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TSE  May 2003

TSE May 2003

Subject:

Re: An amateur Eliot enthusiast's wild musing

From:

[log in to unmask]

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Thu, 15 May 2003 16:23:02 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (113 lines)

My excuse in college for not writing beyond my assignments and newspaper duties was that I had to live first, so I'd have something to write about.

That sounded good to me then, and freed up lots of time to do other things. But, having lived almost another twenty years, I now realize that there are things I could have written then that I cannot write now, because I cannot feel or think the same way now as then. Moreover, having written them then would not have prevented me from writing other things now. It might even have helped me, by instilling discipline.

Just as each historical age, including those regarded today as primitive, has many things to say, so each sentient human has something worth writing, at any age, if the will to do it is present and circumstances permit. And now under conditions that seem unpropitious.

Tom K


In a message dated 5/12/2003 6:39:02 PM Eastern Standard Time, "J. Blessinger" <[log in to unmask]> writes:

>Hope this won't sound too combative, but I take issue with the "actual lives
>to write about" line. I admit that I have greatly enjoyed most of my
>non-trads because they are often more inclined to contribute and less
>inhibited by their younger peers. But not because they've any more valid
>experiences to describe. The challenge is in getting students to more ably
>describe their own unique exeriences.
>
>
>
>One wonderful student of mine last year had swabbed decks on a transport
>from Texas to Italy so he could spend an entire year backpacking in Europe.
>He was just nineteen, but had loads to write about and opinions to share,
>and not just about his travels. But I doubt anyone would disagree that we
>ve had great younger students, too. What I'm uncomfortable with is the idea
>that they've not lived.
>
>
>
>By the time I left for college, I had branded thousands of cattle and docked
>thousands of sheep, sprayed restricted chemicals, taught Vacation Bible
>School in one room schoolhouses, bagged groceries, flipped burgers, fixed
>fence, counseled troubled kids, kept books for my father's business, judged
>meat (yes, meat) in statewide competitions, learned to cook, performed in
>theatre, welded stuff, refurbished a 1965 Ford Galaxy 500, run a swather,
>baler, and combine for interminable hours, and sold various crap
>door-to-door. Many of these are experiences that most in my graduating
>class of 53 would have had as well.
>
>
>
>Sure, some of these experiences are simply more available to us rural types,
>but somehow I doubt that interesting life experiences are strictly the
>domain of persons older and urban. Once students can see their own
>experiences as valid, interesting, and often unique, they will pay more
>attention to the telling.
>
>
>
>Justin
>
>
>
>-------Original Message-------
>
>
>
>From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.
>
>Date: Monday, May 12, 2003 6:16:00 PM
>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>
>Subject: Re: An amateur Eliot enthusiast's wild musing
>
>
>
>My gosh, do I ever agree! I am in a community college and we have a number
>of returning students. They have lived with "do
>
>you want fries with that?" and now want a career rather than a job. My
>primary load is freshman composition and I love the
>
>essays from my older students who have actual lives to write about. Rita--I
>know you will do well.
>
>
>
>Victoria
>
>
>
>Carrol Cox wrote:
>
>
>
>> Rita Proffitt wrote:
>
>> >
>
>> > However I am attending with mostly 19 y/o who just want to go out and
>party. Am one of the few serious students. rita
>
>>
>
>> Among the students I remember best from 40 years of teaching were
>
>> several older students who had returned to school -- especially an
>
>> iron-miner (around 40) unemployed because of the closing of the iron
>
>> mines in northern michigan and a widow (in her '60s) of a methodist
>
>> minister. I believe most college faculty are delighted to have older
>
>> students in their classes. It can change the 'atmosphere' of the
>
>> classroom for the better.
>
>>
>
>> Carrol
>

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