Friday, April 29, 2011

What School Taught Me

I know what a gerund is*. I actually learned that this semester in one of my classes.

Why does this matter? Why am I starting a blog post about gerunds?

I'm not sure. Recently, I've been thinking about why I am in college and whether or not going to debt is worth it. Some of the classes I'm taking this semester are kind of pointless, at least to me there are. I like Law & Ethics, but I doubt that I'll use anything I've learned in this class in my life. For two reasons:

1. I knew a fair amount of the material covered from previous classes.
2. It's Law & Ethics. I don't know how to work the definition of pornography into everyday conversation.

The same principal can be applied to Writing for Media, News Writing, Grammar & Style, and Global Village. Not to say I didn't learn something in each of those classes, just not something that's going to help me in the foreseeable future. The only thing I learned was a few tidbits of pocket trivia (including gerunds!).

At least that's what I thought at first. I've come to realize that maybe these classes are not pointless. G&S has taught me about who I am as a writer. Global Village taught me more about my values than how other countries use media. And let's not forget the socialization I learning.

Ever since I left high school I have become awkward and shy. This semester I've pushed myself to not sit alone in my room and to talk with people. Overall, I think I've done a good job. Made some new friends, looked at boys, went to sports events to actually see the game (crazy I know).

So I've gone $30,000 in debt for intangible things. And here's the best part: I'm adding two more years and $60,000 before I'm done. I have second thoughts, but not regrets.


*A gerund is when a verb with the -ing ending is acting like a noun. Ex: Matt likes being a musician.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sometimes, I can't believe how much I love the English language. Or more correctly, how much I love words/thoughts/ideas/feelings/life.

I love writing, creating something out of the thoughts floating around in my head. to form that perfect sentence is like a summer's kiss in light rain. There are so many choices, that finding that words that fit perfectly together can be so overwhelmingly daunting that I back away from writing. Of course, that's the worst thing to do. My idea didn't go away because I didn't know how to express it. It's still there and it still wants to be heard.

I realized that it's this trait that makes me judge art the way I do. Songs need lyrics; movies need dialogue. Books get off the easiest. Write one perfect sentence and I'll remember your book. I'll never forget The Forest of Hands and Teeth because of one idea the writer shares.

"When you hear the constant screaming, you get use to it. You stop looking for it, and when you hear it, you just shrug it off. Life is normal."

It was a zombie book that sucked. The main character is a whinny bitch that didn't deserve to live. But I liked the idea that we get so use to something that despite it being fatal, we just accept it. It's so true.

I finished another chapter in my a book of short stories I'm writing. I'm proud of myself. Of course, I'm working at a ridiculously slow pace, but I have hope for this one. I'm tired of giving up on ideas.