yet another David Foster Wallace post...
In the late 90's I took one class with him at ISU. I talked my way into the class as i already had my undergrad and was spending a year taking only classes that i was really interested in...and he was teaching a class on the postmodern novel...he was kind enough to listen to my appeal and let me into a grad level english class that i had no business being in at that time.
But what a class! We read gaddis, delillo, cormac mccarthy, etc. To be honest, i just couldn't read through all of the gaddis, i love the delillo stuff, and mccarthy was kinda depressing. But that said, it was the most engaging class! The discussions transcended the conventional borders of any English classes i had previously experienced. Deep discussions that circled in and around math, science, history, rhetoric, and more. Truly educational.
On my final paper he drew the "style faerie"....and throughout my paper the "SF" pointed out every stupid grammatical mistake that i made...and believe me..i made a LOT of them.
I dug that paper up last night to read his comments...I can't believe that i handed in something as poorly written as i did to someone like him..someone that was that good at what they did. Someone that insightful. Someone in such deep and fantastic control of language and ideas. In the end i did fine on the paper and the class but i always felt bad about not proofing that paper. It was disrespectful to his craft.
P.S. He was also the first person i'd ever seen chew tobacco.