Friday, September 16, 2005

In 'yo Face

I've been wondering what to write about, which suddenly put pressure on the whole process, which paralyzed me, so I just avoided the whole process and read and read interesting blogs. Then I thought about what a hypocrite I was, thinking there was nothing really to write about, because when I taught English my students would say "I dunno what to write about!" everyday and I would turn around and tell them that there was always something to write about. . . I would list ideas on the board, yell them out loud, and even suggest, "Tell me how lame I am for making you write nonstop for 10 minutes everyday."

There are three rules for freewriting: 1. write nonstop; don't let your pen stop moving 2. don't edit yourself; don't go back and worry about punctuation, etc. 3. write about whatever you want. I should have included an inspirational #4 like "always believe in yourself" or "stay in school," but I didn't teach long enough to really get down a system. Reading the journals was always interesting, as you can imagine, but a little disappointing. I thought I would be reading stuff out of Dangerous MInds (starring stage and screen gem Michelle Pheiffer) which was actually required reading in one of my teaching classes at the BYU, can you imagine? It came in handy when dealing with gang warfare and drug dealing which is so prevalent in Spanish Fork, UT. Instead I read about boring stuff they thought I wanted to read, like impromptu critiques about what we were reading (boring), or what they might do after school (boring).

But there WAS this one journal (isn't there always one shining teaching moment, forever frozen in every teacher's career?) written by a seventh grader, which is classic. This kid wrote "Read THIS Mrs. Clark! Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, IN 'YO FACE!!! Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah blah blah. . . " (you get the idea). Apparently he hated me, so at least he was thinking, and hated writing, so at least he was honest. This journal pleased me to no end. I wrote "Thanks for writing the entire time! Great job!" and gave him full credit. Of course I did.

There's always something to write about: like how I'm doing "boot-camp: sleep through the night" for baby this weekend, how I'm painting and redecorating some rooms--I keep changing my mind, (can't make a decision), how I'm so excited for my tv show's to start (A.Development, Lost, Alias), the book I'm reading, the painting I can't seem to finish, things that annoy me to no end that I can't ignore, people who annoy me who I have imaginary conversations with when I vacuum, fun things I want to do like go to dinner with interesting people, topics I would talk about on my radio show, how I don't have a radio show, but should, first sentences to short stories that need to be written, desserts I like, in order, blah, blah, blah, blah. . .

27 comments:

Kacy said...

You should have a radio show. We should go to dinner. Michelle Pfeiffer is so cool in Dangerous Minds. I CAN'T WAIT for Monday (A.D. premier, of course). Blah blah in yo face blah. Oh, Judy.

Miss Five said...

Lisa -
Thank you for the great post. I would love to hear some of the conversations you have when you vacuum. That would be awsome. PS...I heard you had a 3 hour visitor. You MUST talk to that person when you vacuum...I'd lift my feet up whilst you vacuum if you let me listen to that one.

Kactiguy said...

Mrs. Clark, I can't think of anything to respond about.

Ashley said...

Lisa Valentine Clark,
We were thrown together in this life, because your English Major husband decided to infiltrate the theatre dept. And through this random act (or is it?), I discover someone (you) who is SO MUCH LIKE ME!
Look at it:
Our kid having, our T.V., our England living, our stupidly busy husbands, and everything you wrote about in the last paragraph of your blog.
Too bad I don't like you at all.
Have a nice day.
Your Doppelganger,
Ashley Wilkinson Neves

c jane said...

I do that little freewrite (we call it SOCS) activity with my students all the time. When I go back and read them (on their laptops) I find this: asdf;slfjio sfjlsfj;sifjjflskfjal;skjigjlknlfn;lsdihfisflkwnelk. And I think to myself "I love teaching, it really rocks."

Bek said...

Lisa,

I forbid you to paint any more walls in your house until you come and tell me what colors to paint the walls in MY HOUSE. Your house is so cute, don't change it.

Glad there is a new blog. Come visit. Pretty please?
R

Bek said...

BTW--Eric STILL thinks he is your best girlfriend (see the comments in Carina's blog). I keep telling him that just because he he can get you movies before they come out in the theatre and takes you to plays for free and is nicer to your kids DOESN MEAN YOU LIKE HIM BETTER.

Unless you do........

:-)

Hailey said...

Yeah, I was just going to say that your house is already way cool. Why don't you come and decorate my house instead?

Lorien said...

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one to have conversations while I vacuum! And mow the lawn, and dry my hair.

One shining moment in my teaching career goes like this: Kenny the 7th grader (in life science) gives an oral report on the ocean biome. He tells the class that "in the deepest parts of the ocean there are orgasms that are capable of producing light."

Oh, judy! I'll have what she's having!

Lorien said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wendysue said...

Lorien, wow! I wasn't paying enough attention in 7th grade biology!

