The Ivory Power

“Most academics know how to take something apart, but not how to assemble it.” – Julia Cameron

When I took Creative Writing in college, the professor who normally taught it was on sabbatical. Her substitute was a fastidious man who gave us quizzes on the textbook we were required to purchase for the class.

My sense the whole time was that he’d drawn the short straw in having to fill in for his colleague, and he regretted it deeply. This was reflected in his unhelpful criticisms, such as an admonition against using parentheses.

I got a C in that class because I did poorly on the quizzes, and that is what he based our grades on. With the interest that mounts on student loans, I am sure I paid thousands of dollars for that class. And it did immeasurable damage to my willingness to take creative risks.

I still harbor ill will towards that professor, and I am sure he has no idea how he helped to knock the wind out of my sails.


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