But when will I need this in the real world?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The battle cry of study resistant highschoolers across the globe.

"I'm going to be a lawyer. Why do I need differential calculus?"
"I'm going to throw clay pots for a living. Why do I need to know how to diagram a sentence?"
"I'm an artist. Why do I need to memorize the chemical weight of Boron?(And you can't fool me, Krypton is where Superman came from, so there, Mr. Hoffman! ;-) )
"I'm going to be a writer. What use is rope climbing to a writer?"
"I'm going to be be a teacher. Aren't all the answers in the back of the book? No? Well, fine, then I'll teach 2nd grade. That's easy."

In my case, I hated poetry in English with a passion that most poets would covet for inspiration. I found most of it dense, pretentious, too in love with the rhythm of its own being, etc. And yet, our teachers seemed to think it was the essence of life itself.

The original career path was supposed to be genetic engineering. There's nothing particularly poetic about genotypes and recombinant DNA. (And so help me, if one of you mentions the poetic beauty of life itself, I will find a way to upload myself into the next post and smack you through the screen.) I didn't need poetry; it didn't need me. The world spun happily on its axis and mitosis continued.

Then, due to a string of things I'm not getting into, genetic engineering stayed at the school I left and I came back from Cambridge to take care of a couple of family members. Since getting out of the house wasn't really an option, I started writing again - this time as more than a hobby/pass time.

So what's that got to do with poetry?

You may or may not remember the haiku I dug out of a recently discovered floppy disk and posted here a while back. (I found all kinds of interesting things on those old disks. Some of it vaguely terrifying...) Well, that deceptively short three lines of solid platinum Sophomore effort actually found its way into my WIP. I needed a reason for a certain activity in the story, and it occurred to me that the MC was issued an assignment to write a poem. And since this particular piece was a bit dark, and the WIP involved birds that may or may not be human part of the time, it fit perfectly.

I still hate it. But at least now, I'm less convinced that those weeks were totally wasted time.

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