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Tag Archive | irreverence

A poem about carpet squares

Today’s poem—or, more precisely, the poem I wrote on March 27, 2003—will test the old adage “write what you know,” as its subject matter is something with which we’re all perhaps too familiar: carpet squares.

I don’t believe the classrooms in my high school even had carpeting, so I’m not sure why this particular topic inspired me to write a poem in my high school creative writing class, but here we are: my poem about carpet squares, followed by some nonsensical paragraph that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything:

March 27, 2003: Poetry about carpet squares

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My high school persona and student-teacher relationships

I already mentioned when I posted my letter to my creative writing teacher that she was previously my English teacher during my sophomore year of high school. I found an AIM conversation – that’s AOL Instant Messenger, for those of you born five years after me – that I think will help elucidate my relationship with her (as well as my high school persona) even further.

Talking to students online wasn’t exactly the norm back then, but she was a more young, cutting-edge teacher, and frankly I thought her willingness to be available to students was commendable. By the time you finish reading this conversation, however, I’m afraid you may understand why more teachers prefer not to be messaged while at home.

Don’t worry: despite this seemingly infuriating conversation from my sophomore year, I’m currently Facebook friends with her, and we got along quite swimmingly my senior year of high school (somehow).

I won’t follow this conversation with any thoughts, because frankly, it speaks for itself (and by “speaks for itself,” I mean “is hilarious on its own”). So enjoy!

November 14, 2000 AIM Conversation w Teacher Pg1
November 14, 2000 AIM Conversation w Teacher Pg2

November 14, 2000 AIM Conversation w Teacher Pg3


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!

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!

How I’m like my shoe

My first creative writing assignment: write about how I am similar to my shoe. Okay, easy enough, right? Here’s what I came up with ten years ago today:

This is how I'm like a shoe. How are you like a shoe?

This is how I’m like my shoe. How are you like your shoe?

Transcript:
“I’m like my shoe because we’re both afraid of spiders, tripping, and werewolves. My shoe is very old and thus could become a BED TIME SNACK for spiders, and I’m REALLY scared of spiders, and of bugs in general. Also, I hate tripping on things or accidentally kicking hard objects and ending up in pain. Also, werewolves are really freaky and violent and fight like girls. FOR NO REASON.”

A few things:

  • I don’t know how old shoes can become a “BED TIME SNACK” (why was that in all caps??) for spiders, but that line still makes me laugh.
  • I’m still really afraid of bugs, but centipedes scare me much, much more than spiders ever have. Boxelder bugs also scare me out of my mind.
  • To clarify: werewolves fight like girls because they kick and bite and scratch, which boys generally don’t do. Sorry, ladies, but you can’t call science sexist.

I don’t have much more to say, so now comes the hard part: I will try to describe how I’m like my shoe today. I wish I had attempted this before reading my original response from ten years ago, but I can’t do anything about that now. So here is my 2013 explanation of how I’m like my shoe:

I’m like my shoe because we’re both comfortable, we both age well, and we both have spring in our step. My New Balance shoes are comfortable, and the word “Cody” literally means “cushion,” which is what I feel like the soles of my feet are stepping on while I walk. We both age well, probably because my shoes avoid the rain and I avoid the sun. I also like to walk with a little bit of swagger, which my shoes also do as they spring my feet back up with that classic cushioning. This is the part where I’d love New Balance to pay me large sums of money for my ringing endorsement. Although to be completely honest, I haven’t purchased a pair of shoes other than New Balance shoes since my sophomore year of college, which was nearly ten years ago. They’re just, like, the best shoe brand ever. I think I got off topic, but let’s face it: blog posts that stay completely on topic can become a BED TIME SNACK for spiders.

…some things never change.


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!

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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