Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poetry Class Under Attack, Day 50

This semester I'm only taking three classes and working part-time, which has actually been the most ideal time for me to go to school. Yet I struggle when my time isn't jam packed because I have this illusion of time that I really don't have. When I need three extra hours but have less than an hour, somehow I manage to make it work. How does that even make sense? I was looking forward to this semester because of the circumstance. I think I'm no longer jaded.

I finally decided or actually made peace with the reality that I want to be an English major. The certainty and confidence is comforting and exciting for me. I felt like I could finally enjoy going to school and studying something I truly desire because now I know what I want only to discover that there's only one class available for the classes I want to take. I'm not left with many choices. But that rarely stops me. In my life I've never really gotten exactly what I wanted in the way I wanted it. I have to work my ass off for everything! And I've learned that the things worth achieving are the ones you have to work for. This is one of those things.

I was surprised to discover how powerful and advantageous poetry would be for me. I wanted to try it because it's a new form of writing for me, and I wanted to find a different way to connect. While poetry does focus on writing, I think a poet's tool isn't grammar or words as much as the emotions that should carry those words. If it wasn't for this emotional transformation I've recently undergone, I wouldn't be able to properly appreciate and benefit from this class.

Creative nonfiction writing was what I was recommended the most and felt it would be the most tangible writing style, but I've discovered that I don't have a passion for it like I thought I would. The writing doesn't allow me to grow and evolve as much as replicate my current writing style. The professor doesn't possess the passionate energy and believes that becoming a good writer is a skill you develop, not a desire you fulfill. It's a beautiful idea for ordinary people who want to learn how to write, but it doesn't speak to the core of who I am - a writer.

Poetry class takes me to an entry new level, but I'm worried about my place there. (So tired. I'll continue writing details tomorrow).

Continuation: My professor is incredibly specific and demanding about how attendance and homework operates. I find the rigidity and inflexibility unreasonable, but I accept the terms because I'm in her classroom. You're considered late a minute after class begins. No exceptions. When she begins taking attendance and you aren't present, you're considered late. Even if she only stated one syllable of the first student's name, you're automatically considered late. Homework assignment is to be handed in before we take our seat even if we arrive early. The instant she touches the stacked homework, anyone who hasn't handed it in is immediately going to be given half credit for the completed assignment. I'm not exaggerating. This is in her syllabus, and she clearly articulated her position in the beginning of the semester.

Do I agree with it? Hell no! Do I accept the terms? Yes. I've been considered tardy three times already, two of those times I was no more than two minutes late. I actually took my seat a minute after class was in session, and I was considered late because I wasn't in my fucking seat! I'll accept the technicality. Whatever! It's so frustrating because I don't even know I'm late, it's so slight. My classmate's couldn't believe that I got half credit because I handed in my assignment immediately after they did.

I don't disrupt or distract the class when I arrive. I participate in class. I vocalize my opinions, do volunteer reading, and interact with my peers. I'm one of the productive students in class. I'm not saying that I deserve to be treated differently. I'm saying I'll accept the consequences as unfortunate as they are. But I don't appreciate her taking me aside during class hours to threaten to drop me from her class, something she expressed she could do, because I was no more than two minutes late! If a student misses more than 8 hours of class or more and three tardies is the equivalent of one absence, a fourth tardy doesn't equal enough hours to constitute getting dropped. But she has tenure, so this bitch is untouchable.

It's one thing to ask me to tolerate her unreasonable demands and accept that she yields the power. But it's an entirely different thing to use class hours to scold me for being late. I accept the half credits, which I told her. I apologized for being late. There's nothing else I can do. Questioning me is just a way for her to demonstrate her power. I'm late by a minute, so an easy solution is to show up on time. I try my hardest; I truly do, but I have so much crap going on in my life.

I'm not eating nearly a sufficient amount because I don't have enough money to a point that I'm losing weight. A friend of ten years told me that he's never seen me this skinny before. A number of friends are offering me food. I'm not that aware of my appearance, but this morning I realized that my ribs are visible. That's not healthy. I have only a small lot available when I can eat. If I go too long without eating, I'll lose weight even if I eat loads afterwards. I have no printer. I don't own any of the books. It's so difficult for me to manage everything.

This isn't the poetry professor's fault. I'm not making my problems her responsibility, but these are the reasons why I make it late by a fucking minute! My friend brought up a really good point and said that she is being unreasonable because she's willing to jeopardize my college education over her anal issues. That's so true! I'm so glad it was put into perspective like that. I'm not a fan of the rules, but I really do feel like I'm gaining a lot from this class. It's the only class I have that I truly enjoy, and the only class in a long time that I felt connected to. The last thing I want to do is get dropped from this class.

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