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· Pointed Takes on Style Delineated ·

· Hindsight / Foresight / Eyesight ·

I'm looking backward and foreward simultaneously. Yesterday was the start of spring, March 20, a brilliant, sunny day — my last of classes. Today is cloudy and cold, the start of finals, and while I'm looking forward now to spring, I'm reviewing an entire winter's worth of work. So it goes here.

So what am I to make of this "one-step-forward, two-step-back" season? Seeing as T. S. Eliot says "April is the cruelest month," only A. R. Ammons's


 · 'Am I coming through all right? -- A. R. Ammons ·     It was May before my

attention came

to spring and

my word I said
to the southern slopes

missed it, it
came and went before
I got right to see:

don't worry, said the mountain,
try the later northern slopes
or if

you can climb, climb
into spring: but
said the mountain

it's not that way
with all things, some
that go are gone

I know here that June will always go with spring. Summer, anyone?

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· An Artful, Stylish Recommendation ·

At Trope Topic College I've been busy. Indeed, since my last posting here, I've been testing and grading, conferring and advising, editing and recommending. To give you some idea of my work, I thought to share a single scholarship recommendation, a classic form I've had a few chances to perfect. Happily, my student — Jason Artful — made my own work easy.

   To the Trope Topic College Scholarship Committee:

Jason Artful has asked for a recommendation supporting his TTC scholarship application. As his teacher in English 101 last fall, I can happily comply. Jason is a very deserving applicant.

 · Jason's 'Flooded' · Jason combines good sense with personal integrity and, vocationally, very impressive artistic talent. I have just finished reviewing a shared set of CD images that, like three essays I still possess, affirm the conclusion that he works skillfully. In everything, he succeeds, and I would consider his work still more broadly competitive. For I trust he will transfer one day, and with the pride he now takes in OHS carry on our fine traditions at TTC to bigger and better things. I know he has designs on such, already now partly fulfilled in his recent promotion at Starbucks — with whom he wishes to continue working one day in the design department. Goal-setting, I tell my students, is the real deal, and Jason truly is its exemplar.

He is also an exemplar of the steady application of head and heart to class work. His first essays initially fell short of that task in 101, but without batting an eye — and sitting always up front — he learned his lessons, applying himself and coming away, as he wrote in a final bluebook essay, as "a simple, complete, and focused writer." I wish more students would do the same.

In any event, he deserves everything TTC can give him, and your committee clearly has a fair share to offer. I trust Jason won't misspend it.

                                        Yours sincerely,

                                            Styles Stylechoice
                                            Humanities Division

Jason thought that might do the trick, and I concurred. Some few letters do just write themselves. Prompted here by his own well-formed self, Jason's is but a brief, quite colorful, artfully "stylish" example.

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