After writing somewhere close to 55 pages in a week, I've whittled the final product, "Knife," down to 35 for the time being. I think the scriptural references need to be truncated further, pared down to a less intrusive, less abrupt size. Reactions span from wild praise and acceptance of the work as a whole, to demands that I either clarify the speaker's feelings, or even that the speaker's feelings are far too overwhelming. Enough students have read it and responded that reaction also covers every viewpoint in between. Some want better focus on just one scene. Others want me to bring out recurring themes more blatantly. It is a subtle work, I'll admit that. And I feel good that there isn't a single repeating criticism. I'm nervous for class, which is in an hour and a half. This stuff is so raw that I'm feeling pretty defensive. And then there is the concern that Karin, my professor, hates faith stories. This is only marginally that. It's more like, "I have faith, but it's clearly irrational. And I'm going to keep my faith anyway." So maybe she'll give me a pass.
I must say, however, that those who feel I'm pointing fingers of blame at my mother obviously haven't read the text closely. I'm pretty self-effacing, owning up to things that take serious cajones to admit.
Mr. PNU is ecstatically supportive of the work. That's enough for me right now. That makes baring the soul worth the tears it took to get this beast on paper.
Happy side note: My Greek and Pre-socratics professor offered to write me a letter of recommendation for grad school today. He wants me to think about Iowa. Gah! Right. Everyone and their dog wants to go to Iowa. Still, my Greek professor wants me to apply to Iowa, and that makes me feel good.