Monday, 14 February 2011

Ungrateful Undergraduates

I'm lucky enough to be sitting in on a class on poetry on the undergraduate programme, led by Julian Stannard who won the 2010 Troubadour prize with The Seabirds of Pimilico Hanker After Sapphires. I was looking forward to some help with titles, so I'd love to know what that one was about. I sat down, and as usual, was a few minutes early. 4pm came and went. A new face appeared, then a little gaggle of students, and finally the lecturer. I got loads out of his class, lots of new ideas about lineation, Lowell, drawing the line between prose and poetry. We looked at Quoof by Paul Muldoon (which I love), a number of Lowell poems and some of his prose, which we cut into poems with a stroke of our pens. That was all fine and good and helpful. But the other students - what a mixed bunch. A couple (apart from giglling themselves silly over a few stray words) contributed, made an effort. The rest just sat there as if waiting for the bell to go off. Few had brought books. We had been told to bring poems we had written, none had done so (I had two, and copies). They whinge about their workload but actually, mine is twice as big and I'm squeezing in their class on top. For fun. And I'm the only one doing the work!

That aside, I'm on top of the work again. 800 word scene written for the fantastic fiction and emailed around the group, which is nerve-racking because I really don't know people. TMA04 off, the EMA proposal. Should be OK, it's only marked as a pass or fail. Poetry working well, and I've tidied up all my notes and worked through some of the additional research. I'm looking forward to having my assignments back, if only to put my mind to rest. But that class - terrible. Next week we're doing some workshopping (what? They don't write anything!) and the following week Myra Schneider is coming to take the class.

Meanwhile, back at home, husband and kids have been putting onions in the garden, battling the fuschias (it is brilliant to live in a place where the worst weeds are fuschias, though) and clearing out the flat - ready for us all to move back in June. We're already planning the end of the MA! Rant over.

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