Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Grammar Police Are On Duty!!

About a week ago, I wrote my first attempt at a "serious" short story for my creative writing class. It is entitled Darkside, and you can read it if you haven't already by scrolling down past my last two recent posts. Today, it was read out loud in class by a girl who volunteered, since my teacher doesn't allow the authors to read their own story in class. I had to make 25 copies of the story so each student could have one to read along with and make comments on.

We spent from 11:30 AM until 12:10 PM on it. The girl read it, and then the teacher and my classmates discussed it and made comments about what they thought of it. Afterwards, everyone gave me back their copies so I could read the comments they wrote.

First of all, while it was being read, the class was pretty much silent while they listened and jotted down comments on their copies. Everyone was pretty much engrossed in the story as far as I could tell. And then we got to the part where the main character sat down to watch some television.

At first, with the Jerry Springer excerpt, only a few people chuckled, because not everyone was fully aware that this whole half of a page was put in as comic relief to give the reader a chance to relieve some tension, or to wake up and yawn, whichever. Then the soap opera excerpt drew a few more people into laughter, as they realized what was going on. And then the knife infomercial excerpt was read, and the whole class just became unglued. My teacher was laughing so loudly that the girl who was reading the story was drowned out, and she had to stop reading for a second because she was laughing too hard also.

So yeah, it is a "serious" story in that its overall plot is serious. But because I wrote it, it can't possibly be 100% serious. And I guess my class liked it, because they were discussing and praising it for nearly half an hour. One older student came over to me and said, "I thought yours was the best one of all the stories we've read." And there were just a whole lot of good things said about the story in general, and I really enjoyed hearing all their different perspectives.

Now, on to the more personal comments that my classmates wrote on their papers. Please bear in mind that this is a college level English course, therefore I assumed that most of the students enrolled in the class have at least a decent grasp on basic English grammar, and the English language in general. I had no idea just how wrong I was.

These are actual comments written by actual students on the actual copies of my actual story. I have meticulously copied everything exactly as it was written by the students. Have fun.

"I came in late to class and only herd 1/4 of it. and new what this story was aimin toward. Awsome delivery soft and the begging hard punch in the middle and smooth drive at the end."

"Dude, I loved the story. I loved the ending even more. Its hard to write about things using the first person perspective, bravo. Crazy to think something like that can actually happen. But yeah great dialog and once again awesome ending. Jesus Rocks." (And then he drew a picture of a cross with flames shooting out of it from all sides)

"I can see his point of view. Good persceptive."

"Good Beginnig"

"Your writing is very witty and I like that. This story scares me though! That this could happen maybe even from drugs - A lot of other people never even think of that - I like your message of awakeness." (Awakeness?)

"I've been waiting for a person to say all this! Thank You!" (Someone wrote this next to my TV excerpts part)

"it was a good story it was unicue and creative I hope their is no truth in it. I liked it :)"

"I like how it is so suddle" (Nice phonetic spelling...)

"The story leaves people wondering about wether or not such a possibility is possible + about the important things in life...which is the sign of a good story!" (Hmm, a possible possibility...)

"I like the honesty you can tell this character isnt completely sain"

"Does street monkey pay very well?"

"Right f*ckin' on!" (A girl underlined street monkey and wrote that above it, except it wasn't censored. Then, at the end of the story, she drew 2 crosses and in the middle of them wrote, "AWESOME". She must be a sweet and moral Christian girl...)

2 students underlined the part where I wrote "cherry-red Porsche" and wrote "Nice car" next to it. Yes, they were both guys. In fact, they were the same two guys who wrote the first two comments above (The guy who came to class late, and the "Jesus Rocks" guy). Great minds think alike, no?

Also, the girl who read my story out loud (and I must say that she did a really good job too) wrote this on her paper at the end of the story:

"I wasn't expecting that @ all. I love your story and the weirdest thing...recently, I found out what my "void" was as well. =) "

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