THE FUCKING BEST COLLEGE WRITING COURSE

Look at me!   For almost half a century I have been teaching the same fucking college writing course and, for some reason, this semester I have the fucking best class ever.

Surely you are wondering: What is wrong with this old lady college professor? Is she nuts?  Doesn’t she know better words? She’s supposed to be a writing teacher.

Yes, there are certainly plenty of other words that describe my course. And actually I, myself, rarely use obscenity because I know so many powerful, wonderful words. A multitude of possibilities present themselves: roiling, provocative, rotten, seething, hilarious, stimulating, challenging. I love them and I use them, but obscenities have their place as well.  In fact, I don’t rule any word out.

A Gulf War veteran first cued me in years ago when he handed me his manuscript and then whispered in embarrassment, “Professor, I hope you won’t be offended and will accept this even though I use the eff word a lot. It’s the only way I can honestly think of to say what I want to say – because I have so much anger and power locked inside my head.  The eff word is like the key that unlocks it all.”

He was right. Obscenity works! It works in prose, and in the classroom sometimes it frees the shackled mind.  Yes, in a mysterious way it often relieves the anguish of the misunderstood and the voiceless. Expletives vented in rage or frustration and bitter laughter do their jobs. Students become confident with the expression of their chaotic thoughts in their own singular sentences. They must, of course, later on learn to choose their words carefully so they’re able to express their own truths and become better and better writers.   Obscenities have their place as well.

At first, naturally, this semester’s crowd didn’t trust me so quickly. An advanced course in English taught by a white octogenarian?  The general wisdom was you’d better watch your words particularly if you want to get an “A”.   So they thought, and I had to really work on them to convince them I am not shocked by subject matter or language.   I’m a writer; language is my medium, I explained.  Words can’t hurt me.  I thrive on them.

Why did it happen so quickly this term?  Who knows? Am I more confident?  Are they reveling in obscenity to a greater extent than usual?  Is it because they feel the urgency in me as I near the end of my teaching career?  Or because this term I have the perfect New York mix, at last: a West Indian, a Bangladeshi, a Pole, a Honduran, African Americans, various Hispanics some of them immigrants and some born here, Jews, Moslems, Christians from all over, several young war veterans., a couple of mothers,  a few athletes and a pair of aspiring rock stars.  We all ended up together in the one classroom and by now we all trust one another.  The class is a joy to teach and attendance is almost perfect.  People vie to read their work aloud and their peers admire and question and criticize and suggest.  Today’s young Iraqi veteran (alas) writes of fear and loneliness; the orphan brings us into her motherless, deserted, empty house; the Trinidadian has an adolescent steal mangoes from his neighbor’s tree; the beautiful girl wins the modeling contest and goes to Japan; the surly rejected suitor eats his heart out; fiction and truth blend in a verbal medley.

My god!   This term I have a real lollapalooza of a writing class!

Nice word, lollapalooza, safe, clean word.  Derives from lollipop. Doesn’t really work in that sentence though.

You know what I have this term?

I have a grand, mother-fucking writing class!

It is truly fucking A!

If you know what I mean…?

And I think you do!

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About blogginggrandma

I'm 86. Legally blind. But a force to be reckoned with!
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6 Responses to THE FUCKING BEST COLLEGE WRITING COURSE

  1. Wonderful sentiment(s) – yes !!!!

  2. Josephine says:

    I love reading your blog, Sheila! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it–

  3. Kathryn Quigley says:

    This blog post is fan-fucking-tastic!

  4. sandra says:

    Awesome fucking blog!! I truly enjoyed reading it, and am grateful to have you as my professor this semester. I appreciate how opened minded you are. Your class has truly helped me express myself in more ways than one. Thank you for giving us great assignments; it has brought out the “expressive” me. God Bless and have a great vacation.

  5. Jaye says:

    awesome fucking post, from one grandma to another 😉

  6. Jasmin says:

    This blog is Fuckin A! lol

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