Friday, January 25, 2008

All Week I've Been Writing this Blog

At least I've been writing it in my head. Been meaning to post something, especially now that I have the subscription button to the right. Have to give the people something of value for their time. (however, I am amused by the "subscribe to the Idea of Order" -- I subscribe to lots of ideas; not all of them are real).

So, I had planned a big bit about politics, but I'm not in the mood right now. Then I thought about talking about movies (what a surprise). I was also going to add to my many reasons "why I'm glad I'm not in the military" because I had to be a character witness Wednesday night for an Honor Board. But, that too, shall wait.

However, I will exclaim my reunion with Miss Moira who has popped up from Ohio to say hello. I knew this blog was good for something. I was very happy to hear from her and we have exchanged some e-mails.

What I will talk about (instead of talking about talking) was that I had a great day of teaching. Both classes were lively. My class blogs are hopping. One of their tasks was to come up with a name for their group. One decided on "dirty paper" because it came from a Carl Sandburg quote something to the effect of "I don't write poetry. I dirty paper."

I also taught them the word "scatological." I expect this to circulate in their vocabulary very soon now. It's so pleasing to have a captive audience. Teachers are, indeed, stifled comedians after all.

In one class we talked about "what is art" and then "what is good art?" and "what is great art?"
This reminded me of a statement I heard from poet and writer, James Dickey, many years ago (he gave a commencement speech at my college -- his sister-in-law worked in one of the offices). The difference between a good poet and a great poet is this:

A good poet will put something down and your reaction will be "now, I have often thought this same thing many times, but this person has a particularly nice way of saying it."

On the other hand, the reaction to a great poet is "never, in a million years, would I have ever thought about that."

I think that's a pretty insightful distinction.


Elena Steier said...

You're just jazzed because you've been told you'll be getting a nice tax rebate. Now you can pay all your medical bills. Or someone else's medical bills, if you so please.

I like that word you taught your students, scatalogical. It seems you can't really read literature with any depth of understanding without it.

K. A. Laity said...

Literature that isn't scatalogical lacks something fundamental...

Teachers are, indeed, stifled comedians after all.

Who's stifled? They're my audience, I work the skills, try out new material, hone the good jokes. Tough audience, sure, but an audience. Stifled? My Aunt Fanny (both of them)!

Although this past Wed my Creative Writing class looked like a pack of whipped dogs for the most part, so we had a lesson in the power of silence, which I can stand far better than they. Of course there's always the hazard of forgetting what I asked them as my mind wanders off, pinballing to other topics, but usually a vague, "Well? Anyone?" finally forces someone to say something that either reminds me what I asked or takes us in a new direction.

Cranky Yankee said...

> Teachers are, indeed, stifled comedians after all.

Is that like "DJs are frustrated musicians"?

Gene K. said...