Friday, July 12, 2013

Hyper Opposition Disorder

Nature Loves Redundancy even if Eng & Creative Wrtg Teachers Don't

              The Playboy & The Puritan
                   Rake & Revisionist
                     & why can’t they
                      just get along?    

Peter Elbow was a big influence on me--back in the 80's.
Especially Embracing Contraries --way more about reciprocal
thinking and collaboration than just unilateral composing.

dialectic between recklessness & reform is what fires
me up—us swimming in an accrediting matrix & regulating 
environmentalism where the mess and guess of process is
underdog and the  protocol strategies of reform and revision
rule.  This comes with the territory of industrialized  education
and proliferating  MFA programs educationalizing the process.

I was dean when we seduced Louise Gluck and the
group to relocate--she and Ellen Bryant, with their falling
cadence &  you used to  have some free  wine to listen
to  this professional sighing night after night.
(My Hyper Oppositional Disorder acting
up here:  diagnosis
I got from a student  who  worked at a Varieties of Learning
Disabilities  camp one summer and  this one—H O D—was
 a new one on me,  just right & I  embrace it, that & Restless
Leg Syndrome!  We have Names for stuff
 now that wasn’t
differentiated back in the  50’s when it was all like HFD
 (Huck Finns’  Disease) or the less severe TSD:  Tom Sawyer

I guess Ginsburg's Shithouse Retrospective does the
same kind of   reductive injustice to the whole process 
of composing  as Poe's  "Philosophy of Composition."
Shifts attention from decent fired-up irrational impulse
to re-visionary rationalization—what I call Howard
Cosel-ing or Monday Morning Quarterbacking.  Not
that there's any thing wrong with THAT: it's what we do.
Rationalize the process. Write books on it.  Offer courses
in it. Credit & grades. Lop-sided  is all I'm saying.  We
privilege the CONTROL side. (Who can blame  us--we're
always up for re-accreditation etc.)

"Hyper Opposition," for me, is my knee JERK reaction
to the  over-emphasis  of the control-it & regulate-it side
at the expense  of the cloud-of-unknowing,  ooops, ooo
damnit  trial&erroring  margins and rooms for play that
inspires and informs the process--if not reforms.

I saw a best mind of the MFA one summer session weeping
in the corner of  2nd-floor Jensen after a round-house work-
shopping group-critique feedback  and re-visionary session
which is part  of the whole  process, too--driving & crying,
tears & fears: an  American Idol competition & everyone
with our own Simon Says if it don’t kill you makes youi

Forgive me. Right
here: this here back&forth is the action of
academics-best-sense for me. Liberal art going on. I would
wish  this kind of non-unilateral  reciprocity might inform
our Faculty L --thinking &  writing across the curriculum.
Wouldn't  we all get  better at it?   How not?     IT might could
solve some  Retention problem, too: good time being had by ALL:
trickle down like a great golden chain of being!    

xxxooo, Sam

No comments:

Post a Comment