Shining Indignity


Florida. Not florida. North Carolina. Not just the first time you write it, but every time: North carolina isn’t a place. The first words of sentences. People you quote who are not bell hooks. Your own last names?

Sometimes Creativity manifests as the shape I twist myself into trying not to run away from grading papers. This chair is roomy, but you can get stuck in it if you try hard enough. I like teaching. I like my students. I’m not the biggest fan of some of my students’ habits. Being Allergic to the Shift Key and/or to Proofreading is today’s epidemic, and I’m feeling a little green and wobbly.

And then Creativity becomes a way to laugh and have a little fun when one is getting a wee bit Cranky. Thus a spontaneous little fiction appeared on my Facebook page, spiffed up for this post:

The professor sits at a typewriter in a large, empty hotel in snowy Colorado. The only words on the paper are “Proper names start with capital letters Proper names start with capital letters Proper names start with capital letters,” over and over. There’s an axe leaning in the corner, a slight glint on its blade from a lonely lamp. There are no other people in the hotel, because the professor is not by nature a violent person or even a scary movie lover, so she just flings the axe through a window. And then begins systematically to throw everything she can lift through every window she can find. The cold wind flows in, like movie blood from an elevator, and perhaps she cries a little. The professor flees to a distant wing, has a hot bath, drinks a bottle of wine in front of the fire, and reads a good 18th-century novel, where an excessive Number of random Words are capitalized. Dogs and cats of a sweet nature settle around her. They have no papers to hand in. They have all read the syllabus. The End.

Yes, I’m posting this instead of grading. How did you know?

TCAFT (formerly known as the CPT) apologizes to Mr. Kubrick, Mr. King, and Everyone for the indignity.