I have been reading Aesop’s Fables and playing around with the form. I’m having trouble coming up with a moral to this story. One idea is “even a beggar knows good trash from bad.” Any other ideas?
Okay. So I crossed the finish line! I did it! Nevermind that some women ran 13.1 miles in half the time it took me. I found my pace. I found my zone. I made it.
At several points on the course, authoritative voices called out, “Make way for the lead runners,” and I would turn to see women racing past me. For an instant, I thought, “Damn! Who do I think I am?” But I reminded myself, “I have my own pace.” And the next time someone called out, “Make way!” I said loudly and clearly, “I need my space, too.”
A month has passed, and the semester is well under way. Students have handed in one set of letters; and today, they handed in their first paper assignment. In class, they read paragraphs from their imitation assignment. The assignment asks them to “channel” Langston Hughes’ essay “Salvation” and to exactly match at least five sentences. They all had to start the essay with some version of Hughes’ first one or two lines: “I was saved from sin when I was going on thirteen. But not really saved.” Here are some sample first lines from their papers:
“I was saved from myself when I was going on eighteen.”
“I was separated from love when I was going on six. But not really separated.”
“I was saved from a monster when I was sixteen. But not a real monster.”
“I was born from dirt when I entered this world. But not really born.”
Some good stuff, huh?
This week students practiced imitating sentences. I pushed them to imitate in exact grammatical structures.
For instance, from George Orwell’s “A Hanging,” the sentence:
“When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide.”