September 11, 2002

Writing was his only constant...

It feels like it should be Friday based on the work I've done so far this week to today, Tuesday. This is what I have learned so far this semester:

  • Midieval literature is some of the most boring literary cruft ever; perhaps there was a reason so much of it was lost, or burned in fires, or just forgotten about as time marched on. Contemplating my professor for this class, on the other hand, is an exercise in futility yet fascinates me to no end.

  • Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the apostolic constitution authored by the pope having far reaching effect in Catholic Universities, is not as bad as I once believed it to be; the pope respects academic freedom to a good end, and much of the language is vague enough to be benign. It was only after the document was written that people began to comment, and things got hairy.

  • Journalism is less a class, and more a writing exercise. It is good in that it creates a situation like writing in the real world: working nonsensical situations that you desire to not write about into bits of prose fit for reading by an anonymous audience you may or may not ever meet (with bets hedging on "may not ever.")

  • If you leave Chinese food in your trashcan directly in the path of sunlight during the day, your room will smell when you get back. This should have been taught in FYO.

  • Thomas Merton was a gifted author. His gift, however, lay in his ability to extend any situation that happened to him in real life into an inordinate number of pages. For example, a tooth extraction, something I would mention as a sentence, quite possibly in a footnote, is dragged out to what seems like 20 pages of lofty, archaic language.
  • Fiction writing is more of a theatrical experience than a class. The price of admission is words; different weeks have a higher admission. Forget those words, and theres no sneaking in the back way - you're in front of the theater with your butt on the curb. The exercises exists as an invisible file - honing your skills doing what seems to be innane and stupid writing exercises.

Like I said, been a long week. I have two articles coming out in the Collegian tomorrow in what is a first for me. I, like most people, love to see my name in print. I only hope that the Collegians arrive before my 2 o'clock class begins at 3 o'clock.

For a long time, I've admired the writing of Dave Barry, and I've often wished that I could be as prolific, successful, and succint as he is. He primarily does humor pieces, but every once in a while he comes out with a very well done serious piece of writing/reporting. This is one of those articles.

Peace to all, but especially during this week.

Posted by Matthew at September 11, 2002 12:34 AM
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