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 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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