Thursday, October 25, 2007

No Beginning, No Middle, Hopefully There’s an End

Three weeks ago I took my Little One to the doctor, and he tested positive for Strep and got antibiotics. That night I had a fever and what I know is a “strep” sore throat. After five days my boss gave me the ol’ “Once I knew someone who didn’t go to the doctor and the strep infection got into her heart and she died,” routine – so I went to the doctor. I tested negative for strep though, and was told to go home and rest (yeah – getting right on that). Though he did give me this Codeine cough syrup so I could sleep, and let me just say – good shit!

So last week I seemed to be on the mend until I woke up Saturday with a horribly sore throat and feeling very weak. I kept getting worse until Wednesday I called the doctor, described all of my symptoms and he said, “Oh, you definitely have strep, let me call in some antibiotics. Do you want some painkillers too?”

I said that much like I don’t have time to be sick for three weeks, unfortunately I don’t have time to sit around looped up on painkillers either. So, short story long, I’m on antibiotics now – and though I feel like I’m a millimeter from death, I just ate an entire restaurant portion of Thai fried rice and I’m blogging. So surely I’ll live to at least see tomorrow, right?

The only other thing I have to tell you about today is my class on “Writing About Violence.” The professor is a writer of memoir, so most of us have been writing personal stories of violence either experienced or witnessed. This is the craziest exercise to me, because it goes something like this:

Someone writes: So when I was two I was raped with a blow torch while my mother looked on.

And then people say: Not a good ending -we don’t end our sentences with a preposition. And it’s much more effective if you can describe a gesture of the mother somehow – I just can’t really see her. And surely you can think of a better word than “rape.” Hello??? Cliché! …

And this is fine. It's a writing class, not group therapy, and writing is an art. But still, it’s a trip to sit around talking about such disturbing subject matter in this way, especially when it's happened to the person you’re talking to. I mean “the person to whom you're talking.” Ahem.

Since I’ve been using up all of my creativity for that class, I’ll leave you with some links. This is the book I just finished, and it’s very interesting, a memoir from a third person present tense point of view, filled with literary references and the self-important musings of a 19-year-old who fancies himself an “artiste.” And this is something I found on Salon “Mothers Who Think” series that was written by my professor about the experience of being unable to reach her troubled teenage daughter. Finally, these t-shirts tickle me radical raspberry.

5 comments:

cce said...

What an insane idea for a writing class...I mean, everyone unearthing this therapy-deserving memories and then just discussing sentence structure. And please tell me the blow-torch thing is an exaggeration.

Loved the Slate piece...so heart breaking and scary.

radical mama said...

Ugh. Strep is the worst. Feel better soon.

Mocha said...

The class sounds fascinating and challenging - I could use a stretch. But that shirt on feminism is so freaking amazing that I might go order one right now.

landismom said...

Hope you are feeling better soon. I agree, the writing class scenario sounds a bit overly focused on the grammar, and not as focused on the emotional power of memoir.

Mary Alice said...

Okay. Sorry, that sounds like a completely unempathetic nut job you have for a professor. Some people don't care to relive and share their moments of horror - and how the heck can you separate the writing critique from the subject matter? I just wrote about my rape and you’re criticizing my comma usage? That would put me a little over the edge.