The other side of the mountain

So Starfleet Academy has a college-application intensive in mid-August for rising seniors, and they asked some of the English teachers to run essay-writing workshops.  This was easy to agree to do back in May, but as the actual events approached, I think we were all kicking ourselves for giving up three days of vacation (okay, it was really only 2-3 hours a day, and we did get paid).  I certainly was.

But as it happened, I rather enjoyed the experience.  I didn’t know any of the students, since they are all rising seniors, and it was nice to see what some of the older high-schoolers are like.  They were a little appalled, too, about having agreed to show up at 9 AM three days in a row, but they were pretty good sports.  We did some exercises that borrowed heavily from things I’ve done in creative-writing classes and workshops, which are usually at least somewhat fun to do.  The groups were small, so I was able to meet individually with everyone, and each student left with at least one good draft, sometimes two.

Meeting individually, I was struck once again by how much more agreeable it is to work with people on their writing when you are not the one grading it in the end–how much more congenial the atmosphere is.  For some of these students, this is the closest thing to professional writing they’ll ever do–writing for an audience they’ll never see but hoping to craft something that will touch those readers and remain with them.  (At least to the point at which one of them says, “Remember the girl who wrote the essay about restoring the ’69 Camaro with her dad?  Let’s take her!”)

I also liked having the afternoons on my own.  I did make my work area usable again, which makes me very happy.  And I finally bought a couch!  A startlingly reasonable one at Big Lots.  It’s supposed to be delivered today.  After Stubb gets home, we’re also going to adopt another couch, from the Snork Maiden’s friend Xavier’s family–this is one that the previous owners of their house left behind.  It’s in pretty good condition, and it has just been sitting patiently in their garage for the last couple of years. 

So I need to run out and do a couple of errands and then return to await the couch.  This will also be when I declutter the living-room area and start packing for Stubbville again (I leave in the morning, so I really hope there are no snafus with the couch this afternoon).  See you from Stubb State!


4 responses to this post.

  1. Ooh, I’d love to see your exercises, if you’d be willing to share. I may wind up in a very similar workshop with the rising seniors in a couple of weeks (all of the faculty participate in one of the class retreats, and I said that my first choice was to work with the seniors on college essays — so we’ll see what I wind up with), and even if not, I want to do more with my juniors this year on the kind of writing that would feed into college essays.

    Have fun in Stubb State!


  2. Posted by meansomething on August 15, 2008 at 1:32 am

    I’ll send you what I’ve got!


  3. I’d like to see too if you don’t mind.


  4. Posted by meansomething on August 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Great, timna, just sent you what I sent WN?.


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