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Along A Well-Trod Path

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At the risk of sounding sexist... [Feb. 7th, 2008|11:20 am]
I need to get it out. About the poetry class. Why I hate it.

It's filled with women, which is normally not a bad thing. I like women. Overall, they're pretty cool on a one-to-one basis. But... get an entire class filled with females who know one another, AND it allows them to "express" their feelings...

Our professor gave us our first assignment a couple of weeks ago - there's an old bridge that crosses the headwaters of the San Antonio river, and it's smack dab in the middle of campus. He asked us to go take a look at the bridge, study it as long as we wished, then write a poem about it. To his credit, it was going to be the only poem that had a specific subject - all the subsequent assignments would be of our own choosing.

This Monday and Wednesday were reserved for the reading of our compositions. And every one of the poems (with the exception of the very last, and which I liked quite a bit) composed and read by the young ladies in my class was about relationships. Imagine, if you will, a stream of young women parading to the podium of the classroom, the age range topping out about 30, and every single one of them finding a metaphor for relationships, either platonic or romantic, current, failed or future, within this bridge.


Not a single one found any aspect of the actual bridge to be of interest, or worth, or of note. None of them wrote of the structure itself - the geometry, the lines, the colors and textures, the age and placement in the landscape. It was all about themselves, from the inside out. They took this artifact, which was in many ways beautiful, and flipped it around so that it was about themselves.

And every few minutes before the professor arrives to start the class is a special kind of hell for me. A room full of young women chattering vapidly about what they had for lunch (or will have), the cute shoes another is wearing, whatever happened on the recent estrogen-heavy program on Bravo last night (remember when Bravo actually had good programming?), their boyfriends, their ex-boyfriends, blahblahblah....

Someone kill me. Now.


From: saralogan
2008-02-07 07:51 pm (UTC)
This is why you should only take writing/English classes that are for English majors.

But I kind of think maybe the point of the exercise was to not take the bridge literally, and the girls were on the right track. Plus, you have to figure (assuming this is an undergrad gen-ed, which is why the writing is bad) most of these girls' main priority is relationship-building, and that's the bulk of their positive or negative experiences. I'm actually surprised that (still assuming they're undergrads) there were no poems about getting trashed and mistakenly sleeping with that asshole last week.
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[User Picture]From: argent_fish
2008-02-07 08:19 pm (UTC)
There wasn't much to choose from this semester, unfortunately. And this particular prof was bugging me to take the class (he also teaches the rhet. crit. class I'm taking). I have a growing suspicion he wanted me to be in the poetry class in order to provide a perspective different from the typical female undergrads', but he shoulda' told me it was gonna hurt.

I didn't take it literally either, but I didn't make it about me - I think that was my issue with the majority of the poems. And it's a similar characteristic of/to post-modern poetry that's starting to become a sore point for me - there's this density of personal experience that makes it difficult for the casual reader to make a connection with the work. It's taking the subjective reality perspective to an extreme, navel-gazing disguised as literature.

Eh. It'll be an easy A and that much closer to finishing. I just gotta mange to keep from blurting out insulting one word critiques until the end of the semester.
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