Saturday, September 23

sick and blogging, an update

It's no coincidence that my last update was my first day of class. Since then I've been mad busy everyday reading and writing (in that order. But mostly social networking. To my defense, that isn't exactly a light task -- knowing the right time to laugh and the right time to nod can be all the difference between an internship at The New Yorker and having to stand in front of the classroom as the rest of the students [and teacher] chuck erasers, notebooks, and John Steinbeck novels at you.) Even now, I feel that there's some better, more productive way I can spend my time. But alas, I'm sick and so here I am, online and blogging.

In other news, I found out my "blog story" is going to be published in an upcoming issue of Details. Hope they put me in a sympathetic light. A possible summation of the story: "He has since learned not to blog about his job, school, or girls."

Besides that, I found out I got a position at local high school teaching creative writing once a week. It doesn't pay, although I'm hoping there's some work study funding that could be thrown my way. Regardless, I'm very excited about this -- so much so that I spent the other night searching my "library" -- the fifty or so book I schlepped up from my parents' house in SC -- searching for stories I wanted my future students to read. Perhaps some Haruki Murakami or Sherman Alexie... Influencing the youth, etc., etc.

16 comments:

Benny said...

Yah, just don't influence them into mullets, Jimby. ;-)

lighterate said...

All the way with Hemingway I say, I say.

Sounds like fun.

James said...

Benny, mullets are, of course, going to be requisite for passing grades in Mr. Yeh's classroom. Should I make them call me that? I suppose I will, just to let them not, despite my youthful (see: "boyish", "15 year-old") looks, I am not their peer.

Light, blasphemous as it is, I'm not so much a fan of Hemingway, actually. It's all too "Nick laid out his pack. The pack was heavy. Nick enjoyed laying out his pack. The wind was blowing above." You feel what I'm saying?

lighterate said...

Hey yeH I know what you're saying. I use Hemingway with my high-school students because his is a style of writing that is easy for them to emulate. Dialogue, action, derscription: there's no interior monologues or character feelings exposed by some omnipotent narrator. It all very parred down story telling.

The final year students I teach have written some really great pieces of writing based on Hemingway's stuff, especially The Killers and Hills Like White Elephants. None of them are particularly interested in discovering their own literary voice (I mean, it's not a writing class, it's just an English literature class where they have to do some creative writing based on the texts.) Hemingway is, hands down, the writer who inspires the students most and they almost always write powerful, if not highly original, narratives based on his stories.

Benny said...

Y'all know what I think of Hemingway.

Have the squirts call you Jimby. It's both macho and sensitive. Like Robinson Jeffers.

barista brat said...

i imagine your first day of class the students will think you're "the new kid" and try and make fun of your hipster pants, but you'll show 'em all when you take roll!

Anonymous said...

So you dislike Hemmingway for those reasons but like Cormac McCarthy for them? Seems unfair, James.

Kevin

lighterate said...

But unlike Hemingway, Cormac tends to join all his simple sentances together with 'and's

like...

"Nick laid out his pack and the pack was heavy and in his hands he felt the warm pressure of the straps and the air was good and clean and new."

Benny said...

Stripper- that was a good imitation of McCarthy! Especially because it lacked commas. It made me laugh. :-)

Trevor said...

James,

Interesting that you should be talking about teaching little squirts, when a few days earlier I posted my list of what would be required reading in "Mr. Seigler's class".

Interesting, if not outright plagerism ;-p

Anyway, make the little shits sweat with some Barthelme, Pynchon, Sarah Vowell (creative nonfiction), etc. That'll learn 'em.

Benny said...

Barthelme might be tricky for squirts. I'd be like, "Um. Is it REALLY supposed to be this simple?" And "Where the fuck is the ENDING?"

Angela Carter's short stories are very imaginative. And scary.

Jimsness, make me a sign. Make sure it has something about mullets in it! :-)

James said...

I've changed my mind. Chekov and nothing but.

lighterate said...

raymond carver anyone?

Flannery O'conner?

Tobias Wolf?

Take in some of your own stories James, but tell them it's Hemingway and see if they swallow (they will, and you get some free, genuine criticism from the.... sprogs.) What is it with kids and the secretion of body juices? You guys are profoundly fucked up. I am just moderately so, but I'm trying.

Peter said...

I am sick too, but I'm not blogging so much as thinking of ways to take over the world.

Assign your students nothing but Theodore Dreiser and Willa Cather so they learn that writing is not all sunshine and cream colored ponies and shit.

lighterate said...

"Carmen" has left you a message - I tell you, these "college girls" are all over you. All I can say is, if ever you get a date with one of them, I want a photo, please.

Benny said...

Jimby, God hates you, too. He TOLD me.

Pleeeeeeze post some teachings-related news, kay?

xo,

Benny