Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Process Paper G2-3/Goddard


Annotation #7: Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley
Annotation #8: Kotzwinle’s The Exile
Annotation #9: Colette’s “The Other Wife”

Second Short Critical Paper Revision

Creative Work: The Upstairs Room, Pea Plants and Ants, The Yellow Suit

Dear Kyle,

Thank you for sending play-reading as a pleasure. It’s good to learn something, and it was especially interesting to think about George Bernard Shaw using character descriptions to enhance a reader’s interpretation of characters. I tried to apply it to the reading of Mamet’s play and found a deeper comprehension of the dialogue. I’ve read it now three times, and I wonder if I would have to see the play three times to get it? It makes me wonder if I am more of a visual learner. Anyhow, thank you, and please expect my annotation on the play in packet number four.

I also tried your vivid image in each sentence exercise. I’m using it more for prewriting, the stuff I do in my notebooks when I’m just getting started. It’s useful as an exercise, and thanks for sharing it with me.

Before I get further, packet number three was perhaps the most difficult packet this semester. I’m not sure why that’s the case, but here goes:

My annotations were fun to write. Somewhere along the path, I’ve really come to enjoy these annotations. I may have gotten over the stress of something clever to think about as I read these novels and stories, or I’ve just gotten used to thinking a little differently. The Talented Mr. Ripley gave me insight into a different form of third person narration, which I have discussed in the annotation. The Kotzwinkle novel, I loved, still lingers on in my thoughts. The juxtaposition of two different times, places, and characters was fantastic. I am hooked on Kotzwinkle. Lastly, “The Other Wife” said more in a few pages than some writers say in an entire novel. I feel I growing sophistication in my reading. Oddly, what I’m reading seems to be getting more intense.

The second short critical paper revision went well. I took all your critiques. I also found a few spelling errors neither of us caught the first time. In reading the paper again after all these weeks, I really did see it with fresh eyes. As with the annotations, I’m really getting off on the revision and critical thought in these papers. What happened to me?

My creative work… here’s where the shift has come. I felt like all the work I've done on this story last semester was fresh, exciting, inspired. I no longer feel that way. “Soles of Locomotives,” is as you described it in the last response letter. I spent a little time trying to revise it, and to no avail. It took too long to get Carmichael from the station to home, and it’s taking too long for him to do many things. I don’t know why this is the case. Slow, boring, yuck!

In a way I’m treating these little chapters like vignettes, because they feel more like sketches than sovereign pieces of the whole. As funny as this may sound, I’m only sending you a fraction of what I’ve written, partly because of the page limitation within each packet. I counted the pages today of all I’ve written so far, and I have well over 200 pages, and yet I really don’t see a story emerging. We spoke last semester of issues of structure, and those issues have become real problems for me. I’ve been writing on this thing nearly everyday. As an analogy, maybe I’m bringing building materials to a work site, and instead of actually building something, I’m just stock piling material. I don’t know. I’m not at my wits end yet, but I’m really struggling over where to go from here. This part of process should be less menacing than it is I’m sure. Do you have any advice for me?

That said I have included all new material in this packet. My plan is this, I have two more packets this semester, and I hope to start getting some revisions and cohesions going for packets four and five.

The preliminaries for packet number four are going well. I’ve been thinking of the long critical paper. The revision is proving to be more of a pleasure than the assembly of the first draft was. I believe this paper is the first on of its size and content I’ve ever attempted. I’m sure I wrote papers like that during my undergraduate course work, but I just can’t remember. Anyhow, please look forward to the revision.

I’m also working on potential places to do my teaching practicum. Admittedly, the practicum was the most terrifying aspect of this program for me. As I look into it, I’m more curious than terrified. I know we won’t be working together next semester when I’m getting this facet finished, but I would like to ask you about your experience. Where did you do yours? Who did you get support from, other Goddard students, or some other institution?

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