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Friday, October 17, 2008

Gender, Creative Writing and The College Race

I am still "milking" the last 20 pages of Paul Auster's "Man in the Dark." I know it sounds ridiculous, but I am afraid of finishing it because I am going to miss reading the Master. If you've never read Auster, please do soon. I went running on Tuesday and promised myself 10 pages if I did 4 miles instead of 3, and ended up stopping at 3 just to prolong the inevitable. Again, I am being silly... but then again that's what love and passion for something makes you act like. It's a rule of life, so why fight it.

Teaching is going well. My poor Seniors are going mad with all those college applications, etc. I do have to say this in defense of female high school students--I think they have more pressure than young men when applying to college. My students... poor souls, and on top of all that, they have me for a teacher. :-) We just finished "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," and a couple of my Seniors, who are interested in going into the creative writing field, felt that Stephen Dedalus' extremism hurt him more than it helped him. "Just like you all applying for college, now," I responded. "How so?" Well, a discussion ensued as to what hoops we are forced to go through when applying for college entrance. Are those "hoops" necessary, really, and are they the same "hoops" for everyone? Conclusion: I think female college applicants have an uphill battle, really, to prove themselves "good candidates." "Boys," my student seem to believe, "can somehow 'fake it' if they need to, enough to make college interviewers believe." The argument varied in terms of how my students (all girls) think the boys have an advantage. "If a male applicant to a creative writing program produces a sample writing," one of my students pointed out, "then it is taken as a given he is a writer, whereas a female applicant would be an 'aspiring writer.'" I am not quite sure where they get these ideas, and even if it's healthy to think that way, but going back to my own college application process a decade and a half ago I could--to some extent--agree with them.

At any rate. 12 days to go until November 1st. One more book to finish off this month (Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running"). A a tonnage of grading and reading for work to do. NaNoWriMo approaches.

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1 Comments:

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Suzan Abrams said...

Hello JCR,
How lovely to hear from you.
I'm now here at my new literary blog called Kafez. Maybe we could exchange links once more.
I would love to help you promote your new book on my blog.
Will be back for more.

 

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