Fuck Pedagogy: Cutting Out the Sordid Bits

In the midst of the second draft of my teaching autobiography, Fuck Pedagogy, I am having to kill scenes that don’t support the theme of engaging students or knowing subject content. And so I axed this sordid tale from my student teaching days:

I became so relaxed in my teaching practicum that I went out late one school night to see a band, Snowpony at The Starfish Room in Vancouver. Not only did I stay to the end but was brazen enough to wander backstage after the show, sit down with the band and explain how they had to try to the oysters in Portland, the next stop on their tour, drunken advice I am sure they could have done without.

Lead singer Katharine Gifford of Snowpony

I woke early the next morning and looked out the window to see that my van was not there. Given that I was responsible for driving three other student teachers out to Maple Ridge for our practicums, this was a problem. I called everyone to say that my van had been stolen and that we would have to rent a car. I lay back down and only a moment later remembered that it hadn’t been stolen. I had left it at my friend’s house. In other words, I had done the right thing and forgotten that I had.

My van did not end up in the drink.

I picked everyone up and raced out to Maple Ridge, getting there just in time for my 8:30 class and announced the Free Write prompt (“I remember…”) before going down the hall for a long drink of water from the fountain. As bad as I felt, I had the revelation, as I returned to the class, that I could teach hungover.

Overlooked Manhattan: The Irish Punt

New York is known for its drinking establishments, most especially the ubiquitous Irish Pubs. The Irish Punt, like most of these places, offers a wide selection of drinks, a relaxed ambience as well as a friendly and most knowledgeable service staff.

Located at 40 Exchange Place in Downtown Manhattan, steps from The Stock Exchange, The Punt hosts everyone from security workers and teachers to stock brokers and executives, all with the same, simple desire – a drink (or two) in a secluded spot.

The Punt has served New Yorkers and tourists alike since 1995 and now, given the Covid-19 restrictions, needs our support. It’s safe as safe can be – I myself have visited a few times lately – and just like you remember it. So come on out and ask if McPhedran is around. I might even buy you a drink.

Anori Outtake: Bar Chatter

“Back to the grind.” The girl’s shoulders were thin and rounded, almost elegant.

“I have to show you this.” She clicked open her phone. “When I first started… What am I going to show you? I’ll show you when it comes up. I don’t know what’s the matter with my phone.”

“Did you say something about a ginger martini?” 20160628_220216She was still trying to figure out her phone. “It’s only in New Jersey.”

“You hear about Diane? She was in such a rut, especially after that stint at Benningtons.”

She had the app working. “My sister and the rest of them…I ran into Jennifer when they were leaving the city. She showed me this.”

“Wow.” She glanced at it and then the bartender. “Two ginger martinis. That would be so great.”

Damn Thud

I was let down again. Disappointment reigns. IMAG2350It was a writer’s workshop this time, an opportunity that almost seemed ideal, like it really would work. I was sure of that. Well, I wasn’t sure. Not quite that. But confident. And confident they would accept me. Almost. And then. Thud. Damn thud.20140104_131501I mean, I keep expecting something, at some point, to work. There should be. There must be. I mean, I get that it’s a struggle to find an agent and a publisher. I get that. But a workshop?! Come on! Not a workshop. What now? A deserted island. A mountaintop to clear my head. Damn thud. 20140104_131450Ugh and damn. When is this thing going to turn? The thing is to push ahead. To fight back. To make it work. And to drink. mcmanusYeah, at least do that.

“my bad side”: Another Scene Dies Its Little Death

I thought this was a good scene because the character, Tony was clear – his mannerisms and irritating tone – the dialogue moved, and Dee showed who she was…and then I realized that none of it helped the story. Therefore it is dead.5/365 (The Crumpled Paper)I don’t do camping.”  Tony cornered me. “Ever been to Fenwick?”

“Never heard of it.”

“It’s in the city.” He was lean and cocked his head in sickening confidence. “Big money thing. Fenwick.”

“You’re from New York?”


“It’s jacket and tie. I wasn’t into it, but it’s this big money thing, right?” He picked at his beer can tab, nodding to himself. “Augustine’s not like that.”

“It’s not a big money thing.”ebc8bd3f_modulescopperminealbumsuserpics270043moneycake“You know Marky? He graduated Augustine last year. He lives in Chelsea.”

“New York?”

He tried to put his arm over my shoulder but I ducked away. “We did a bit of pre-game and then we’re driving through Chelsea. Marky likes to drive fast, right? He makes this turn and then another. He thinks this car is following us. And he wants to lose it. He was crazy like that.”

“Why were you driving? It’s New York.”

“Marky’s got this beautiful Beamer, man. Series Three, right?” imagesHe put his hand stupidly on my arm again, like he was hanging onto a subway pole. “Anyway, he runs this stop sign, a fucking stop sign in Manhattan. Chelsea, right? And this car really is following us, right? And I’m telling him to relax.” He was bending down, trying to find an angle to kiss. “It’s the cops. The cops, right? And we have like a case of beer and a 40 of vodka. Marky is freaking out. I tell him I’ll handle it.”