Writer’s Log Stardate 20-1-12
I finished my syllabus today for my writing workshop that starts next Tuesday. Since this is the first time I have taught a writing class I feel like I am going to have to make it up as I go along. I must confess to some nervousness about doing this. Most people who teach writing majored in something that required them to take writing classes. The last writing class I had was in 1974, when I was in the 11th grade. I tested out of college composition and, because I was in physics, there was no suggestion of any sort that I should take a writing course in college. I shouldn’t have done that.
My belief that I might not be a disaster at teaching writing comes from some of my colleagues, who have assured me that becoming a successful writer myself has required that I learn the writing techniques I will have to teach. I certainly hope this is true! In particular, I have to thank my friend Mark Sargent, the outgoing provost at Gordon and an accomplished writer himself, for having the confidence in me to invite me to get involved with Gordon’s very strong writing program. And I should thank Jo Kadlecek, herself a successful author of more than ten books and the energy behind much of the journalism at Gordon. Jo was quite impatient with my concerns about how I would make out teaching writing, pointing out that I was actively doing the very things I needed to teach, which would give me the background to help students with their writing. She knows more than I do about teaching writing, so I am going with her assessment for now.