Last night in my Creativity class, I came back from break to a changed classroom, with bandanas and sheets of paper in front of every seat. Kendra had set up the room for our next activity while we were on break. The lights were low to set the mood. She asked us to fold the bandana into a blindfold and put it on, and then say nothing. Just wait for her next instructions. Then she placed an object in front of us, and we had to feel around with one hand to find the object and then feel it. Then switch hands. Explore it. Get to know it. Guess what it was. Ask questions of it. Describe it. And so on. We wrote all this out on the paper, without looking, of course, since we were blindfolded. We even had to lick the object. And did I mention the object was a stone? Yeah. I had to lick a stone/rock last night in class. It didn’t really have a taste; I guess that’s a good thing. This week in our journals, she wants us to respond to our stones. She had us take them home so we could live with them for a week and see what we learn from them.
Before class, I met with Kendra to talk about next semester’s classes. I was curious about the screenwriting class, because I wanted to take screenwriting but thought I had seen that it was only offered every 2 years, so I wanted to make sure I took it at the right time. I ended up with part 2 of the fiction workshop, Electronic Publishing, and the screenwriting class (an elective). Today, I mapped out what the rest of my time here at UBalt will look like. Next fall, I’ll probably be taking Literary Publications, Typographic Form and Function, and Seminar in Literature and Writing. Next spring, I’ll probably take Experimental Forms, Magazine Writing if it’s offered (an elective), and Editorial Style (an elective). The last fall (2011) is a little harder to figure out. I know I’ll be taking the advanced workshop in creative writing, but I’m no sure about my final two electives. Then the last spring (2012), my third one, I’ll be taking my Seminar in Creative Writing and Publishing (a full 6 credits), in which I’ll be finalizing my thesis stories and building 12 copies of a book out of them—basically, 12 copies of my thesis stories in book form, with everything (cover, font, etc.) designed entirely by me. Then I have to do a public reading of my work. This is such a great program!
Finally, when I did my last section of Wallace Stevens’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” for last week’s journal assignment, I came up with something kind of interesting, so I thought I’d post it here. This is an extension (in different points of view) of a slightly varied form of
“Icicles filled the long window with barbaric glass. The shadow of the blackbird crossed [the window], to and fro. The mood traced in the shadow an indecipherable cause.”
Icicles filled me, top to bottom, with their barbaric glassiness. The blackbird crossed me, to and fro. And its shadow lent an air of suspicion. What was the bird about to do? What were her plans? “Careful, bird,” I said. “For I am littered with barbaric glass!” The bird crossed again, as if she couldn’t hear a thing.
As the blackbird crossed the window, to and fro, she pondered on the cold, barbaric glass shield that protected it. A moment’s pain and coldness, and she could be safe inside, to enjoy the warmth of the house. But what if the glass did not break? Would she survive? She shivered. Would she survive if she didn’t try? That was the indecipherable question. She paced again, to and fro, and when a cold blast of air took her breath away and pushed her away from the window, she raised her wings and flew straight into the glass.
UPDATE: While I did end up registering for Electronic Publishing for the spring 2010 semester, I ended up switching it for Experimental Forms because the class got too full, due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control (a scheduling snafu due to a death in Kendra’s family). No big deal.