Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm Somewhat Immortalized

I miss my old writing teacher, although my new one appears to be a very good one, and I'm excited to start the next round. Imagine what a genius I'll be at the end of it!

But since I had offered to proofread some job-application materials for my old teacher, yesterday I got an e-mail from him with the promised stuff to be dissected by my red pen. It's been intriguing to look at it all; he's led an interesting life and loves a lot of the same stuff I do. I somewhat wish I had met him in college (he graduated a year after I did), because I think we would have bonded. It's not terribly surprising, I guess, since a love of the same material and a similar sensibility is probably a large part of the reason why he liked my writing so much. It's weird to think it's that subjective, this assessment of talent and worth. But I guess it's like love and anything else: aren't we all just looking for that reflection of ourselves?

Among the things that compose an application for a writing professor, I find there's something called a "portfolio," which, in his rendering, consists of a narrative of his teaching methodology, as illustrated by a fictionalized class made up of various students he has taught, along with examples of their writing in an appendix. I am one of these students!

It's weird to see fictional me in class setting; I seem to be quite the thoughtful, engaged participant. I somewhat take issue with his suggestion of me as a shy, librarian type who doesn't like to meet people's eyes, although I totally dig having my Corningware dish immortalized. And I won't burst his bubble by telling him that the class methodology had very little to do with that particular story, and that all the word-game words I incorporated were my own, thrown out in class not because I reached that mondo-creative state, but because I had already decided to use them.


Toby said...

So, you're a muse! For a portfolio application, but a muse nonetheless. Personally, I think Calliope won out in the Muse naming.

Laura said...

Although I like that flattering portrayal, I'd say less "muse" and more "producer of a story that seems like a good illustration of the end result of all the class tricks." He chose different people for different aspects of the process: rewrite, experimenting with voice, and so on.

I'm glad I got to be me, though, because he fused a couple students into one to make a different point. At least I get my first name attached to my words.

Toby said...

Oh, heads up, I'll be in Chicago for a conference, April 1 through April 4 (leaving a day early to attend my 20th high school reunion. I know, I'm a masochist.)

Laura said...

You are a masochist. I subscribe to the school of repress, repress. Although I haven't heard anything on mine, so perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself, trashing on a party I'm not invited to.

Yay, conference time!!! I love being conference central (no doubt you're thinking: "no shit, and you were last in NY in . . . 1998?").

Anyway, I'm around and have penciled your dates into my calendar. What hotel are we talking? Palmer House?

Toby said...

Yep, the Palmer House. Where's your new office?

Laura said...

Cool, that works. Love it, except when I'm working my own crazy conference hours there.

I'm in the same block as before, only on Michigan instead of Wabash.