From the diary: “May 28, 1981
“In English we are reading The Pearl. Very short book.”
John Steinbeck. I do remember liking The Pearl. Maybe one of the reasons I chose to write a paper on Steinbeck. I thought I’d written the paper in my sophomore year but I don’t mention it in this diary and I remember this particular paper because it was a traumatic event. I had to write according to a strict formula and I’m just horrid about strict formulas. (I haven’t attempted a sonnet in years.) I expect my writing to grow and change as it grows, more like tending a plant than building an outhouse.
I save everything and I recall coming across the Steinbeck paper a couple years after graduation and reading it. It was the stiffest, ugliest writing I’ve ever produced. Somehow I got a B+. I save everything, but I threw this one away.