18 October 2007

Creative Writing

I attend a non-required creative writing class for two reasons: I love to work on my creative writing (sorry you can't tell by my blog, it's become more of a quick journal than anything creative) and my professor is randomly hilarious. He is one of those quirky geniuses with a lot of energy. He has that goofy hair that waves around while he's talking, and he is utterly disorganized, but he just makes me want to be there to hear what he's going to say next. Here is a picture of him, from his crazy website, which is totally worth checking out. johnhaskell.home.mindspring.com

I asked him why he's here teaching and he told us that he didn't know what he wanted when he was in college, so he hopped on some random train to Chicago, started doing acting, moved to NY, wrote a few books, came to a book conference in Berlin, and someone asked him if he wanted to teach here so he said yes. He doesn't speak German. He's never taught before. But you know you're going to like his books when one is titled I Am Not Jackson Pollock.

Yesterday we had to write the first thing that came to our minds about the person to the left of us. My neighbor totally reminded me of Cody Barton and Mike Whipple. He held his head kind of stiffly and he didn't seem to be paying attention to anything even though he was. He moved his eyes more than his head and when he moved his full head of hair pulled back into a loose pony-tail, it was slowly. That's what I wrote about. My neighbor to the right wrote "Straightforward, clear-cut, good leader, strong red." Of course, the red part didn't just apply to personality, I was wearing a red shirt and a red jacket. She apologized to me, but I rather liked her description. What do you think? (At least I didn't get labeled as a "fake blonde" by some "teddy-bear Santa Claus." That very sweet-looking girl got redder and redder as the professor rambled on about the connotations of "fake blonde" in connection with women of the red light district . . .)

Something I have failed to mention previously is that it is German tradition to knock on the desks when a class is done, as a way of showing appreciation to the professor. It scares me every time and I feel weird doing it, so I haven't always. I usually just say thanks to the professor. Isn't that a little more personal and heartfelt?

Oh man, his randomness:


  1. Hey!

    It's cool that you were able to get into the Picador course.

    About the knocking... we also do it when a fellow student did a presentation. You're right, it's a way of showing appreciation. We do it instead of saying thank you because it's much faster. Imagine 40 to 50 students (that was a normal size in the Magister courses) would say thank you directly and in person. That would take ages!
    Besides the knocking of other people shows how thay liked a course. It's funny to watch. If people didn't like what happened they usually only knock once or twice.

    That was a long comment :)

  2. It makes me giggle that the knocking frightened you. In modern classes at the end of classes we knock, or more beat the floor to show appreciation for the drummer and professor. I never really thought much about it. I guess it'd be odd in a lecture class though.