Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Elixir of Life

 I enjoy CBC's Grown-ups Read What They Wrote As Kids,  so in the same spirit, here is my major creative writing assignment from Grade 6*.

Clearly, a budding genius even then.

I'd kept it all these years partly because I was raised by a hoarder who taught me one must never throw anything of that sort out; and partly because I was aware that I would someday become a teacher and would need to calibrate my expectations for students by comparing their work with mine at a similar age, as opposed to against the great masters of literature, which seemed to me at the time to be the bar. I didn't become a Grade 6 teacher, but I did have daughters, both of whom were greatly relieved that no matter how bad their own Grade 6 writing, they were considerably better than their dad. My also kept all my university papers, and looking back at those periodically has kept me humble and a better marker. "These kids today don't know anything!" is a common refrain, but people forget how they didn't know much as an undergrad either--kind of the point of going to university, really.

I also clearly remember being concerned my teacher would think I had plagarized from Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Colors of Space which I had read as I start outlining for the assignment and by which I was greatly inspired. I had only discovered Science Fiction half-way through Grade 6, and Bradley's was perhaps the second or third book of that sort that I had read, so my limited familiarity with the field meant that I thought I was copying by having, you know, spaceships. In retrospect, I'm fairly certain anyone would be hard-pressed to find any parallel between the two works. href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7LUMSXu2S7o/X0W1W3itgfI/AAAAAAAAMJY/mFZftlsf9O04aQbc4iu_gsPZrevWAdz4gCLcBGAsYHQ/s499/51Dk2kOQ3JL._SX300_BO1%252C204%252C203%252C200_.jpg" style="display: block; padding: 1em 0; text-align: none;">

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