Scott sent me this funny video of Taylor Mali called "The The impotence of proofreading":
This guy is maybe a little self-important for my taste. He is part of the Poetry Slam scene, something people are always asking me about and which I know little about -- though what I know makes it feel like it is not my thing. He considers himself a poet, and you can hear in some of his more unnatural elocutions something of poetry's mannerisms. I like mannerism, especially in David Mamet -- but am not sure this guy would not be better without them. So Mali considers himself a poet, but I think there are better ways to describe him. His most famous piece, What Teachers Make, is a kind of half inspiring, half cringeworthy performance that feels like Aaron Sorkin pushed a little too hard. "The The impotence of proofreading" feels much more like old time-y piano comedian Victor Borge than it does like any poet I can think of. But maybe I would feel differently if I was reading it rather than hearing it out loud (though someone will object that since poetry was originally written to be spoken aloud this is closer to the origin anyway, which I can see, but now this whole line of thought it making me tired).
Anyway, I thought this might be a fun place to hear from teachers about funny things students write and say. Here is one from Scott:
From a sample from a paper I just graded today from a student who was writing about coming from the more urban (urban being a relative term hear) area of Woodbridge, Va to the very rural Radford, Va: "With McDonald's resturants being a key indicator of modernization, it dawned on me that as I moved closer to my destination that I was leaving behind the civilizationn I had grown up with in favor of a more rudimentary, Hardee's based community."
And one from me:
One of my favorite moments in class was when i showed a clip from the McKellen Macbeth and then later told them Patrick Stewart was doing Macbeth on broadway, and one of them said "So both Magneto and Professor X have been Macbeth?"