The last class was today. It was bittersweet. On one hand, I am glad it's over. My Monday's this semester began at 7am when I woke up to prep for class and ended at 2am when I closed the library. These 20 hour days were really killing me. On the other hand, I did enjoy teaching. It was great to do something not college related, and I love the energy and enthusiasm of the kids. It really does hearken back to a more innocent time where things generally excited you in a way that cannot be recreated. Today, we were waiting for photocopies, and the kids got into a heated conversation about who would get eaten first if they got stuck on a desert island, and they were screaming and running around and it was great to see. I can't help but feel a conversation like that now would turn factitious and mean spirited so quickly. Of course, this also means that as a bitter old adult, I will look back on my college experiences as a time of innocence and wonder, where the possibilities were endless, and that is a scary thought.
Anyway, the last classes were fun. They were low key. We had them all write two page stories, expanding on what they did for last week if they wanted. We brought in Berger cookies and got them all sugar crazed before we did a final workshop. They were super excited, probably sugar high, and although they were fairly unruly it was still a fun discussion. They definitely got better at critiquing stories. I felt that by the end of the class they were simultaneously more critical and more understanding. And a few of them seemed generally interested in writing. They really put a lot of time and effort into it, and seem to have the interest to continue it. I never really did that and I wish that I had. I hope that this class lays the groundwork for some of them to pursue the arts in some form.
On a funny side note, I do not understand teen literature. It really seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator and it also does not seem to bother the readers one bit. I moved past teen literature very quickly, so I never realized it, but all of these kids brought in books each week and flipping through them gives a quick glimpse at how god awful they all are. Twilight is the ultimate example. Every kid in the class has read it, but I picked up a copy today that one of the kids brought and started laughing out loud at how awful it was. It was like erotica fiction for tweens. It was full of "His piercing eyes" and "His windblown hair" and "He pulled me in for a kiss before I could get away." If all else fails I am going to write teen fiction. All you have to do is write the dirtiest thing you possibly can in the most innocent language you can muster. And as far as I can tell, these kids are the only people who buy books in this day and age.
In the end, we gave all the kids our e-mail address. I told them that they could e-mail me about whatever, whenever. I said I would read stories, answer questions, give advice or college tours or just generally keep in touch. They all wrote down our e-mails so we will see if we actually get responses, but even if we don't, I can definitely say that it was an enjoyable experience all around.