Yes, I plan to make it the most boring thing ever written.

Far from being boring, it was the most fascinating writing process I've ever experienced.

I've thought about my practice in relation to Borges's Pierre Menard, but even Menard was more original than I am: he, independent of any knowledge of Don Quixote, reinvented Cervantes' masterpiece word for word.

In a great many other ways he learns that he is worthless, untrustworthy, fit only to take other people's orders, a blank sheet for other people to write on. Oh, we make a lot of nice noises in school about respect for the child and individual differences, and the like. But our acts, as opposed to our talk, says to the child, "Your experience, your concerns, your curiosities, your needs, what you know, what you want, what you wonder about, what you hope for, what you fear, what you like and dislike, what you are good at or not so good at - all this is of not the slightest importance, it counts for nothing. What counts here, and the only thing that counts, is what we know, what we think is important, what we want you to do, think and be." The child soon learns not to ask questions - the teacher isn't there to satisfy his curiosity. Having learned to hide his curiosity, he later learns to be ashamed of it. Given no chance to find out who he is - and to develop that person, whoever it is - he soon comes to accept the adults' evaluation of him.

In fact, he learns how to live without paying attention to anything going on around him. You might say that school is a long lesson in how to turn yourself off, which may be one reason why so many young people, seeking the awareness of the world and responsiveness to it they had when they were little, think they can only find it in drugs. Aside from being boring, the school is almost always ugly, cold, and inhuman.

What makes an essay--or anything boring.

The are positioned off the Malaysian coast. Sailors , as the natives killed anybody who landed and burned their bodies. The Andamans looked like African pygmies. The British established a penal colony on the Andaman Islands in the late 1700s, when about five thousand aboriginal Andamans lived on the main islands. The Andaman from the usual diseases, mayhem, and alcohol that Europeans brought with them, and they were nearly extinct within a century of British contact. . The genetic and other evidence has been used to make a convincing case that the aboriginal Andamans were island-dwarfed descendants of the original inhabitants. The Andaman Islands were never connected to the mainland, so the aborigines probably descended from people who stopped and stayed during that founder migration from Africa.

How to Write a Topic Sentence (with Sample Topic Sentences)

To briefly revisit , men have always committed vastly more violence than women, were the primary hunters, and almost . In general, the higher women’s status, the healthier the society was. The people of Africa stayed isolated hunter-gatherers to the present day. Their , with its click sounds shared with other African groups, such as the last full-time hunter-gatherers left in Africa, the , probably sounded like the language that the founder group left with and has since been lost beyond Africa. Genetic testing has demonstrated that the and related groups remained in Africa when that founder group left, and their geographic isolation and warlike ways . Genetic testing also traced the migration path to Australia, and found peoples that stopped along the way, as part of a coastal migration that and maybe . One reason why the coastal route was probably the first was that it was warm and relatively easy. Around 60 kya, the global climate warmed a little. It was about before it began oscillating toward .


and wrote easily one of the most dry and wry college essays I have ever read.

We need to get kids out of the school buildings, and give them a chance to learn about the world at first hand. It is a very recent idea, and a crazy one, that the way to teach our young people about the world they live in is to take them out of it and shut them up in brick boxes. Aside from their parents, most children never have any close contact with any adults except people whose sole business is children. No wonder they have no idea what adult life or work is like. A child learning to talk does not learn by being corrected all the time - if corrected too much, he will stop talking. He compares, a thousand times a day, the difference between language as he uses it and as those around him use it. Bit by bit, he makes the necessary changes to make his language like other people's. In the same way, kids learning to do all the other things they learn without adult teachers - to walk, run, climb, whistle, ride a bike, skate, play games, jump rope - compare their own performance with what more skilled people do, and slowly make the needed changes. But in school we never give a child a chance to detect his mistakes, let alone correct them. We do it all for him. We act as if we thought he would never notice a mistake unless it was pointed out to him, or correct it unless he was made to. Soon he becomes dependent on the expert. We should let him do it himself. Let him figure out what this word says, what is the answer to that problem, whether this is a good way of saying or doing this or that. Our job should be to help him when he tells us that he can't find a way to get the right answer. Let's get rid of all this nonsense of grades, exams, marks. We don't know now, and we never will know, how to measure what another person knows or understands. We certainly can't find out by asking him questions. All we find out is what he doesn't know which is what most tests are for, anyway. Throw it all out, and let the child learn what every educated person must someday learn, how to measure his own understanding, how to know what he knows or does not know.

Welcome to the Most Boring News Event Ever | Foreign Policy

Nevertheless, I do believe there's a serious and seldom discussed flaw in the workshop model. The problem is, it's also the best thing about the workshop model: specifically, that it provides young writers with not only the opportunity to be surrounded by people who care deeply about literary fiction (or nonfiction) but also with the chance to have their work evaluated by such people. It is in MFA workshops that an aspiring artist can enjoy what Harbach describes as "the minute, scrupulous attentions of one's instructor and peers."


We live in a culture that doesn't particularly care about books and authors, and that cares even less about literary fiction. There are bustling communities that spring up around projects like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and the self-publishing scene, but they're populated by folks, writers to a one, who really just want you to read their books, not vice versa.

Welcome to the Most Boring News Event Ever « | Foreign Policy ..

How does this affect their work? To judge by the complaints I've heard from many a writing teacher, the result, all too often, is fiction that falls short in the one area where no work of fiction can afford to fail: It's simply not interesting. Even if these teachers tell their students, as any good writing teacher should, that they must seize a reader's attention from the very first sentence, an environment in which one's readers have no choice but to go on reading is not the best place to learn how to do this. It's not that MFA instructors persuade their students to produce artful but boring work. To the contrary: They're as bummed out about it as anyone else. Rather, this unfortunate blind spot is baked into the workshop method.

Welcome to the Most Boring News Event Ever.

Whenever I'm asked to speak to a class of MFA students about the reviewer's job (it happens every so often), I bring along my iPad and show them a photo of the stack of books I received in that day's mail. It's typically anywhere from 20 to 30 titles. That's what I get every single weekday, and it pales in comparison to the stacks and tables of books that greet a civilian reader when she steps into her favorite bookstore. Most of these students fantasize about being published by the houses that send me these review copies, and in an ideal world, each of those titles would receive lengthy and patient consideration. Nobody lives in that world. The decision to read or not to read will likely be made on such ephemera as cover art or how appealingly the flap copy describes the premise, and an author is lucky if a reader takes the time to read her first page. Nobody owes a writer more than that if the first page doesn't deliver.