Those of you who follow my blog have probably heard me bitch and moan about teaching and students. And any of you who know teachers should realize that this is an occupational hazard. Get more than one teacher in the room, and voilà! the bitch session can commence in earnest. We love to talk about the vagaries of the teaching life, how students are and then how we are with them.
I've spent hours on beaches, walks, and in cafés talking about students, and the true, best answer of how to be a teacher has never arrived during any of those times. I suppose it's all about blowing off steam.
Lest you think I do not appreciate my students, let me reframe and recast. I do love them. I have had no better teaching in my life than the moments with my students. I've learned more about life and myself and human beings from those moments than likely any other.
Not only that, I've had a lot of fun, too.
And the reason for taking a class is not always about the subject matter. Classes can give us the discipline, the metaphor for what we want to do out in the world. Yes, we can get crucial information and strategies and details that along with the metaphor will help us. When I take classes, I realize that I'm given permission to focus on what it is I need to learn.
So I would like to promote two classes, both of which commence shortly after the new year cracks wide open into possibility.
The first is an online Novel 5 class through UCLA Extension. For those of you at the end of your novel path, things just about wrapped up but not quite, I'd love to have you. Class starts January 13th. Here is the official blurb:
This intensive workshop is specifically directed toward refining an advanced manuscript into a publishable novel. The focus is on structural and thematic aspects and the maintenance of the author's unique voice. Students work closely with their peers and the instructor to assess portions of individual manuscripts. Emphasis is given to developing and perfecting self-editing techniques. The overall goal of the course is for each novel to reach a professional level appropriate for eventual publication.
The next class is writing the novel, a beginning class, but one that is taught in an intensive, four-day writers studio on the UCLA campus. the dates are February 4-7:
There is a story in your head, maybe even written in bits and pieces, pulling and calling to you. But how do you start to shape it into a novel? How do you take these fragments of narrative, create believable characters, and arrange them in some design on the page? This workshop focuses on story, the backbone and driving force of great novels, which we write and think and talk about for four glorious days. We examine how novelists have created stories before us, and then look carefully at our own work to understand the structure and flow of a large piece. We think about how narrative, language, character, point-of-view, conflict, and tension shape and advance a story. And we tap into that amazing thing that can happen when we read a great novel and when we write a scene that moves even ourselves: the emotional connections words can bring. Students leave the class with a workable first draft of the first chapter and a clear idea on how to proceed with their novel by the end of the course.
For the Writers Studio class call Mae Respecio at: (310) 206-0951
You can also reach me through my redroom email if you have any questions.
Causes Jessica Inclan Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org