You think this class is tough? Check out Auden’s!

tumblr_mb8gp7oZH21qz4v5ho1_1280Think this class requires a lot of reading? Check out this syllabus from a lit class taught by poet W.H. Auden in the early 1940s! (Click on the picture to make it bigger).

Imagine 6,000 pages of reading for 2 credits for 2 semesters! And that 6,000 pages probably doesn’t include the suggested readings!

In comparison, my graduate school classes require 1,000 pages of reading for a 2 unit class. That’s about 100 pages a week per class. And that’s a lot!

To compare again, I assign my college students between 50 and 100 pages a week for a 5 unit community college writing classes.

Read more about Auden’s class here.

Jayne Cortez, 1934-2012: “Find Your Own Voice & Use It”

“Find your own voice & use it, use your own voice, and find it

The sounds of drizzle on dry leaves are not like sounds of insults between pedestrians

Those women laughing in the window do not sound like air conditioners on the brink”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, performance poet Jayne Cortez died at the close of 2012 in NYC, having found her own voice and using it throughout her long life, writing, publishing, and performing poetry that addressed racial and sexual oppression. The 2010 video above features her performing with Denardo Coleman, her son with Ornette Coleman.

School’s Out Forever: Budget Cuts & College Classes

At some point every semester, students ask about creative writing. They ask if we will get to do any.

And I have to tell them no, that poetry and fiction and dramatic literature are not part of the SLOs, the Student Learning Objectives, for the writing classes I teach.

But there are few, if any, creative writing classes offered. In fact, there are few, if any, creative classes of any kind offered any more.

Tonight a student asked the question. And I said no. He pointed out the video posted on this blog and the argument it makes for creativity.

There’s no budget for those classes any more.

Not enough people think the arts are necessary, important.

I hope you watch Sandra Hunter’s video on the topic of these budget cuts to the arts.

PS She teaches writing at Moorpark College. She’s a poet and she writes plays.

Gallery

Follow Your Bliss…Doors Will Open

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
From “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver, House of Light

Follow your bliss and doors will open.

From an interview by Bill Moyers with Joseph Campbell

We change the world word by word.
From an interview by Bill Moyers with Maxine Hong Kingston

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

You’ll find these four quotes Continue reading