Five reasons I will never teach creative writing again

Back in the earliest days of my college career, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I also knew I never wanted to be a creative writing teacher: Don’t get me wrong, creative writing is one of my passions, but by that time I’d spent years participating in online writers communities, reading others’ stories and providing very detailed feedback.

And, if I may, I was damn good at it. People I’d never met before knew my name because of the quality constructive criticism I gave, and sometimes writers would ask me out of the blue to read their rough drafts or proofread their final copies. I was even invited to judge not one but two different short story competitions!

So why didn’t I want to become a creative writing teacher? And now that I’ve finished teaching a four-week creative writing elective, why will I never teach it again?

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Monsters in My Pocket

Sometimes we’ve got a weight on our shoulders, keeping us down and preventing us from moving forward, and sometimes it’s more of a weight in our pockets–we feel it, and it’s not going anywhere, but we’ve got to carry it forward until we’re able to let it go.

Letting go isn’t always an option in our control. Right now the monstrous weight in my pocket is the wait to marry the man I love, just to see him again: we’re a binational couple going through the immigration process, and even though this burden grows heavier every day, we can do nothing to set it down any sooner–it’s in the hands of someone else.

So we do what we can to pass the time. This is how I’ve carried these pocket monsters.

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How to Cross the Street in Mexico City

Today I went on an adventure within an adventure, deep into the center of Mexico City. Or not that deep. It’s hard to measure depth over a lateral distance. And for the past few days, I’ve been walking to pick up my boyfriend after he gets off work, so I’ve gained a few tidbits of wisdom for how to cross the street in Mexico City–in case you should ever be there and find yourself in need of help.

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Hook Lines or Sinkers

Transitions are tough. Just look at me–I’m moving from one college to another, I’m living out of the house for the first time ever, and I’m actually (yes, it’s true!) starting to drive on actual roads. It’s a lot to handle. A lot to sort through and make sense of. In this melting pot of emotions, I somehow have to sort through all of these new feelings and figure out what they are–am I excited? Nervous? Some mix of the two? It’s not always easy to tell. Am I busy because I genuinely need to be, or am I just distracting myself?

Those questions plague a lot of us during times of transition, but do you ask those questions when you edit your story’s beginning? “But it’s the beginning,” you cry, “not a transition!” And that’s where you’re mistaken–the beginning is a transition: It’s the point where the reader transitions into a new world.

If you think moving on campus is a transition, how would you feel about moving into another world altogether?

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G is for Gophers

G is also for gays, great, goodness, good-will, and God, but as we all probably know, all of those are–can you guess it?–givens. (Did you see what I did there?) I could easily speak of all of these, and I’ve already spoken of the first and perhaps the second and third as well, and good-will is easily covered and God is a topic always burning with new ground to cover (better question: did you see what I did there?), but today, I’d rather speak of something more important and more pertinent than any one of these: Gophers.

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You Don’t Really Want To Know

Or, more specifically,

Why You Shouldn’t Really Ask (Why We Shouldn’t Really Tell)

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a great idea. We know this. We all know this. Why those men in politics are trying to change this fact baffles me. Of course we can all understand the reasoning for the whole thing: Straight men cannot control themselves, and since most men in the armed forces are naturally unable to think on a higher level, to put narrow-minded men around homosexuals without providing sufficient protection for the latter from the former is a ridiculous thing to do. So we made Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, to help protect these harmless homosexuals from the men who mean them harm.

Some may argue that DADT was put in place because gay men are innately and unnaturally promiscuous, that all they want in the armed forces is a good hookup and some dropped soap in the showers, but these lies are only spewed by straight men who know the truth: That this law is merely for the protection of innocent homosexuals.

Everyone knows homosexuals are no more sexual than heterosexuals, and just the same, everybody knows that straight men are much more violent and uncontrollable than gay men will ever be.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been such a tremendous success (even despite those poor homosexuals who could not be sufficiently protected from these barbarian heteros and were subjected to cruel and unusual punishments on account of it, sometimes even death), that many bright-minded men and women believe we should apply this policy to other areas of our lives. Since obviously something as amazing as this will in time become a part of everything we do, I’ve decided to write about a few tentative examples of the various applications that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has for us.

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