The mysterious blog of a mysterious instructor of creative writing.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Holy Shit--I'm Actually Teaching Creative Writing.

Today I ran my very first workshop ever.

It seems like I've been waiting for this forever. I'm one of those people who would take a workshop class every single day for the rest of her life if it were possible. Workshop is great. So it's no big shocker that I've been eagerly waiting to get in there and get control over twenty some students and their first attempts at poetry. Their fumbles. Their triumphs.

This day was a beautiful day. It may have started out with a big, giant flop when I had them do a practice workshop of one of my poems, but they quickly redeemed themselves when it came time to workshop their peer's work. I'm sure it's hard and maybe a little intimidating to try and say "this is good" or "this is bad" to the girl who has control over your grade in a class. I'd probably be hesitant, too. It's just that this kind of activity has worked so well in the past. In Comp, we would always do a practice peer review on something I'd written--an old essay or an old memoir-type piece--and my students were always more than willing to say what they felt. I wonder if it has something to do with poetry vs. prose. Maybe?

Anyway, we had good participation. Even from students I thought would remain pretty silent throughout the whole thing. But, no. Everyone was on great behavior, and they surprised me with their savvy comments. We got into a few disagreements along the way where half the class was trying to convince the other they were wrong (brilliant), but it was all excellent conversation and debate.

I'm excited to head back into the classroom on Monday and do a full day of workshopping. We'll be doing three different poems per day from now on, so it's going to be a wham-bam-thank you-ma'am type of process, but oh so much fun.

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