Journey of Learning

January 30, 2008

At the end of the first day of class, when Barbara asked if anyone wanted to leave. I almost raised my hand. Not out of disinterest to the course, but fear of failure. Failure of a bad a grade. Failure of embarrassment in front of my peers. Seeing what the rest of the class came up with in small exercises, I didn’t stand a chance. But something kept my hand down that day. An inner curiosity and fearlessness that I cannot explain. That little gremlin on my shoulder that told me to dare, has made all the difference four weeks later.

I had never thought of blogging before this class. So from what started as a requirement for the class became an addiction, and obsession. Before I checked Facebook every night, I would see if anyone’s 100 word piece hit home. I couldn’t wait for people to post comments in response to my blogs so I could start a conversation about the piece and hopefully something bigger. It’s changed the way I view writing. Rather than seeing writing as a weekly, X amount of pages about an assigned topic, I now see writing as a daily (if not more frequently) devotion to passion. In whichever form it comes—image, sound, text, though, reducing one’s resistance to the flow of writing and passion is what makes a good writer. And while I wouldn’t say I’m completely free-flowing yet, my ability to convert what I’m thinking into some form of writing has greatly improved. I point to my Stranger Study as one piece of evidence. Sitting on a bench, I observed a toddler and suddenly things began to click—my senses, what she was wearing, what she was doing, memories of my past. Also, the in-class exercise in which we moved to the music exemplifies how I’ve changed throughout the course. I absolutely got lost in the music and my initial reactions from the sound translated directly into my movements. Undoubtedly, I would not have had the will or capability to do this at the beginning of January.

My interest in my own work has grown as the course progressed. Before this month, revising and editing were nuisances tacked onto any given piece of writing. My braided essay made me realize how much I’ve changed. After our Thursday afternoon workshop in the week of our first drafts of our braided essays, we moved on. But I simply didn’t want to. This was my piece and I saw so many opportunities to change and improve it, but those were put on hold as we moved on to multimedia. It was taken away from me. The same voice that told me at the start of the term to stay in the class yelled at me to get back into my piece. This was when I realized the affect of the class. That at the very least, if my writing didn’t improve from external evaluations, my passion for writing has grown tremendously.

This begs the question that we asked all along the way about our pieces, our writing. So what? Where does this journey leave me? I’ve learned that writing is to be taken one day at a time. So I will. But today, I’m in the mood for today and definitely a tomorrow.

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