Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blog hop

Shauna posted about one of her favorite things, The Enneagram, on her blog and I keep having conversations about it. If you follow the link you have to scroll down a couple posts to find it. Basically the enneagram is a personality tool. When you read about each of the types hopefully one will speak to you and you will find yourself nodding and whispering as you read, "Yes, that's totally me." I'm a 7, Molly is a 4, Annie is a 3 or a 6 and we're all a little bit of a 2. Thinking through what we each relate to helps me to understand us better. You should go figure out what you are and let me know.

Today I was feeling nostalgic while teaching a writing project that I learned in college. Heather Sellers was my First Year Seminar professor. I loved writing in her class that I took three more writing courses with her during my time at hope. I wrote in all capital letters with Crayola markers and used mountains of college ruled paper. My binders were packed with drafts of braided essays, dialogue, narratives, stories and the genre she titled auto-fictional biography. We had to write every day in silence for twenty minutes. To find silence in the midst of college I found myself in dorm laundry rooms and back corners of the library.

I decided to email Heather after flipping through my old stories  because I wanted to tell her the impact she had on me as both a writer and teacher. Since leaving Hope I had sent her a couple e-mails and left her a note in her office when she was out of town but had never heard back from her. I fired off the e-mail just after 7th period.

Only 10 minutes later she responded with "Can I put this on my blog?" I flipped out in the middle of FBC and told all of the girls that I was going to be on a famous author's blog (she has written several books). Still thinking she might not remember me I was thrilled that she wanted to use my words. When I read her own post I couldn't believe she remembered exactly who I was!

Her post this afternoon:

I received a truly wonderful email today from one of my favorite students, Sarah Wright.  She came to my class knowing exactly how to write–I will never forget some of the scenes she created.  Or the little quilted pouch she made for me. Or talking to her mom.  Sarah was always one of those students who jump in fully, and bring more than they take, every hour. Here, I love how Sarah brings so much of her creative true self to her teaching, her writing.  Her students are lucky.
Here’s her email:

Just a few short years ago I was a student in your class finishing my braided essay by weaving stories about Keri Maxon, being the only one not drinking, and Joe Pop’s wisdom on life. Today my 7th grade student’s are editing their final drafts of their braided essay. Their stories cover broken bones, friends moving away, and pets passing away- the stuff junior high is made of. This writing is real, meaningful, and interesting–far above 5-paragraph and standardized essay prompts.

Thank you for opening my eyes to the possibilities as a writer and an educator. I was just looking through my binders from FYS, Writing for Teachers, and Creative Writing Multi-Genre and thankful for what you taught me. That to write well you must write often. That people are interested in your “best whiskey” and that you should write about what you know.

I hope the sun is shining in Holland, your students are invested in their work, and that your own writing is going well,  Sarah
I am so grateful to have these students. I celebrate the high point of every day in order to keep obsession, worry, and negativity corralled over on the other side of the county line. And, I will write one of my teachers this weekend.  Thank you, Sarah.

1 comment:

  1. OMG. That is awesome that you posted your letter on her blog, but even more than that... your letter was just beautiful! You are one talented lady and I wish you could teach my children!! (And by that I mean my future children... not my current children... I wouldn't wish that on you :)

    Thank you for inspiring me to be more grateful, more creative, and a more frequent writer!