Well folks I haven’t written a blog in a month. I’ve been busy teaching Creative Writing at U of P and that involves assembling lectures, developing activities, grading papers, and going mad.
Interestingly enough I think poetry was the biggest hit and that was the one unit I had to research. Although I’ve dabbled in it, to read and to write, I’ve never really studied it.
Don’t get me wrong. The short stories they wrote amazed even them and the personal essays were like free therapy and a new lease on their confused souls.
All in all I’d say none were disappointed in the elective they chose. And I say elective as an electrifying word because in a way it is. It means they had options. They didn’t have to take Creative Writing ENG340 like they have to take Basic Essay Writing ENG125 or College Math MTH120 (choke, gasp).
They chose to learn more about writing creatively and to study those masters who came before them and did exactly that – write creatively, and for all the ages no less…. Poe, Frost, Emerson, Dickenson and a slew of other noteworthy word slayers.
I relish how they reacted to learning about and hearing the work of famous poets, novelists and journalists. It was scary good fun watching them take risks with their own word choices and then share it with their classmates.
There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide in my class. You just have to spill your guts all over the page and then all over your peers as you stand before them and share your work, with nothing to hold you up but the laptop in your hands.
Every one of them is better off for it. They feel more bonded with their own skin and the skin of all their classroom colleagues. They somehow were emancipated from all those locked up secrets and scathing self doubts. Suddenly empowered to speak their peace and therefore find it in their lives.
Most importantly, they now know a little something about all those old, and newly renowned names that never meant anything before because they slept through high school English. And they are now fearless about choosing a weapon of choice whether pen, laptop, or lead to punctuate and titillate using only imagination and an army of figurative language.
Personally I haven’t worked this hard mentally, emotionally, or even physically (pacing during the entirety of each 4 hour class while I stressed over every deliverable of my well-planned and fine-tuned agenda) since the last time I, well, taught college – almost 3 years ago at International Academy.
What will I do differently next time? Almost nothing. A tweak here and there. But for the most part I just wish I could relive every single minute.
And I will.
Next term. (: