A college question involving professors that doesn't involve sexing them up.

  • M4tt

    Posts: 84

    Oct 10, 2011 4:36 AM GMT
    I've been given assignments in English that ask for personal accounts related to a certain topic given.

    EX: A drastic change in life, a story with two examples of objectifying someone and being objectified.

    All kinds of personal details about my life.

    My question to you guys is should I avoid writing anything that mentions I'm gay that a Professor would/could read and possibly react in a not gay friendly way?

    While I'm not obvious I'm pretty open to telling anyone who asks that I'm gay so that's not an issue for me. I'm just concerned that my grades could suffer. Any of you guys here currently college students and have been in my predicament? Should I just keep personal and schoolwork as separate as possible?

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    Oct 10, 2011 4:59 AM GMT
    I've had a similar assignment but being as much of a minority as possible was to my advantage.

    Do you have any examples of being objectified in a platonic way like sports as a kid or something?

    Also, how homophobic can an English professor in New York be?
  • M4tt

    Posts: 84

    Oct 10, 2011 5:07 AM GMT
    Dahas saidI've had a similar assignment but being as much of a minority as possible was to my advantage.

    Do you have any examples of being objectified in a platonic way like sports as a kid or something?

    Also, how homophobic can an English professor in New York be?


    True enough on the New York part, but you know never know, bigots look just like us.

    I've thought about writing about something from my past, but the details for me aren't fresh enough to expand into an essay. I could talk about being objectified as a child but again that enters another realm of personal stuff where at that point I would be more comfortable talking about being gay than my childhood.
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    Oct 10, 2011 5:28 AM GMT
    Whenever I had writing assignments in college, I never provided actual personal anecdotes. I like to keep my private life to myself, whatever the topic may be. Look, they just want to know if you have a solid grasp of the language and can articulate your thoughts. Just make something up, but make sure it's semi-believable. icon_wink.gif
  • M4tt

    Posts: 84

    Oct 10, 2011 5:45 AM GMT
    xrichx saidWhenever I had writing assignments in college, I never provided actual personal anecdotes. I like to keep my private life to myself, whatever the topic may be. Look, they just want to know if you have a solid grasp of the language and can articulate your thoughts. Just make something up, but make sure it's semi-believable. icon_wink.gif


    Works for me!
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Oct 10, 2011 6:38 AM GMT
    As an English Professor, I actually prefer when my students reveal themselves on the page.
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    Oct 10, 2011 7:00 AM GMT
    If you're in school in Brooklyn go for it.

    I'm in school in Toronto and wouldn't have a problem writing something about being gay.
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    Oct 10, 2011 7:01 AM GMT
    xrichx saidWhenever I had writing assignments in college, I never provided actual personal anecdotes. I like to keep my private life to myself, whatever the topic may be. Look, they just want to know if you have a solid grasp of the language and can articulate your thoughts. Just make something up, but make sure it's semi-believable. icon_wink.gif
    This works too.
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    Oct 10, 2011 7:21 AM GMT
    I find that most professors at universities are pretty liberal and supportive, and most major universities are very pro-gay rights. I think you could either make it up or tell the truth and be okay.
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    Oct 10, 2011 10:27 AM GMT
    You risk not developing your writing skills and risk missing the discovery that comes with writing if you side-step issues.
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    Oct 10, 2011 11:56 AM GMT
    xrichx saidWhenever I had writing assignments in college, I never provided actual personal anecdotes. I like to keep my private life to myself, whatever the topic may be. Look, they just want to know if you have a solid grasp of the language and can articulate your thoughts. Just make something up, but make sure it's semi-believable. icon_wink.gif



    then you have misunderstood the purpose of the assignment. This is probably not an exercise in creative writing but introspection and effective telling of a story to illustrate a point.

    xrichx's advice is not good to follow.


    when seeking advice (measure what you are told against your integrity, not against what feels easier or safer

    if you are not ready to be honest and take risks ; you should not be in university. go home to mummy and daddy.
    icon_lol.gif



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    Oct 10, 2011 12:16 PM GMT
    This is really about you and your level of comfort taking risks. If you don't think you can handle the repercussions, then don't put it in writing.

    I had the same decision to make except I needed to deliver a speech in class. For me it was an opportunity to possibly change some views about homosexuality. I personally love a challenge.

    The speech went over very well, and I received an A. There was a lot of questions and debate after the speech, but it was very well received. Several people came over to speak to me after class, and let me know that the learned a lot about the topic.





  • M4tt

    Posts: 84

    Oct 10, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    Upper_Cdn said
    xrichx saidWhenever I had writing assignments in college, I never provided actual personal anecdotes. I like to keep my private life to myself, whatever the topic may be. Look, they just want to know if you have a solid grasp of the language and can articulate your thoughts. Just make something up, but make sure it's semi-believable. icon_wink.gif



    then you have misunderstood the purpose of the assignment. This is probably not an exercise in creative writing but introspection and effective telling of a story to illustrate a point.

    xrichx's advice is not good to follow.


    when seeking advice (measure what you are told against your integrity, not against what feels easier or safer

    if you are not ready to be honest and take risks ; you should not be in university. go home to mummy and daddy.
    icon_lol.gif





    theantijock said
    Dahas saidAlso, how homophobic can an English professor in New York be?


    That is very funny.

    OP, Once upon a time my little niece wasn't so honest with me, so I explained that if she ever wanted to see the truths of the world, she needs to be true to herself and in order to be true to herself, she needed to be honest with others. People who fool others, fool themselves. They are fools.

    Good writing requires honesty, not deception. Your professor asks for nothing more.



