Sunday, December 09, 2007

The End is Near

Already the end of a semester is here. I'm stunned, of course, but they do seem to go by quickly.

Some general observations on this semester versus previous experiences:

1) I still prefer creative writing to academic writing. Dry academic writing will never be my thing, but I also appreciate the need for formal genres of writing. If I do become a full-time professor at any point in my life, I would rather teach "The Rhetoric of Fiction" (see the book by the same title, Wayne C. Booth) or "The Rhetoric of Dramatic Writing" than the rules of the MLA and APA.

2) I am increasingly worried that my doctoral work and the degree will limit my opportunities to teach what I want to teach... unless I get something creative published every few years.

3) My students offered some great feedback this semester. They would rather learn to use the tools of business writing than write memos again and again. I agree! I've written about this elsewhere (see Tech Skills). Learning to use Word, InDesign, and similar tools to create documents is more valuable than trying to teach juniors and seniors the dying form of the memo. Yes, memos will live on via e-mail, but the form is already evolving.

Maybe none of this matters. I might get lucky and sit around writing scripts, essays, and lecturing from time-to-time. I love teaching, but I would go insane teaching academic forms year after year after year. I need more opportunities for creativity.

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