Hopefully you read my “introduction” email thoroughly, and you’re ready to dive in to this class. If you haven’t, go ahead, return to that email, and then come back to this message.

Okay, so now let’s get started. I like to begin my classes with a quote or a question, and even though we’re all online this semester, I decided to keep with that tradition, so here’s the quote and questions:

When you write, it’s like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them unity. Your fingers have still not perfected the task. Some of the braids are long, others are short. Some are thick, others are thin. Some are heavy. Others are light. Like the diverse women of your family. Those whose fables and metaphors, whose similes and soliloquies, whose diction and je ne sais quoi daily slip into your survival soup, by way of their fingers.  

Edwidge Danticat

Take a moment and think about the following questions:

Why does Danticat equate writing with braiding?

Why are you taking this class in particular?

Why do you think others are taking this class?

What do you hope to gain from this class?

What does this quote and questions have to do with one another?

Some Thoughts

Anyone who has braided hair knows it is a challenge. It’s a skill. It’s not something you can learn overnight. Braiding and writing are both skills that need time, effort, and a lot of patience. Everyone in this class is bringing different experiences with writing–the good, the bad, and the so-so–and some of you may have never taken a “creative writing” class in their whole lives!

This class is going to focus on memoir, short fiction, poetry, and dialogue. Now, some of y’all might not be into one or more of those genres, but it’s been my experience that students end up enjoying a genre they didn’t expect to even like, or have fallen in love again with a genre they’ve just been secretly crushing on. As long as you make an effort with everything I assign this semester, you’ll be happy with your experience (not to mention the grade)!

Everyone in this class is a writer. Whether you are writing a text, a paragraph, an essay, or a novel, you are all writers. You may have different reasons for taking this class. Some might be taking this class because it was the only general education class available, because they want to practice more writing, because they write creatively, and even others aren’t quite sure why they’re here. Whatever your reasons or expectations for being here, please know that I and your peers are here to read and respect you.

Please take some time to explore this OpenLab course site. Use the menu to explore the course information, activities, and help. Be sure to check on the Activities tab where your assignments for Week 1 (which is THIS week) reside. I’m going to share a little bit about myself and I want you to do the same.

Curious? Go to Week 1 and find out more!

Also, if you haven’t yet, please…

Join this Course

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