Lisa, that's why you were a teacher of 7th graders and I never could be. "In 'yo face!" Oh yeah, little snot, come here and I'll give you somethin' to say blah blah about!!!

wendysue said...

Matt just reminded me that his shining moment at a youth activity was playing some type of quick word game and instead of writing "Geritol (the fabulous geriatric vitamin) he wrote proudly Genital!" The spelling was close enough right?

lisa v. clark said...

seventh graders--do we really gotta love 'em?

Kacy, thanks for your support for my radio show. I'll tell you all my topics when we go to dinner

Chanel-oh judy, I talk to everyone when I vacuum and imagine you laughing, of course.

ashley--I need to talk to you about England. Wanna go?

christopher clark said...

I'm concerned about my wife talking to the vacuum. Maybe I should be home more? I talk more than a vcuum, generally.

Ashley said...

do i wanna go to england?

do i wanna go to the celestial kingdom?

so what's the deal?

Ashley said...

my word verification was "maercdettolc".

Kate said...

You know, I've been thinking lately that I should have a radio show too! I listen to these dejays in the morning and I know I could do better than that. I'm wacky. I'm fearless.

Maybe we should partner up Lisa. We'd be a good team. I'll be the Dean to your Jerry...

Oh, and I sometimes have imaginary conversations while I'm driving. I'm usually giving an interview for something amazing that I've done. Usually it's having a book on the best-seller list, writing and starring in the movie adaptation and winning Oscars because of those efforts.

"Well you see Larry, it's very anti-climatic. I've accomplished so much in my first movie, how can I top that? There's nothing to work toward anymore. Except winning another one." *all laugh*

Valentine said...

Oh, Judy. Bless you.
I have since deleted my blog under the pressure. Being in a family of english teachers and intellectuals doesn't help. Dating a professional writer and published poet doesn't help.
LAY OFF! I'M A FASHION MAJOR! LOOK AT MY FRIGGIN COLOR COORDINATION DAMMIT!
But you're right. It's time for me to free write.
Thank you for making it okay.
Your favorite sister,
Aunty Pandy

AzĂșcar said...

AD premieres tonight!

How did baby boot camp go?

If you get a radio show, don't get one on 1400 KSTAR. I had one on KSTAR once, and now I don't, because no one listens to KSTAR (nor should they.)

Ken said...

Lisa,
We HAD a radio show. Remember? IT WAS POO! We HATED it! Maybe it was because WE didn't actually get microphones. Maybe it was because the show started at MIDNIGHT. Maybe it was because Michelle Pfeiffer wouldn't come on as our guest because we put her on as a lead-in to our very special guest, Sister Janice Kapp Christiansen de Azevado. But man...those rides back and forth to the studio were AWESOME!
Ken
P.S. I know what'yer doooin'

lisa v. clark said...

KEN! How could I forget our radio show!?!? Remember how "the man" came to shut me down because I was "offending their listeners?" (well, I didn't offend Gina, the only one listening, but I might have so it's always good to jump the gun like that, just in case ) I'll never forget your inappropriate mission story. Topher and I laugh about that to this day. Niiiiiiiiice!

Pandy, your blog was awesome! Please don't stop. Might I make a suggestion or two? Post pics of your original fashions. . . and everyone likes celebrity gossip!

Ashley, you're crazy! Quit talking to the vacuum so much!

nie nie said...

when my teachers asked me to just write freestyle for 10 minutes, i usually would fall asleep. school is boring

compulsive writer said...

While I've never had conversations while I vacuum (probably because I can't bring myself to vacuum very often) I have noticed a tendency to compose brilliant missives in my head while I'm in the shower. Letters to the editor, letters to the families of deceased people, letters to companies with defective products or inadequate service, etc. The disadvantage is that much like with the voices of those people who can sing marvelously only in the shower, the effect just isn't the same once I turn off the tap. Clever phrases and articulate passages just seem to wash right down the drain, along with the soap scum, and all I'm left with is disjointed thoughts and ordinary words. What a waste!

Otto said...

One morning in my 11th grade English class, my teacher wrote, "Something Unique About Me." as the topic for our 10 minute free write. Just as the class was quieting down, I decided to read the topic out loud. The thing is, I mispronounced the word "unique" and it came out as, "eunuch". It got big laughs from those who knew what it meant (I was not one of them, and had to go look it up later, but I didn't admit it at the time). I'm glad that on this topic, at least, I can truthfully say, "I dunno what to write about."

Suzie Petunia said...

I can't think of ANYTHING to write...but midnight hits and I'm like a novelist!

Ashley said...

otto:
i don't know you, but...
YOU WERE IN 11TH GRADE AND DIDN'T KNOW "UNIQUE"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????

Otto said...

I knew "unique", but not "eunuch". When I read "unique" I was playing around with the pronunciation and it came out "eunuch", which I knew was a word, but didn't know what it meant at the time. I do now. Sorry, if that was a little confusing.