At UC-Berkeley in 1999, I had the good fortune of taking a creative writing class with Cherrie Moraga, a renowned Chicana poet. I was struggling to reawaken my muse after four years of professors assigning me expository essays had successfully crushed whatever creative impulses I still had.
Our assignment on this particular occasion was to write a dialogue consisting of that conversation we wished to have, but never had… Continue reading
This was my homework assignment for seventh grade: write a “persuasive essay” to convince the reader of a particular point of view. My teacher was a stickler for grammar and wrote over our papers with her red ballpoint pen. She would only give us assignments to build up the rudiments of expository writing. She was regimenting us for a future of standardized testing, she was.
I kept trying to be creative with my assignments, but she had none of it. “Check mark.” “Check mark.” That was all I got back. No smiley faces that Mr. Fleming, my awesome sixth-grade English teacher, gave me. I wanted to excel, I wanted to stand out! I didn’t want to just be competent.
I’m not bitter. It’s all sort of helped me, I guess. (I am taking the California Bar now, after all.) I just wish I got back more than a red check mark, that’s all. Continue reading