Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cool assignment

Hey guys,

My professor, Pinckney Benedict, gave us a really neat assignment this week-- along with our normal writing, he asked us to think about what our theme song is. This became a huge existential crisis for me, because I know way too much music for my own good, and every song seemed either way too simple or too complicated. (I also have a pretty healthy fear of the people around me understanding me too well, so I didn't want to give anything away.) You can see my freaking out about it here at my blog.

But it made me think in other ways, too-- our workshop is pretty intense. Each writer has a story due every other week, and Pinckney requests that it be new, and whatever you're working on when your turn comes up. As a result, I've written seven full length stories this semester (they are certainly not all good).

So an assignment like this, even if it's just something quick and fun, was a breath of fresh air. It kind of helped me get energized about writing again, this week, too, because I had a "theme song" (both the one I sent to him and the one that is my SECRET theme song, like my superhero theme). Do your professors have cool exercises that they use to change things up? And do you guys even think it's beneficial to use music in writing classes?

And what the hey-- what's your theme song? Do you have a writing theme song and a personal theme song, or are they one and the same?


  1. Wow, that's a lot of story writing! Rita Dove had us do something a little similar. She gaves us all envelopes with wild card assignments. Each of us was given a different writing assignment to turn in. Mine had me creating a disaster, putting myself in it, and then trying to leave behind a message. I actually cried while writing it! lol

    I'll have to think on this theme song thing. It used to be Quiet Storm by Mobb Deep ft. Lil Kim but (I think) I may have outgrown that lol

    I'd imagine this would be hard for you though with your musical interests!

  2. Whoa, Rita Dove's assignment sounds great. I love a challenge-- often something like that gets me to think in new ways, which is refreshing for me and my writing.

    Haha, I found that I'd outgrown several of my "theme songs". (*"Stronger" by Kanye West, etc.) But it was! It was more challenging than I expected.

  3. That is a cool assignment. Hmmm. "No Cars Go" by Arcade Fire, I wish (just for the music).

    I also got the disaster/apocalypse random card assignment in my first workshop at U of H. I guess there's something about random disaster/apocalypse for poets...

  4. Dude, that's an awesome theme song. I went through several where I was like, "The music is my theme, but the words are not." I actually wound up sending something in and then changing it at the last minute. Oh, well.

    That seems like a good idea on the writing assignment. Did you guys find that having a specific situation made it easier or more difficult to write the poem?

  5. Agreed about the music, it changes all the time, doesn't it?

    And the assignment was easier to write, but the writing was probably a little worse...


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