Teaching Creative Writing High School Copyright Theses Dissertations
I discovered that if my students liked singing they might like chanting narrative poetry and if they liked chanting narrative poetry they might move on to ''real'' poetry -- as long as it was musical and didn't require analysis.
We chanted Robert Service's '' Dangerous Dan Mc Grew,'' Vachel Lindsay's '' Congo,'' parts of Tennyson's '' Morte d' Arthur'' and Dylan Thomas's '' Fern Hill,'' and even though it was all enjoyable I wondered: What does this have to do with creative writing?
I told my writers they'd have to test their talent in the real world.
By the end of the term they'd have to bring in either a rejection slip or a check from a publisher.
They would graduate from high school to the best universities and have no adventures because that's the way it was with their families.Do a Mimi Sheraton on lunch in the school cafeteria or dinner at home tonight.'' They ransacked the English language for new ways of describing the school hot dog, the beans, the ice cream and, above all, the ambience.They commented on the service and found it wanting and when it came to the final evaluation only one student awarded the cafeteria a satisfactory rating, and he had recently arrived from Russia. No one wanted to hurt Mom's feelings, and since the students seemed reluctant I began to ask questions.'' Doug, what did you have for dinner last night?Perhaps, I thought, I should return to regular English, where there is a way of measuring and testing. How was I to know that for 15 years I'd be the creative writing teacher at Stuyvesant High School, that the classes would go from three to five, that I'd read millions of words of adolescent angst, romance, ecstasy, that often I'd envy my own students their talent, that I probably learned more from them than they from me.But since I couldn't face the world of multiple choice and stern analysis, it was back to Creative Writing. What I learned, most of all, was that if you're teaching and not learning then you're not teaching, and if you don't enjoy yourself in the classroom, you might as well be driving a taxi.He had ''had it up to here'' with teenage drivel.'' A hundred students writing 300 words apiece will write 30,000 words and that's what you'll be reading when you could be reading the best that has been thought and said -- Matthew Arnold, man.'' English teachers in the cafeteria scribbled on paper napkins to show that I would spend more than 10 hours reading, correcting, evaluating, grading. The head of the English department offered no syllabus. That's what I advised my students when they complained they had nothing to write about.They had no stories to tell, and in their lives there was no once upon a time.They envied me my miserable Irish childhood and wished (almost) they could be poor so they'd have something to write about.'''' I ah, I ah.'''' Last night, Doug.Less than 24 hours ago.'' It was chicken, always chicken.