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by Frank Shortt
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2013 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
All my life I had wanted to attend a class in creative writing. I had been
writing since I was just a wee tad but somehow knew that I was not doing it right, well, maybe not up to Hoyle. I had worked as many
as three jobs at a time to make ends meet as I was not a college graduate. I just never seemed to have the time to do the things that
would help me to improve my life style. I suppose I did all right by becoming a Chief of Operations for a school district, retiring
in the year 2000. There was still that ache inside of me to do some writing.
In January 2012, I enrolled in a class at Evergreen College in San Jose. The instructor was very informed in the subject as he was
a published author. A person speaking from experience is capable of conveying the right information to another person. His advice;
write about what you know. Some would say he uses unorthodox means to get his points across, nevertheless, they work.
As I entered the classroom for the first time I was somewhat shocked at the informality present. Everyone had I-pads or some other
telephone apparatus. They were texting all the time class was in session.
thought, Man if Obra Simpson could see this she would turn over in her grave! She taught me English and Literature in High School.
When we shared our first assignments, I was taken aback at the free use of expletives, four letter words and the new language of young
folks. What we had considered pornography was standard talk among these young writers. Having come from a semi-puritanical background,
I saw that I had a real education coming on!
Another thing that was a
shocker to me was the way the students were allowed to dress. There were representatives from the LGBT community, girls in short shorts
showing no shame whatsoever, men dressed like girls, and girls dressed like men. Of course, I had seen this in malls but didnt realize
that this was standard dress in college these days. One young man spent the whole class one day dressing himself as a girl and making
up his face in order to attend a LGBT gathering at the college that afternoon. Talk about an awakening for a seventy year old man.
I was somehow feeling like Rip Van Winkle those first few days.
The one thing that really
left an impression on me was the depression shared by these students. All their writings were dark in nature. I could see that some
of them were from well-to-do homes and had most anything their hearts desired, but still, darkness reigned supreme. I tried my best
to raise their standards of thinking while in contact with them. I still left the class with a feeling of not having conveyed to them
that things are not as bad as they seem.
They wrote of lost loves. They wrote
of boys losing boyfriends, girls losing girlfriends, girls having been betrayed by boyfriends, boys being betrayed by girlfriends.
One would think that these kids were in their late thirties and had experienced a life of misery. I thought, It is no wonder Psychologists
and Psychiatrists are getting rich!
Are we dwelling too much on the negatives
of life? Does the news have to be all bad? Why are we so fearful? Shouldnt schools and colleges emphasize some of the better things
in life? Or, am I just an old fogey who needs to really wake up?
All in all,
this was a great opportunity for me. I did learn to write the correct way. I can now even edit others work. I can put down my thoughts
in such a way that they will make sense even to the novice reader.
that every student leaving high school take a Creative Writing class the first thing in college. It will help you all the way through
your college years. You will know how to write properly, how to punctuate properly and how to express yourself in any situation.