Friday, February 29, 2008

How I Got into this Business and Where It Went Thursday

I didn't intend to do anything but start a writing club at our school. In November I was given permission to do so for the Jr. High and high schools provided I find a certified co-sponser on the current staff and that I obtain a substitute teaching certificate myself. I didn't even have to sub. You know the outcome of the substitute certificate (see the last post). Here continues the story of the originally intended writing club.

Thursday was our first meeting. I knew we'd have 9 students or so. I hoped we might get as many as 12-15. Before the afternoon's club schedule I went into the tiny half-room at the back of the library where we were to meet and waited to see who would arrive. To my amazement, 37 kids managed to cram themselves into that little space. The tables were quickly filled. More lined the walls, standing. Others leaned in the doorway or sat in what little floorspace existed. What's more, they are excited not just about starting a club, but about writing itself. They want to compete. They like the idea of running in-house writing contests not just for the Jr. High and high school, but for the elementary students. Mostly, though, they want to workshop papers with each other, to read each others' work and comment, to have feedback and find ways to improve their writing. They listened to our ideas and hopes for the club; they shared their ideas (good ones) and listened to each other and were in agreement about their goals. They wanted to have after school meetings to workshop, and then someone said, "What about over the summer? Can we do something this summer?" and was echoed.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was stunned. Stunned and utterly humbled.


Tor Hershman said...

Ohhh, Moi just did a "Quotidian" blog search and that's how I got here.

Stay on groovin' safari,

Anonymous said...

That's wonderful. That is a great thing and I look forward to more updates :)

Ben said...

wow. Oh that my eyes were as open as those kids at their age. Congrats pied piper.

Lauren said...

I envy these kids, and you, and all the fun and work you will all have. Who knows, maybe one of my future favorite writers will come from you group! Much luck and good wishes to you and the group!

Cindy said...

Thanks, guys. Today I broke the news to some of them that we're going to participate in a BIG language arts competition this month. The responses I got from them were, in a nutshell, "Yesssssss!"

Gotta love 'em. :)

Michael said...


In spite of all the talk about how fewer and fewer people are reading and turning to literature, I keep seeing evidence that there is a tremendous interest in many young people today for writing. Now there may be a big disconnect between wanting to read others work and wanting to write- who knows, but I've seen through a number of contacts I've had with young people that many are starving to write. It has to be a good sign.

BTW,those youngsters down there are pretty lucky to have the exposure to your talent!

alaiyo said...

Amen to what Michael said.

Proud of you, dear friend!

Fieldfleur said...

Wonderful and exciting stuff! It does me good to imagine you being knocked over with a feather right there in our ruralistic setting where writers/poets have much material.

Keep us updated!

Gretchen Birch said...

Yes! It was so much fun! I can't wait!