Set your priorities in order. I learned this when my professor of British Literature said, “There are three photos in my office. One is of my wife, two are of Virginia Woolf.”
Avoid distraction. On the first day of Italian I the professor announced that he threw his television out the window and it was the best thing he had ever done for himself. I retained this fact rather than the verb recitations that followed.
Do not become a doormat. Mid-semester 90% of the class stopped doing the reading and adopted blank stares as responses to the poetry professor’s discussions. He said “fuck this” and walked out, like a father abandoning his ungrateful children.
Rhyming does not equal poetry. When a classmate resigns himself to using the word “cunnilingus” because it is the best he can find to complement “fungus,” the writing strategy needs to be reevaluated.
All work and no play makes JJ a dull girl. When Esther Greenwood from Plath’s The Bell Jar starts to sound logical and eerily sympathetic, it’s time to take a break from the pressure and enjoy the lunar eclipse or the swaying hips of the beautiful boy beside you.