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That time I analyzed my creative writing class

I’m back from my summer vacation—and boy, are my arms tired!

But seriously, folks: it’s been a long year. Let’s celebrate the fact that we’ve nearly reached the end of our annual trip around the sun by reviewing that one time I analyzed my creative writing class:

March 25, 2003: I analyze my creative writing class

Transcript:

So we’re critiquing Osric’s poem right now… of course I don’t know what the hell it’s talking about, but whatever. I think his poetry is way too poetic for this class… he’s obviously WAY out of everyone here’s league. Like, it would be like John Coltrane playing music for a first grade class or something; it’s SO far above everyone’s even plane of understanding or thought or whatever that they can’t even understand / comprehend / appreciate what the hell is going on. But whatever. I’m just writing to write anyway. Yeah, the stuff I write online is more clever and more in quantity than most things I’d ever write longhand, but I guess typing is evil or something or whatever all of a sudden. I definitely didn’t think we’d just do poetry in this class. I wanted to learn writing techniques, structure styles, and everything and anything I could about fiction writing. But no. In high school—this one, anyway—there are two extremes: essays and poetry. Nothing is inbetween; nothing worth credit, anyway. Essays are rigidly structured about rigid topics which are graded rigidly; poems have no structure, no necessary subject, and no basis whatsoever on which they can be graded other than on a “good job, here’s 100%” basis. In my world, fantasy and reality are one and the same, but in class, they must must MUST remain separate domains. So now, it’s my turn to think I can do something I can’t. At least not for credit, anyway. I probably won’t even get credit for this damn page… hell, I’ll probably upload it to my web page, or even submit it to the Auburnite, at this rate. At this point/rate I’m sounding poetic, which is quite ironic, since I generally really hate poetry. I could probably write a fucking poem about this page, but whatever, I don’t want to. I liked Lori’s poem a lot today, and I really liked Sha’Donna’s, too. But this class in general just kind of pisses me off. A lot. At least Brynn’s here. I’m going to miss her, too. A lot. Fucking poetry.

Analysis: I’m a genius. *Drops mic, walks away.*

HA HA I ALWAYS THINK/DO THAT but seriously, here are some things (and yes, I’m about to analyze my analysis of something, so it’s about to get meta in here):

  • Osric was this dude whose poetry destroyed. No, seriously. He had SOUL. I think he did beat poetry sometimes. I hope he’s doing slam poetry and motivationally speaking to inner city kids or something these days. The guy was really nice and had a great mind.
    • No, I don’t know the difference between beat and slam poetry.
  • At the time I took my creative writing class, I ran a web site, on which I occasionally posted about the goings-on in my life. It was really a “blog” before the disgusting word “blog” was invented, to make writing sound like vomiting. The word was probably invented by testosterone-overloaded douchebags who wanted to give the most unappealing name in the world to an activity that sometimes requires independent thought. Probably Troy Aikman. I hate listening to him talk more than literally anyone else in the world except for Michael Cole and maybe Billy Corgan. You’ll have to Google the first guy’s name on your own, because I hate him.
    • On my blog web site, I also wrote a satirical story spanning several chapters about my classmates, dubbed “The Auburn Chronicles.” It was shockingly popular with my classmates, some of whom would actually print it out and bring it to school with them. A cute girl once actually told me in class that it was really funny, and it may have been the first time a girl had voluntarily spoken to me in my life. I was like, 15.
      • You might even call The Auburn Chronicles a fanfic, but I don’t think the term had been invented yet, or at least I wasn’t aware of it. But I was a big fan of myself, so I’m sure the “fan” moniker would have applied. I was an innovator, what can I say?
    • I ALSO had written an extensive three-part fanfic about a fictional professional wrestling pay-per-view that featured a slew of video game, Anime, and other sci-fi and fantasy characters competing in various types of matches against my friends and me. Part 1 was something generic like the Royal Rumble, Part 2 was the King of the Universe Tournament (based off of WWE’s King of the Ring Tournament), and Part 3 was Ultimania (like Wrestlemania, only, uh… ultimate). They were all long.
  • Because of the extensive amount of creative writing that I’d done on my blog, I felt entitled to some sort of different standards when being graded, as our assignments were generally “write something” and I was already doing that for fun for literally hours after school each week. Clearly, I was frustrated that my teacher had not agreed to hold me to these different standards. As an adult, I can understand why that would be a hard thing to resolve, but at the time when I wrote these notes, I was neither legally nor mentally / emotionally an adult (but I definitely was physically, because I’m the bomb dot com, LADIES).
  • I said “whatever” 5 times on one page. That’s an average of once every 6-ish lines. The phrase “…whatever” was often used by Squall Leonhart, the main character of 1999’s Final Fantasy VIII, and I adopted that as my signature at the end of all of my blog website posts. Apparently it crept into my other writing, too.
  • I seriously can’t remember the last time I said the phrase “what the hell” out loud. It’s SO HIGH SCHOOL, AM I RIGHT?
  • At first I thought these notes were whiny; then, I got to the line “There are two extremes: essays and poetry.” And I realized I was a GOD DAMN GENIUS
  • “In my world, fantasy and reality are one in the same, but in class, they must must MUST remain separate domains” is definitely poetic in its own way. I dig it. A-plus for teenage Cody, these notes are awesome.
    • I recall having a general disdain for poetry, probably because I had neither mastery of nor patience for it—the former perhaps being a catalyst for the latter. I also find poetry in many things, perhaps ironically; for example, this paragraph. Very meta indeed.
  • The “hell, I’ll probably upload it to my web page” line is hilarious because I did do that… 12 and a half years later. Amazing prediction skills. Where are my notes on who wins the Super Bowl next year?!
  • The Auburnite was our high school newspaper, which you probably figured out by now. Just giving you context; please direct any and all inquiries / letters to the editor there.

The day after writing this page (which I think rules), I wrote two poems, both so violent and profane that I can’t even post them here after censoring them, the second of which directly attacks poetry. The first two lines of this poetry poem read:

Stupid poetry
Yeah, piss me off

And I literally have to stop there because it deteriorates so quickly. You can, in fact, read my written apology for these poems, although my apology also is too offensive to post in its entirety. Thus, my next blog post will skip ahead a couple days to the point in my notes where my writing is acceptable for a 2015 (or 2016, depending on timing) audience.

Anyway, for the record: today I don’t harbor the same resentment for poetry that I did back in high school. And it seems that a lot of my resentment was tied into “getting credit” for the work that I did. So I’ve buried the hatchet with poetry… or so it seems. FOR NOW.

And on a side note: resentment for not being given proper credit is definitely something I still resent. Which is why this entire post is laden with irony if you’re reading it on a third-party site that ripped it off… whatever.

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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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