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A letter to my creative writing teacher

On the first day of my last semester of high school, our creative writing class was tasked with writing a letter to our teacher – who also happened to be my sophomore English teacher – outlining our expectations of the class. Here is that letter, complete with the teacher’s notes, followed by a transcript with her comments in bold:

A letter to my creative writing teacher (formerly my sophomore English teacher) on my first day of my final semester of high school.

A letter to my creative writing teacher (formerly my sophomore English teacher) on my first day of my final semester of high school.

Dear Teacher:

Well since the English curriculum in school generally hasn’t involved any creative, fictional, non-objective, or otherwise fun writing whatsoever, and I RUN a role-playing game on message boards online which involves constant original fantasy writing, I hoped to gain some semblance of an idea of how to write and/or whether or not I’m even any good at writing fiction at all. Also, are you really going to read this? [Yes, Cody I’m reading this.] I bet you are. I’m going to give you a really hard time if you don’t, though. Actually, that would just make me a difficult student [Who you?], and I don’t want to be particularly difficult this semester. This class is gonna rock – and I can buy coffee and creme [sic] and hot chocolate mix for you too [Well, I thought I’d institute the “Elvis Slush fund”], since I did in Speech class last semester anyway. Food RULES. So does this class. No, seriously. [Well, I hope you have a good semester. I’m glad you’re in the class. Where’s Gohan been?]

Sincerely,
Cody Gough

A few things:

  • I didn’t really start drinking coffee until partway through college, so I have no idea where the “coffee and creme” reference originated, nor do I have any recollection of an “Elvis Slush fund.” I guess you forget some random small details after 10 years!
  • In contrast to the Elvis reference, I actually do understand the Gohan reference, but I will explain that long story in a future post.
  • This is actually the second time I’d asked my teacher in my class notes whether she was actually reading them; my first time doing this was as a student in her English class my sophomore year of high school. To put that in context, though, I really wasn’t being a jerk, because I actually quite liked her classes, and pretty much everything I did (and still do) is at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Believe me, I’ve inspired a lot of eye-rolling from my teachers over the years.
  • Instead of ending the last sentence with a period, I nearly ended it with a smiley face emoticon. As a direct result, I am now wallowing in self-loathing.

This letter pretty much sets the tone for my 10-year Idea Reunion. At the time I wrote this, I had written a lot, but had no idea whether the writing was any “good,” I got along with my teacher well enough to be allowed a certain level of irreverence, and I was excited about the idea of finding new creative ways to express myself.

I hate shameless self-plugs, but if you’re interested in following my journey through this class, then please follow me via WordPress! It’s going to be a long – and hopefully very entertaining – journey.

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About Cody Gough

Cody Gough is a producer and host at WGN Radio in Chicago. In addition to producing the Brian Noonan Show since 2008, Cody co-hosts both Brian's web-exclusive podcasts and his own lifestyle podcast, Game/Life Balance U.S. Cody also moonlights as a commercial actor, video game enthusiast, and professional social media manager for a global firm.

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