    Alright I'll take the step, it'll be easier for me to a certain extent. (I blow at creative writing). Thanks guys for sharing your opinions, they definitely gave me a lot to think about.
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    Oct 10, 2011 4:03 PM GMT
    Take this as an opportunity to use writing to tell your story in the most powerful way possible. Some tips:

    1. Stick to what you know and don't try to use words beyond your grasp.
    2. Don't say what your emotions are, show them. For example, "I was angry" versus "I started at myself in the mirror and frowned. I noticed the flesh between my eyebrows furrow and I hated myself even more." Something dramatic, but somehow rather plain.
    3. When all else fails, write so that the other person can really envision what you were experiencing.
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    Oct 10, 2011 4:07 PM GMT
    Check your school's Allies roster/page (or whatever they call it on your campus - the gay straight alliance) and see if he is one of the Allies, or his personal CV or personal webpage has any indicia of his thoughts on the matter, one way or the other. If he is in the Christian Society or something on campus, definitely don't do it.

    Without a smoking gun that he is okay with it (e.g. the Allies logo on his personal page) I would recommend you avoid it since (a) professors talk, (b) not everyone is as okay with it as they should be in higher education, (c) he has quite a bit of authority over your grade before you get administration/attorneys involved after a lot of threats if you need to flip the grade, and even then, objectively you better have written the A+ paper or your complaint will just be dismissed.

    There could be consequences - just realize that as you make your decision.
  • M4tt

    Posts: 84

    Oct 10, 2011 4:21 PM GMT
    spaghettimonster saidCheck your school's Allies roster/page (or whatever they call it on your campus - the gay straight alliance) and see if he is one of the Allies, or his personal CV or personal webpage has any indicia of his thoughts on the matter, one way or the other. If he is in the Christian Society or something on campus, definitely don't do it.

    Without a smoking gun that he is okay with it (e.g. the Allies logo on his personal page) I would recommend you avoid it since (a) professors talk, (b) not everyone is as okay with it as they should be in higher education, (c) he has quite a bit of authority over your grade before you get administration/attorneys involved after a lot of threats if you need to flip the grade, and even then, objectively you better have written the A+ paper or your complaint will just be dismissed.

    There could be consequences - just realize that as you make your decision.


    Yeah the professor isn't on the Allies page, in fact there are very few people on the allies page at all.

    I'll save the example till the end of the essay where I'll decide to use it or not then.
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    Oct 10, 2011 4:36 PM GMT
    I think socially conservative college professors tend to stick with the safety of socially conservative colleges. But, there are exceptions to every rule.

    They have to understand that it isn't worth the risk of being excoriated worldwide for discrimination against a minority student.

    Tends to limit future career options.

  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Oct 10, 2011 6:13 PM GMT
    If in doubt, choose another topic.

    The assignment is about making you think and express your thoughts, not necessarily about a look into your diary. Or maybe not. In which case the session should be called therapy or analysis instead of English.
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    Oct 10, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    M4tt saidI've been given assignments in English that ask for personal accounts related to a certain topic given.

    EX: A drastic change in life, a story with two examples of objectifying someone and being objectified.

    All kinds of personal details about my life.

    My question to you guys is should I avoid writing anything that mentions I'm gay that a Professor would/could read and possibly react in a not gay friendly way?

    While I'm not obvious I'm pretty open to telling anyone who asks that I'm gay so that's not an issue for me. I'm just concerned that my grades could suffer. Any of you guys here currently college students and have been in my predicament? Should I just keep personal and schoolwork as separate as possible?



    Hey- from one starving college student in a college town with surrounding redneck areas to another, I guess it would depend on you as a person and how long you expect to deal with said professor. I want to say just use common sense when approaching such a topic, and just explain your details as need be, and for fuck's sake- don't be afraid to lie on your paper. It's English, not History class, so you can tweak the past as need be in order to save face for a good grade.
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    Oct 10, 2011 6:32 PM GMT
    If this were a university in the UK you'd more or less be guaranteed a first class / A grade simply by virtue of "coming out" on paper and banging on about gay stuff or mentioning the word homoerotic. Even if your essay was really shit. It's unfair, really.
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    Oct 10, 2011 6:46 PM GMT
    I teach a Learning Strategies and Human Development course for freshmen. Week One, Chapter One discusses how college can enrich your life by allowing you to experience diversity, to clarify your beliefs and values, and to think critically. I can't imagine that any professor would not value these core elements of higher education.
  • davidnta

    Posts: 86

    Oct 10, 2011 6:47 PM GMT
    M4tt saidI've been given assignments in English that ask for personal accounts related to a certain topic given.

    EX: A drastic change in life, a story with two examples of objectifying someone and being objectified.

    All kinds of personal details about my life.

    My question to you guys is should I avoid writing anything that mentions I'm gay that a Professor would/could read and possibly react in a not gay friendly way?

    While I'm not obvious I'm pretty open to telling anyone who asks that I'm gay so that's not an issue for me. I'm just concerned that my grades could suffer. Any of you guys here currently college students and have been in my predicament? Should I just keep personal and schoolwork as separate as possible?



    Approximately 70% of the academy is liberal. The rest may identity as conservative, but that doesn't mean that they're uneducated about LGBT identity. Unless you're at a super small, liberal arts, conservative type of school, then you shouldn't feel too disparaged when thinking about this.

    Chances are that there may be a few that have already done the assignment in the way you're thinking about doing yours.

    Also, if you write something personal about yourself, chances are that the professor will find it more interesting and it'll make their time grading more enjoyable.