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:
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?]
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.
The time is nigh.
I took a creative writing class during my last semester of high school in 2003, and I still have the “idea notebook” I created while enrolled in that class. Our first day of class was January 21, 2003. Guess what day is coming up soon?
That’s right: January 21, 2013.
Over the next several months, I will be reproducing the contents of my “idea notebook” in their ENTIRETY on this site. All of my poems, stories, notes, and more will be here…exactly 10 years after I wrote them.
I want to be clear up-front that the humor contained in these posts will not come from the sheer awfulness of any of it. Quite the contrary: I consider myself to be a pretty funny teenager, and from what I’ve seen flipping through the pages of my tome of brilliance, I was a pretty funny teenager 10 years ago, too. I didn’t – and still don’t – take myself too seriously, so everything you read will have more than a slight dose of irreverence.
And I won’t just be regurgitating old content; after all, where’s the challenge in that? Instead, in addition to writing commentary on my old treasures, I will also re-do some of my old assignments and compare them to what I wrote 10 years ago. We’ll all find out together how much I’ve changed in the last decade.
Stay tuned. This is going to be fun.
There are a few gems scattered among my notes from November 2, 2000:
“Occasionally I read something that isn’t good… like, your papers.”
-My sophomore English teacher
As well as some fun notes I took, including emphasizing “ASSignment” (see image) and writing the following note to myself:
Write a dialog (Cody: Bite me! Jon: Die!)
(like a script) on “Justice”
I wonder how ancient Greek philosophers would feel about the notes I wrote alongside their timeless ideas?
At the top of a page of notes I took on October 27, 2000, in my high school sophomore English class, I decided to draw a terrible (awesome) picture of Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Next to it, I wrote:
“He who fights & runs away lives to fight another day!”
-The Shredder, in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series; also used by Bebop & Rocksteady, a Warthog & a Rhino, respectively… MUTANT Rhino & Warthog, naturally.
When grading my notes later in the semester (yes, our notes were graded), my teacher wrote “? Not relevant” next the drawing. I… have absolutely no explanation for why I drew that. So let’s move on to the quote immediately following my artistic endeavor:
“You all waited too damn long.”
-My teacher, on something
I like how I was too lazy to even attribute the humorous quote to anything specific. Oh, high school.
Apparently, at some point during my freshman year of high school, I felt it necessary to include this drawing in my class notes. The text below reads:
Why all the war? All the kings would gain control of is new armies and people and get more burdens than pleasures. I think probably most of the kings / pharaohs / emperors were bored or something.
On the back side of this page are miscellaneous notes about Egyptian mythology, so this must have been from my world history class.