Yesterday was my first day of assistant teaching at The Evergreen State College. I'm volunteering in a class called Paris Muse. It combines a variety of topics, creative writing, philosophy, french language, translation, and more. Students pick an area of study and focus their time on that. I'll be working with the students who pursue creative writing.
Yesterday was all about introductions. I introduced myself, then had students do the same including their writing interests and a book they've enjoyed. After that I directed them to a nebulous question: what is a writer?
I had them jot down some thoughts for about 5 minutes. I had originally wanted them to pair up and talk with each other about their ideas, before sharing with the class, but didn't really have time. So just had them share with the class right off that bat, which seemed to intimidate some of them, however, we did have some good thoughts voiced.
Then I asked them about their goals as writers. This seemed even more difficult. Despite the concreteness of the question. I think many of them didn't want to voice goals that were too lofty. Some wanted to strengthen their peer review skills. Some wanted to get directions in sonnet writing, world building, etc. I asked if anyone ever wanted to publish something. Almost all of them raised their hands. There is no reason not to shoot for that. I told them. Publication is scary, but ultimately, achievable. They liked that idea.
We talked a little about how I can help them focus their energy on supporting each other as a writing community.
Next week I get them for a little longer, which will be nice. I'm going to sit them down and before anything else, explain that I can do a workshop week three--if they want to give me a topic, I will prepare that for them. We'll see what they say. The workshop is completely optional. Not everyone needs to attend it, the ones who don't, can just use the time as writing time or studio time in the letter press.
So, after the first day, it seems like a good way in which to work me into the fold of Evergreen. I'm so excited for this opportunity. We'll see where it goes.