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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Michael K on November 14, 2008

Music Appreciation Class

Dr. Monford peered at me over the top of his horn-rimmed glasses, looking for all the world like a scientist who has just discovered a most unpleasant and unexpected fungus contaminating his experiment.

The professor's scowl deepened as he said, "What did you say, young man?"

Students sitting on either side of me leaned away, as though Monford's glare might actually set them on fire if they sat too close. Then they buried their faces in their notes, demonstrating their utter disdain for my question.

I ignored them. "I said, when are we going to talk about rap?"

It was a fair question. After all, this was a Music Appreciation class. We started out with Baroque composers like Vivaldi, Corelli, and Albinoni. The guys who managed to make minor tunes sound cheerful, and major tunes sound downright spastic.

Then we spent two weeks talking about the Classical composers, like Beethoven, Rossini, and Schubert. These were the composers who had such foresight that they wrote cartoon theme songs two hundred years before cartoons had been invented.

Then there was the Romantic Era, as well as the Modern and the Atonal, and in all that time, we never once mentioned Rap.

Monford continued staring at me for several seconds, and the air pressure in the room decreased from all my classmates sucking in lungfuls of air then holding their breath while they waited for the inevitable reply.

"Young man," Monford said, "This is a Music Appreciation class."

"Rap is music," I said.

I wouldn't have thought it possible, but my classmates leaned even further away, and I became positively light-headed from the lack of atmosphere in the room.

"Rap is most definitely not music," my professor retorted.

"Then what is it?" I asked.

"Rap is nothing more than an absurd competition between grown men to see who can fit the most horrendously forced rhymes into the shortest time interval."

I've gotta admit, I couldn't think of a single comeback.

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