Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 27, 1972 · Page 86
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August 27, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 86

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, August 27, 1972
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Page 86
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Craft Patterns This larger gun cabinet will display six guns as long as 49 inches with safety. It is a handsome cabinet which can be made of pine or a hardwood and will fit well with any other furnishings. The two roomy drawers as well as the door can be equipped with locks. The barrel rack and stock recesses hold six guns at an angle intended for best display, and their green felt lining precludes any possibility of scratching the guns. Height of the cabinet is 6 ft., and it measures 1 3U inches across the waist and 35 inches across the ba:°. Order Craft Pattern 998 (65 cents) which also Includes directions for making the cabinet larger. To order, specify pattern number and send correct amount of money (no stamps, please) to Sunday Gazette- Mail Craft Pattern Dept., Elmhurst, 111. 60126 State Magazine Ads Do if much beffer 22m CHARLESTON, W.VA. PERSPECTIVES Edited by Arthur C. Buck, assistant professor of English, West Virginia University A Belly Dance Dropout 'By Beverly Dickerson A friend of mine recently called me on the phone and enthused, "Guess what? I have something new for vou to try!" "What?" ' . "Belly dancing." This gave me pause. I wondered why she thought I · would be interested in such a thing. I asked her. She said, "Because you are, c r a z y e n o u g h t o t r y anything." This answered my question. She went on, "They're giving a course downtown and I think you should try it." She talked on and on and finally I began to think she was right. After all it WAS something I hadn't ever tried and I would hate to think inlater years that I had missed an opportunity. Besides she promised to go, too. She, also, is a little touched in the head. The classes started the following Monday and there we were with our money in our hot little hands and our bellies presumably where they were supposed to be. Our instructor looked and spoke like the Liberace of the belly dancing world and we smiled at one another. It wasn't long, however, before we lost our smiles. By golly, he really could do it! The course was to last ten weeks with practices twice a week, each lasting an hour apiece. The first day we discovered muscles we didn't know we had. This was my first problem. I hadn't told my husband what I was doing so there was no way to get any sumpathy for my sore belly muscles. I didn't tell him because I felt it would be next to impossible to e x p l a i n a repressed urge to take up belly dancing which I was · sure I'd had for years. My next problem was the fact that I was soon convinced I didn't have all the muscles everybody else had. One day in the middle of a less our instructor came over and said, "Mrs. D., it is considered cheating to shove one's jelly around with one's hands. That's why we're here: to train your muslces to.do it." 1 looked down at his very muscular waist and then at my scrawny one and asked, "Are you sure I've got all that you've got?" With scorn in his eyes and light sneer around his lips he s u r v e y e d m y u n . derdeveloped middle and said, "We are all born with the same set of muscles. The difference lies in how we use them." I would have to double my practice at home, that was all there was to it. I always practiced when I thought I was alone. I would stand before the full length mirror and whisper tica-tic, tica-tic (which was the tempo we were supposed to use.) I practiced the snake and the Abrabian cha-cha which were body movements we'd learned. I lifted my chest and moved it from right to left in what I thought was a very seductive way. " One day during one of these sessions a piping voice behind me said, "Mother, if you have an itch some place you can't reach I'll be glad to scratch it for you." . Well, so much for seduction. The weeks went from bad to worse. It came down to the last week of the course. While the other girls were undulating and twitching rhythmically like lithe young children with grass down their backs I was still struggling with the tica-tic, tica-tic. I was forced to admit there would probably never be a place for me in the belly-daincing world. What if I had been born in a harem? That would have been tragic. Have you ever heard of a belly dance retard? At last the instructor came over to me and said, "Mrs. D. t I really think you should take up the waltz. There are many graceful movements there at a much slower tempo." I agreed with him. Ah, me, c'est la vie. (Mrs. Dickerson," a belly dance dropout, is president of the Colorado Springs chapter of American Pen Women and has published more than 100 items in magazines and newspapers.) A New Way to Write for Money By James P. Willis These days, struggling, writers like myself are being openly invited by newspaper want-ads to "prepare papers for college students," as one ad puts it. The consumers, in turn, can pick and choose from competing "research services" advertising on campus. As a former college teacher, I find it fascinating, to say the least, that I could probably earn a modest living by ghosting the same kind of work I formerly assigned and graded! Aside from the sheer brashness of this manifestly fraudulent business, its debasement of the words "student" and "writer" is not pleasant to contemplate. As for the "companies," many of them are highly organized corporate enterprises which demand of their prospective employees not only r e s u m e s a n d p r o f e s s i o n a l w r i t i n g samples, but also the appropriate academic credentials. "We're strictly professional," one entrepreneur told me. Let's face it: these absurdities exist on a national scale. Those who have helped create the burgeoning college research racket probably include some of the more a f f l u e n t campus radicals who may see it as an effective way to sabotage "the Establishment," as a new f o r m of c a m p u s , rebellion. Other students willing to buy their research work are often in college, sadly, because a degree is nearly their sole ticket to social mobility. Somehow they will find the money (the product is pretty expensive), especially if they are having difficulty with college level work. What does all this mean to those who like to call themselves writers? Is this a welcome new market that will find its way into freelance newsletters and trade journals? After all, the rates of pay are somewhat attractive, especially for graduate research and doctoral dissertations. And we all know t h a t college professors are not as demanding as editors. As they say, survival is the name of the game in these difficult times. I am reminded, ("uneasily, of Erich Remarque's novel about the refugee doctor who worked as a stand-in surgeon to keep from starving. I doubt that our new breed of stand-in students, now busily undermining their own credentials, are in s u c h ' d i f f i c u l t c i r - cumstances. What will happen? Some professors are already eliminating term paper and s i m i l a r r e s e a r c h r e - quirements, w h i c h , of course, is precisely what many students want. Some university authorities are considering lawsuits against term paper companies, and the attorney general of New York has already done so. Well, this is fine, if law and order is your thing, but the crux of the matter appears to be going unheeded: namely, the growing corruption of the college classroom. It is probably unrealistic to ask that overburdened students jeopardize their chances for "making it," or that professors challenge the validity of their own courses and requirements. Nevertheless, it w o u l d be, highly gratifying if the problem were being faced frankly and at its source, but there is little evidence that this is happening. But no matter how it comes about, a loss of the college research · market would not, I trust, disappoint many writers. ( M r . W i l l i s l i v e s in Washington, D. C.) *:*:*:S*:;*^^ "Perspectives" i* a page of literature, philosophy and education that will appear occasionally in the State Magazine. It will hiclude poetry, satire, and liter- an/ criticism, as well as topics related to the study of language and linguistics. Manuscripts are solicited from readers. Limited space, of course, will necessitate the acceptance of only a small number of manuscripts. In general, interpretative essays of literary and philosophical works, and essays dealing with higher education, will be given, preference. Poems are also solicited and will occasionally be analyzed. Fillers of literary and linguistic humor will be included as space permits. Payment will be made for essays that appear on this page. There will be no payment for fillers or for poetry. All manuscripts should be typed, double- spaced, and must be accompanied by a stamped, addressed return envelope.' It is impossible for the editor to offer critical commentaries on material submitted to "Perspectives," except for those essays or poems that he selects for special analysis. Manuscripts should be submitted to the Editor, "Perspectives, "EnglishDept. WVU, Morgan-town, West Virginia 26506. Sunday Gazette-Mail

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