tail and my hormones. Wasteman, as moniker, studied dreadful degree requiring attendance two mornings a week. Unable to rise for 'tutorials,' so-called. However, if and like modern students I had attended on a Zoom from my bedroom or lounge in pyjamas I feel certain I too would have emerged with first class honours, heading the BBC now, or the NHS, at my life's mid-point/end-point, as I said to wife Spliff.

    My greatest teacher was Mr Hooper, English, six foot eleven and voice of fog horn, bass terror. Aged 15 he allowed me to lecture the class on my punk rock collection. My hero Mr Hooper.

    I don't admit so much to my A215 Creative Writing attendance on the OU. Figurehead for a generation, I don't like to talk about it. One of the ladies said I 'was the real snowflake.' Always treasure her words.

  3. #13
    Intro composition class I took at community college. The professor was a very animated character, and once (didn’t take more than once) he ripped to shreds in front of the class, a short thing I wrote about - another meaningful teacher in my life.

    Thing is, it deserved to be ripped to shreds. Stank so bad, I can still smell it! I had gotten lazy on this assignment. I phoned it in. I had a lot of confidence in my writing because throughout school, no matter how I did in any other subject, I could write my way to decent grades, and the feedback I got was pretty encouraging, too.

    Couple of good lessons..if you’re going to put down words which others are likely to read, do them the courtesy of writing something worth their time. What you write is in some ways a tracing of your life’s journey. Bad writing lowers the journey.

    These are two principles I strive to uphold in my work.

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