My Writing

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2011
My Writing
5
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 12:01am

Hello,

I hope its okay to post, as I am not a regular. But I have a complaint. I love to write. Even the little, ordinary day to day things are fun for me. I have always loved to do so. My high school teachers noticed my love and ability to do so many years ago.I am now in my forties and recently went back to college. Can I say how much my teachers are not  noticing my writing? Took an English class; Shakespearean literature and such. My English teacher gave me an A as the final grade but never once commented on my writing ability. She did, however go on about someone who could barely string grammatically correct sentences together. Now I am in another literature class with a teacher who is very anal and picky. For the first paper, he announced that no one "deserved" an A. I received a B for that paper. For the second paper he gave me a B+ and upon inspecting it for the first time told me it was boring and not lively. 

I know that I am a good writer. Friends and family comment on my articulate way of speaking, my way of looking at things creatively, and yes, my writing. I received an award for my poetry once and wrote a song for an oldtime singer many years ago (my mother's friend was a famous European singer). But for some reason, even though I KNOW my papers are concise, well-written, articulate and creative (granted they are analytical essays and not freestyle writing papers), I cannot get a nod from my teachers, let alone have them be blown away (like my idealistic mind thought they would be).

My question is: 1)Have I wandered into the Twilight Zone? and 2)How can something I've associated with myself my whole life now be completely challenged?

Has anything like this ever happened to anyone there and is it not the strangest thing to not be noted for something you love so much and were always noted for before? The reason I am asking is because I always wanted to do something with my writing and to not be acknowledged by two English writing professors is a blow to everything I've always known about myself as a writer.

Thanks for your thoughts and insights.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2006
In reply to: gentlerush
Sat, 12-15-2012 - 10:00pm

I remember taking a creative writing class a few years ago and our assignment was to write a series of poems of different styles.  I can't remember the names of the styles, but one was in the voice of an inanimate object and the other was the letters of the title made up the first letter of each sentence.  Anyway, I wrote these poems and we had to give one copy to the class to pass around and write their comments on and another copy for the teacher to review.  The class loved them and I got great comments and feedback.  From the teacher I got, "I don't know what this means", "I don't know who is telling this story" or I don't know what you are trying to say".  Then we had to rewrite them based on his comments and submit them all again for a final grade.  I rewrote only one of them because it was the only one I agreed with his comments.  He asked me after class why I didn't rewrite them and I told him I liked the class resonse better than his.  I got a "B" in the class.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2006
In reply to: gentlerush
Sat, 12-15-2012 - 10:00pm

I remember taking a creative writing class a few years ago and our assignment was to write a series of poems of different styles.  I can't remember the names of the styles, but one was in the voice of an inanimate object and the other was the letters of the title made up the first letter of each sentence.  Anyway, I wrote these poems and we had to give one copy to the class to pass around and write their comments on and another copy for the teacher to review.  The class loved them and I got great comments and feedback.  From the teacher I got, "I don't know what this means", "I don't know who is telling this story" or I don't know what you are trying to say".  Then we had to rewrite them based on his comments and submit them all again for a final grade.  I rewrote only one of them because it was the only one I agreed with his comments.  He asked me after class why I didn't rewrite them and I told him I liked the class resonse better than his.  I got a "B" in the class.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-1998
In reply to: gentlerush
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 11:20am

What she said. lol
I have a very intelligent nephew that got the shock of his life when he went to college. In high school he was a straight A student, his first test in college he got a C. College is a whole new world, especially for somoene who has been out of school for years then goes back. Teachers in college are there to be sure you know fundamentals, and a lot of them will never know the names of any of their students. Keep going and don't give up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2009
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 11:12am

Thank you so much for your intelligent and realistic response. I know you are right, and actually, there does not seem to be a problem with the mechanics of my writing. I always double check everything and am a stickler for proper spelling, punctuation marks, grammar and paragraph building. It just seems that although I put myself into the essays, the professor thought that I had not. Now, in my first English lit. class, the students were, for the most part, an articulate bunch. But, for this class, there seem to be more students who are in their early twenties, and just taking this class to fill the space. Now, I am taking this class as an elective myself, not a major, but because I enjoy the topic. 

So, I guess it is a blow to me because 1)Most of these students are younger and do not seem especially literate  and 2)Naturally, given their age, they are less seasoned and worldly.  Which is completely the norm, given they have recently left high school, but it hurts to think that the professor does not seem to get a kick out of the life experiences I can offer.

I hate to think he is biased against me, because I don't want to open that can of worms, but I wonder if that is what it is. Anyway, I will have to swallow my pride and resubmit my last paper in hopes of getting an A. The one positive that came out of this is that it kick started my writing slumber and made me want to write again; poetry and the like and maybe start concocting ideas for the non-fictional book that has been in my head for quite a while.

Thank you again for your response.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
In reply to: gentlerush
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 10:09am

Hello and welcome to the board; we're always happy to see a new face here! 

I'd like to start by saying hooray for you for going back to college! But you have to remember; college, whether you start right after high school or years later, is a completely different playing field than high school. Students who stood out in high school often find themselves part of the average crowd, simply because of the diversity of the student body. That said, do not let the luke-warm response deter you!

The simple answers to your questions are: 
 1)Have I wandered into the Twilight Zone? Nope; you've just entered into a field of greater competition that is also subject, at times, to the personal taste and/or teaching styles of the professors. Some may not be blown away by your writing, but then, even the most popular authors' writings don't resonate with everyone. 

2)How can something I've associated with myself my whole life now be completely challenged? It can only be challenged if you allow it to become challenged. Put things in perspective; professors are there to teach the mechanics of writing. Their take on something shouldn't be the sole validation of your work; constructive critisism is offered as a catalyst to let you examine your work with a different eye, but ultimately, you, the author have the final say. 

Put aside thoughts of impressing the professors and concentrate instead on what you love -- writing. Try stepping back and unemotionally examining what they've said about your work and others and see what you can take from it to hone you skills finer and finer. 

Good luck and I hope you'll visit often and let us know how things are going for you!