Day 12: My Dream Class
-->Prompt: My dream course would be.... (to teach or to take!)
Last summer I took a Memoir course at NYU. It was ok. It held me accountable for writing. It was a blend of professionals, mostly like me, who had life experience they wanted to put down on paper--so to speak. I liked being held accountable for pages. I also enjoyed the writing prompts for on demand writing. It reminded me why creative writing is so important to the development of a writers style, vision, point of view, diction, and control of syntax. There is a fluidity that comes with creative writing that we don't find in technical and argument writing. Currently, our curricula does not include much creative writing with the push from CCLS and even NYS regents to write an argument, synthesize evidence and analyze writers craft. In focusing so much on the words of others (and how to use them to support their own arguments) their own creative flow is underdeveloped. When they step into high stakes testing situations, the skills gained from creative writing are not there. The ability to improvise on paper, something essential to both forms is missing.
Currently, my dream class is a creative writing novel writing course. We will write and read both creative nonfiction and fiction. I would love to have a class do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, each student working to produce 50,000 words in 31 days. Then spending the remainder of the semester or even year work-shopping, revising, reading great short stories and novels and then applying knowledge of writers craft through our own writing.