the english course i bitched about in the last post is a composition course. the big project for the semester is a how-to manual of some sort, or some kind of technical or procedural manual. examples have included a manual for rebuilding classic corvettes, a payroll manual for a local fire department, or a manual on teddy bear collecting.
i'm going to do a how-to on how to work aa's twelve steps. it should be fun, educational for me since it will force me to dive back into the literature, and sufficiently useless to qualify as a good class project. i may even post the result here when it's done.
the first part of the project is a memo proposing the project. so i wrote one. i addressed it to my (mythical) sponsor, seeking his approval to create this project, outlining its requirements, goals, the need for such a manual, a timeline, its costs, and all that garbage.
as i wrote it, i found myself inappropriately explaining aa jargon terms so the instructor could make sense of them. for example, anyone with a week sober will know what the big book is, but the instructor won't. and sponsoree isn't a normal english word, so it needs to be defined. but as i wrote, i realized that i wouldn't need to define these terms in this way to a member of aa. so i took all that crap out.
and i read it again, and realized again that the teacher wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of a good deal of it, and the part about the cost of the project would totally fly over her head (7th tradition stuff).
so i had to write a memo explaining the memo. the real assignment is three pages long; the memo to the teacher explaining stuff like anonymity and sponsorship is a page and a half. i even requested a waiver of the requirement that the inside cover page contain a full-name byline, citing aa custom in these matters. after all, with a single exception, no conference-approved aa literature carries a byline (the exception being "twelve concepts for world service" by bill w.). i suggested omitting the byline while i privately acknowledge the requirement, doing first name last initial, or using an obvious pseudonym (and "ima hogg" is not a pseudonym: she was the daughter of a rather mean governor of texas). i was thinking about, say, "Ima Lush." do you have another funnier suggestion?
i can't wait till she grades it.