Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week 15 theme - Yourself as a Writer

I confess. I signed up for this class because I needed three credits for my recertification as an ed tech. I wasn’t interested in learning to write about vignettes, narratives, and alienation. I thought an online writing class would be a piece of cake… but I was wrong. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time going to an actual classroom…but instead I spent MANY hours in front of my computer. But now that I’m ready to submit my last writing piece, I know that I made the right choice on taking this class. I’ve enjoyed writing again for John Goldfine. I still remember taking my required English class with him when I went to EMTC in 2000 – and the warnings from other students about him – which all turned out to be bullshit.

My entire life during this semester revolved around my laptop. I soon learned that by Friday night or early Saturday morning I could log on and see what the weekly assignment was. If my first reading through brought me no answers, I would reread it several times to get the feel for what to write. I also read the works of previous writers. Their stories were of great help. My goal each week was to get everything written and submitted by Monday night, because I soon learned that I would get a response from the teacher (usually) on Tuesday. I would check the website for feedback every hour, just holding my breath for the “Yes, this is right” from him. Each week I was proud of what I had written.

Many times I had not a clue what to write about, but then an idea would come to me and the words would fly from my fingertips. My family was a big help for many of my writings (but they don’t know it). I wrote things about my mother and father, who were such a big part of my life. After mum died in November, I knew at the beginning of this class that I had to write “Alone in a quiet room…what do you see?” It told my pain of remembering how I took part in caring for each of them as they lost their battles with their diseases, just a few years apart. I can still picture in my mind where I stood in their modest home to see all the things mentioned in the piece. Another inspiration for me was my beautiful granddaughter Jordyn. As I wrote this semester, (and I even wrote about her for my I-Search in 2000 ) Jordyn was on the bad end of the deal between her and the doctors who performed her liver transplant – the first one. I will never forget what happened to her, nor will I ever stop hoping that somehow, someday, and it would have to be a miracle, she will be “better.” In my heart I know the probability of this, but…hey, I can hope, can’t I?

I’ve only shared a few writing pieces with family and friends, but maybe that will change. I’d really like to say “Hey, here’s my blog address. Go check out what I’ve written!” but I’m not ready to do that. Maybe in time I will.

Will I continue to write? I doubt it. It’s time for me to put away the “pen” and trade it in for cleaning supplies and a rake, maybe even read some of the books piled on the table. But if possible I will still frequent the sight for this course. Who knows? Maybe some of my work will be used as an example. If it does, I hope it helps a student with the meaning of the assignment, as someone else’s did for me.

As Frank Sinatra would say….”And now the end is here…


  1. Reading this I realized that I make the assumption unconsciously that a good writer and a good student is not having any trouble--because they are no trouble to me Whereas I assume a bad writer or a bad student is having trouble because they cause me so much trouble.

    Now that I think of it, that's a pretty dumb assumption: the good writer and student can't just toss off that good work, but of course, the bad student does exactly that: tosses off some nonsense I then have to try to deal with.

    Well, you invested all that time and struggle with the result that you made my professional life not only easy insofar as Reta Haley was concerned, but you regularly provided a beacon of light on what occasionally seemed like a plain of unrelieved darkness and gloom. That is to say, I always looked forward to reading your material--less of a job, more of a pleasure.

    I will indeed be using several of your pieces and will add this blog to my permanent blog roll for the benefit of future students.

    I'm glad you felt pride in what you wrote; you did fine work and it would be false modesty to not know that and feel pride.

  2. Thanks you so much for everything. I am proud of what I have done for this class. I appreciate the feedback from you and will smile when I see my name as a previous student of yours.

    I hope you get to walk the dogs more often now that the semester is winding down.

    thanks again, Reta

  3. "see my name as a previous student"

    Done--check it out!


  4. WOW, you made my day!!!

    Thank you,