Sunday, September 9, 2007

Plato's Republic

Well, it's Sunday night and I'm getting ready to teach tomorrow. In my utopia/dystopia class, I'm going to introduce students to Plato's Republic. We're doing a couple of hundred pages of the Republic this week as an introduction to utopian thought. The Republic is quite interesting and not a little weird. One of the things that I find most troubling about Plato's work is his stance on fiction and poetry. He thinks they're quite harmful to the young, especially to the young of the Guardian class, his proposed rulers. The way Socrates talks about approaching major poets and saying, "Sorry, you can't say that because it will corrupt the youth" is almost funny. I suppose in a way he's probably right. Literature is subversive (an overused word if ever there was one). It offers new ways to see the world. And if you're running the world, you might not like people having that option. All despots hate art because art is about changing one's vision of the world.

In my other teaching, I'm doing a Fundamentals course. Although this is some of the most difficult teaching I ever do, it's some of the most rewarding. The students challenge me regularly. And that's great. I respect these folks tremendously. They're full of life (even though a few of them have been dealt some harsh blows). I hope that I can help.

Well, off to read.

Doug

Thursday, September 6, 2007

School's In

In addition to being a writer, I'm also a college instructor. I just started semesters at three schools. It's been a good start.

What a whirlwind it's all been. During the week of August 19, I was at the WOTF Workshop and Awards Ceremony. It was an incredible week, one full of treats. Then on the 26th I flew back to Minneapolis. And I started teaching at MCTC the next day. This week, I started teaching literature and Professional Writing at ST. Thomas and the U of M. Three very different teaching experiences, but all very rewarding.

Doug

But I'm Not Either

Hi. I'm Doug.

I'm a writer.

I am a published writer.

While I recently won The Writers of the Future contest and I was lucky enough to have my story lead the book. (On Sale here and here), I don't consider myself that important.

And neither should you.

Which is why my first book "You're Not Very Important" (On Sale here and here) was good enough to spawn this blog.

If that is not enough Doug for you, I also have a website.