Pedagogy, Philosophy, and Nonsense Home 

Essays and Links

Creative Non-Fiction
Being Like Children

The Blessing and the Blues

David and the Revelation

The Dawn, the Dark, and the Horse I Didn't Ride in On (an odd, philosophical, semi-romantic meandering)

Ghost Dancer in the Twilight Zone

The Hair Connection and the Nature of Choices

The Mug, the Magic, and the Mistake

Trumpet Player, USDA Approved

Writing and Education

Autobiography Challenge

Considering Conclusions         

Considering Introductions

Four Meanings of Life

Godot and the Great Pumpkin

    A Major is More Minor  Than You Think

 Thoughts About Picking a Major

Quick Points

Quick Points About Writing

Reading Poetry and Cloud Watching

Revising Revision

Reviving Experience

Reviving Symbolism

Using an Audience

What Makes a Story True

What's the Subject of a Class?

Why Write? Legos, Power, and Control

 Writing and Einstein: The Difference Between Information and Meaning

Writing and the Goldilocks Dilemma

Something Somewhat Vaguely Like a Resumé


Selected Poems

The Poetry Process

Showing Class (writing by current or former students)
Ms. Write Meets Her Match in Jr. Ms. Write Now
by Heide Perry

I'll Just Have Cats
by Cara Hummel

Toys to Toys
by Allyson Bowlds

Scribbles and Bits (neat lines or paragraphs by various students)


Links to Other Sites

 Pedagogy, Philosophy, and Nonsense
Thoughts About Education, Writing, and Experience

Presented by Forrest D. Poston

Showing Class

This part of the site is dedicated to writing done by my current and former students, writing done for class, on the side, or even long after the term ended. Writing may include essays, stories, poems, scraps, or writing that defies categories.

I'll Just Have Cats
by Cara Hummel, (English 101, University of Southern Indiana, 2000.) (Some names have been changed or omitted to protect the innocent, the guilty, and anyone else who might need protection.)

My first serious relationship began at the drop of a valentine. There were three boys who had a crush on me in my fourth grade class. All three of them slipped valentines in my box, but one did something more, he gave me chocolates and a rose to go with it. Funny how even at age 9, boy knew just what to do. Is there a book, or a class. . . . How to Win Girls 101? Once the three of them recognized the competition, Mr. Butler's classroom became quite uncomfortable. A little tense you might say. To make a long story short, after a fight on the playground and much heartbreak, John and I were boyfriend and girlfriend. It was great, and our relationship was maturing quickly. With each ocassional glance, and sometime a phone call, we were "meant to be." Funny, I don't even remember our being together outside those classroom walls, but we were exclusive, and everyone knew it.

The year flew by, and summer sun came quickly. Our fling lasted all summer, but when fifth grade rolled around, things had changed. I knew I had to end it; we were practically adults now. And besides the fact that we didn't talk all summer, there were rumors that he had two-timed me. I was thouroughly pissed. I felt hurt and betrayed. In my whole ten years I had never been so insulted. So I did what I had to do. . . . I told my friends to tell his friends to tell him that I dumped his sorry butt!

My first serious boyfriend lasted my entire fourth grade year only to end in dishonesty. Talk about foreshadowing. It was very upsetting when his friends started calling me names. I could hardly hold my head up while walking down those yellow halls. I went home bawling to my mom. She tried to comfort me, but it was too late. My rep was ruined forever. I will never forget sitting on the rose-colored carpet in my childhood bedroom, just sobbing to my mom, "I'm never getting married." I cried to her. "I'll just have cats."

Since then it hasn't gotten much better. At the closing of my most recent "perfect" two year fling, my hopes for real love seem even more unreachable. I'm actually beginning to think that love is just not in the cards for me. Maybe it's my fault. My perfectionism could be getting in the way. After all, I read an article in the paper today claiming that women with eating disorders usually have failing marriages. Then again, I remember all those sneaky, underhanded lies he told, and I'm just disgusted. My conclusion remains; I think I'll just have cats. They never lie, never cheat. All they do is sleep and eat. I think I'll just have cats.


Contact, Converse, Critique, Question

Would you like to know when the site gets updated? Drop me an e-mail, and I'll add you to the list. Much of my writing has been for the antiques site lately, but I have a long list of essays in assorted stages of revision for this site. The people who e-mail often apologize because they assume I'm swamped with e-mails. I only wish it were true. I'm a teacher from the marrow out, so give me questions. I'm a writer, so I also need an audience. Sometimes that means applause, sometimes rotten tomatoes.

     From time to time, a student decides to use some of my ideas, or perhaps they even quote me in a paper. Great, I'll take what fame and traces of immortality I can get. However, I should also warn such students that my ideas are not always the things that your teachers want to hear. I'm a stubborn idealist, and that puts me at odds with quite a bit of education theory and literary criticism. Sure, I think I'm right about some things, and I'm sometimes convinced of my own brilliance, but don't jump into the fire blindfolded.


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