I’ll start with a short rant about my Comp TA and class, and then get into decent post-ly things. My TA is an English grad student. The first day of class he showed up five minutes late, in ripped up jeans, and spent another five minutes trying to determine if he was in the right classroom at the right time. Then he proceeded to call us illiterate idiots, if not in those words. I wrote a poem for our first free-write. He called it a creative list. I expect, and maybe I expect a little too much here, that an English grad student has a wide enough vocabulary to not swear in front of class every five or six sentences. Maybe I just expect too much.
He is unprofessional in more than just his language. He wears ripped jeans on a regular basis, old t-shirts, button down shirts with the top three buttons left undone and no undershirt, and I’ve seen him come into class in sweatpants. So his unprofessionalism bothers me.
Onto what bothers me strictly about the way the class is set up. We read an article and write an essay response. This, I like this. I like that we have two drafts due and then the final paper. It bothers me that the drafts aren’t used to make your writing better, just to make sure you have been working on it. They say we’re supposed to be given an idea and can write our own idea from this. Our first article was about male modeling in advertising. I, personally, don’t watch much tv, or read magazines. So I turned to the place I see male modeling as advertising on a regular basis: romance novels. It was a very original response-lens to the article, and so of course my TA didn’t know how to respond to it or how to critique it.
The point of College Comp 1 is to make you a better, more alert writer, but it’s just been making me angry, because no one in the class, including the TA, understands the importance of writing the way I do. And no one in the class seems able to make their own opinion on a topic and be able to support it with more than historical facts, a.k.a. they’re lacking true opinion and voice. My TA continues to be surprised that I will A) disagree with the article we read, and B) pick what seem like the hardest points to disagree with. Both of these stem from my different way of thinking and not wanting to just be another paper.
Our latest article was about the good of literate arts, which I obviously feel very strongly about, and how there really is nothing that will ever be truly great again. This angered me. To the point I had to set the article down and go write for twenty minutes just to make it ok for me to keep reading that. So what do I do? Disagree with it, of course. But I disagree with it in a way that is through NaNo, also something I feel very strongly about.
But anyway. I will read the article, and write the paper. I may have to force myself through it, but that’s part of learning. Sometimes you don’t like it, and sometimes you do. But it’s never really your choice, no matter how “open” the question is.
You just have to do it. It’s not a choice, it’s just a fact of life. You do things you don’t want to do because you’re told to.