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Ruminations on the Class

tomahawk's picture

Well, I’m sure Anne has read a lot of this before. But, I’ll write it out anyway. I love creative writing. It is my passion. Yet, I have never been able to merge analytical writing and creative writing. This class showed me that that is possible. It didn’t teach me that I should quote Sontag and write fiction at the same time. Instead, “Play in the City” showed me that I can be as free in my Creative Writing as I am in my analytical writing.

Or, to use the language of the class, “Play in the City” showed me that there’s no harm playing in my writing, that the times in which I write the best and enjoy my writing the most are when I take risks. Moreover, these risks often pay off. Deep play and critical play aren’t hard to find while I’m writing. Critical play comes far more easily to me than deep play when I am writing because in the past I have felt constrained by structure. But, now as I’m writing this I realize that there is a physical structure to writing. This is unavoidable. The structure I feared was just a mental roadblock. Deep play allows me to go past this roadblock. By the time I’m deep playing, there is no concern over whether I write the word “Penis” or “Headband.” I am only hoping that I’m going somewhere with my writing.

I think a third great thing that this course gave me is the decision to write essays about questions that I don’t have the answer to. This is terrifying. Yet, I think I have often written my worst papers when I have just asserted my opinion again and again and used quotations to support it. This sort of writing doesn’t go anywhere. I mean, what does writing do for an argument that has already solidified in my head? Not much. But, more recently, when I’ve thought about interconnectedness and the Barnes’, I feel quite fearless. This may seem like an exaggeration, but let me assure you. For anyone (including me), it is extremely hard to just write. No reservations. No worrying about what Anne will say or what my classmates will say or (oh my!) what my future employer’s might say. And, this fear hinders my writing. After I take away the intimidation and the roadblocks, I just go. And it feels like joy. Really, I feel quite joyous writing this right now. Some might accredit that to Winter Break and Christmas Spirit. But, I believe that it is thanks to this course. 

Early in the course, I did not feel as if the course suited me because I was a sophomore. But, I strongly believe that this course exposed me to a variety of ideas and perspective and it opened up my writing. I am very glad.