My first series of writing classes came to an end yesterday. I'll do it again for six weeks, beginning April 15.
I had four students in the session that just ended--not many but given the quality of their work and their participation in discussion, and most of all the generosity of spirit they brought to class, it was just swell.
It was interesting that of the four, or five including me, three learned English as a second (or fourth) language. I was the only native Southerner, hence the need to explain to all that bbq in North Carolina means pork and only pork.
As you might guess, the most challenging student taught me the most. Now, he was not a challenging person--quite the opposite, a very kind spirit--but he doesn't share all of the popular culture references that the rest of us had in common. I needed to comment on his work in greater depth and more clarity. No shortcuts. I had to stretch for an analogy that would make my point for me, rather than scribbling "It's a Seinfeld episode" or some such thing in the margin. I hope I can take that concentration forward with me.
I didn't just learn this because I already know it: there are a lot of good writers out there. I was blessed to meet four more of them, and I'm eager for more!