Too Creative?

Posted: September 29, 2016 in Blog

Back when I was a freshman in college, I took a Rhetoric & Composition class.  I was both eager and a bit trepidatious.  I had heard these horror stories of large freshman classes at UT and how they were used to weed people out.  The class barely had twenty students in it, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  What I didn’t know at the time was Rhetoric & Comp was not one of “those” classes.  I’d find myself one amongst many in other classes in the near future.

The professor was young.  I do not recall his exact age or experience, but he was young.  We were assigned to write in a journal once a week.  It could be anything we wanted.  I do remember that – “anything”.  He wanted us to just exercise our creative writing skills.  I loved this assignment!  Confining myself to one per week was the real challenge for me, but other students struggled with the frequency in the opposite manner.

The teacher also paired us up, thinking it would help us in some social way, I suppose.  I found myself buddied with a typical young guy.  I recall helping him quite a bit with some suggestions as he was stymied at first.  We did not really end up working together that much.

We were told to hand these journals in at the end of the semester.  They would be a large contribution to our overall grade.  As far as I recall, the only thing graded about them was that we did them.  The teacher would give us feedback, but these were not evaluated for grammar or content.  We just had to do them.

My study buddy, such as he was, had come up with a brilliant solution.  Or so he thought.  He figured the professor would not read through every entry, so he started writing things like, “This is my journal entry.  I know you won’t read them all, so I am just writing something here to take up space.  It will look like an entry,” etc.

The teacher caught it and even mentioned it in class.  I could see the smug satisfaction as though he had busted a student.  My thought was “how does this not satisfy the assignment?”  It was “creative” writing.  When I saw that some of his feedback to me was that he thought I was “too creative” (due to the surreal or outlandish nature of some of my entries), it made me realize that this professor was not the best for the job.

Creativity is creativity.

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