Welcome to the blog! If your first day in Barbara’s class was anything like mine, you’re probably wondering right about now, “What, exactly, have I gotten myself into?” I was that girl two years ago — the one who believed full-heartedly that creative writing just wasn’t my bag. When Barbara cast her eyes around Coltrane Lounge, rooting out the feeble hearted, I wanted to raise my hand, sheepishly admit that I’d made a mistake, and scuttle off to a sensible, predictable seminar. History, I thought. Ecology, maybe.
But something (dumb luck? a little providence?) kept me firmly tucked in my shabby, overstuffed seat. Under the watchful eyes of John Coltrane and Company, and with the heater rattling and clanking in the corner, I resigned myself to what I was sure would be a horrifically uncomfortable semester. In the end, though, the decision to take this class was possibly the best decision I’ve made in my time at the College. Thinking back on my semester in 170, I can’t help but be incredibly excited for all of you embarking on this journey. You’re in for quite the ride.
If you’re wondering what, exactly, you’ve gotten yourself into — that’s entirely up to you, as I’m sure Barbara’s told you by now. Your personalities as writers will determine the shape of the semester. I can only encourage you to make the most of your time together. Dive into blogging — it takes a little getting used to, but it’s one of the most dynamic and exciting elements of this writing community. Throw yourselves into those in-class writing exercises. Take risks. And take advantage of each other, Barbara, and us tutors. A community of people who love writing, who collect and cherish words, is a dear thing.
I am excited and grateful to be sharing this semester with you. I’m looking forward to joining in your writing endeavors (I’ll be blogging right alongside the best of you!) and helping in any way that I can to make this semester a meaningful one. Don’t hesitate to fire off an e-mail if you’re looking for coffee, advice, commiseration about writers’ block (or ENAM 170-phobias!), anything at all. My kettle is on and my door is always open, and I can’t wait to get to know all of you.
Hold on to that shabby, overstuffed chair in Coltrane Lounge for all it’s worth. I promise you won’t regret the decision.
(A little addendum, since Maddie and Alex both talked a bit about themselves as writers. I’m an ES/Nonfiction major, which means — I like science, and I love words. I’m writing a senior thesis right now about western explorers, the Olympic peninsula and whaling — go figure — that, in spite of my best efforts to direct it otherwise, is insisting on morphing into a manuscript of poems. [Yikes.] I’m also the editor of the newspaper, so when I’m not immersed in my own creative writing I tend to be tucked away in Hepburn basement agonizing over computer failures, missed deadlines, story ledes and editorials. I was at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference last summer writing nonfiction, which only further confirmed my belief that a community of writers is the most fulfilling sort of community you can stumble upon. I live in town these days, over Taste of India, and my adorable, ramshackle living room is always open to wayward writers looking to amble off campus and chat for a spell. Come visit.)