Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just so you know...

Can you believe it, Worth Weller nearly flunked his first semester of College English. I wound up with a C, and the next semester I got a B, but I sure started off poorly.

The problem was that I wanted to be “cute” in my first essay, thinking that being “original” would trump my own shaky writing foundations. The assignment was to write a “how to” essay – describing the way to do a project of some sort. I still remember agonizing over whether to do a project I really loved, which was copper enameling, or to be “clever.” So, instead of writing about the really interesting process of selecting copper blanks and pouring glass glaze over them in colorful patterns and then firing the project in a small kiln, I chose, of all things, how to wash socks!

I remember the disgust on the teacher’s face (he was a graduate aide) still 45 years later as he handed it back to me – the paper was marked with a big, red, D-, and the note, “Why couldn’t you have written something more interesting than this?”

Oh well, live and learn.

What I learned was to avoid being clever in your writing and instead be true to yourself.

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