My education: a little background

Before I get too far into my 10-Year Idea Reunion, I’d like to provide a little background on my education. Despite my self-referential, tongue-in-cheek, smartass poetry and stories, I did in fact receive a quite advanced education leading up to the creative writing class I took my senior year of high school.

In addition to having read The Iliad, The Odyssey, most of Plato’s The Republic, and several other scholarly works by my sophomore year of high school, we delved into advanced literary criticism at the beginning of my senior year of A.P. English Literature. Here is one particular excerpt from my notes from my first semester of my senior year that stood out to me:

Be sure to pay attention to the "Good day in Dimmesdale's life" section

Be sure to pay attention to the “Good day in Dimmesdale’s life” section

Highlights (Italics added):

  • Chillingworth starts to talk about sex, beats himself into an orgasm
  • Both Chillingworth and Dimmesdale exist in an S&M relationship
  • Beat yourself to get released from the beating

Frankly, I remember virtually nothing from A Scarlet Letter (who does?!), but it certainly was important that we talked in class about people beating themselves into an orgasm. Was that seriously part of the book? I somehow doubt it, but we sure interpreted it that way!

My classmates and I were handling very adult material by the time we were 15 (I took these particular notes when I was 17), so it’s not like the nonsensical scribbling in my idea notebook are indicative of my educational background; on the contrary, they are indicative of someone who had chosen to neglect to utilize that educational background, instead focusing on the pursuit of irreverence and… wow, this sentence has a lot of vocabulary words in it, maybe I should just keep extending it in an attempt to exacerbate the illusion of SHOOT I CAN’T THINK OF ANY MORE BIG WORDS, IT APPEARS THAT ALL GOOD THINGS MUST INDEED COME TO AN END.

**UPDATE: In an extremely bizarre turn of events, it was just brought to my attention that The Onion posted a satirical piece about The Scarlet Letter only two days ago. I guess great minds think alike! And so, apparently, do The Onion and I.


This blog entry is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

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About Cody Gough

Cody Gough is a podcast and digital media executive and award-winning producer. Among his accomplishments, most notably he spent more than a decade on-air at Chicago's WGN Radio, and later produced and hosted more than 1,000 episodes of Discovery's award-winning educational podcast, Curiosity Daily. Cody is a podcast professional specializing in audio programming and production. What sets him apart is that he's a terrestrial radio professional AND a digital native with a social media marketing background. This means he's able to combine the radio industry's 100+ years of learnings with digital content expertise to make superior podcasting strategies and content. As an established radio veteran, Cody spent more than a decade producing and hosting shows on Chicago's prestigious 720 WGN Radio. There, he helped launch the WGN Plus podcast network, where he hosted their first and only dedicated video game podcast, Game/Life Balance U.S. In addition to his broadcast experience, Cody has written for various outlets, including Curiosity.com, the GonnaGeek Network, and HuffPost. He's also a graduate of several improv programs in Chicago (including the Second City Conservatory) and has written and performed for a variety of theater, film, and web productions, as well as industrial/commercial videos.

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