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Discussion Starter #1
Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from
Venus"? Here's a prime example offered by an English
professor from the University of Phoenix:

The assignment instructions:

"Today we will experiment with a new form called the
tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will
pair off with the person sitting to his or her
immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you
will write the first paragraph of a short story. You
will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send
another copy to me. The partner will read the first
paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story
and send it back also sending another copy to me. The
first person will then add a third paragraph, and so
on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been
written each time in order to keep the story coherent.
There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the
e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written
in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a
conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of my
English students:

Rebecca (last name deleted), and Gary (last name

(first paragraph by Rebecca)
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she
wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite
for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much
of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he
liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all
costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was
suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her
asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out
of the question.
(second paragraph by Gary)
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the
attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more
important things to think about than the neuroses of
an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom
he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S.
Harris to Geostation 17,....", he said into his
transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established.
No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could
sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere
and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay.
The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of
his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but
not before he felt one last pang of regret for
psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever
had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped
its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers
of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently
Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read
in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously
excited her and bored her. She stared out the window,
dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed
unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read,
no television to distract her from her sense of
innocent wonder at all the beautiful things
around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to
become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds
to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the
Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its
lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy
peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace
Disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth
a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who
were determined to destroy the human race. Within two
hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian
ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough
firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one
to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical
plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the
atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret
Mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off
the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive
explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid, Laurie and 85
million other Americans. The President slammed his
fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this!
I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of
the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of
literature. My writing partner is a violent,
chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered, tedious, neurotic
whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent
of Valium. "Oh shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I
have some other sort of tea??? Oh no, I'm such an air
headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele
A+ - I really liked this one. Only group to get an A.

Premium Member
19,890 Posts
That sounds bout right.
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