Kyle also took this class a few years ago with the same professor. I wonder what he wrote. I remember reading one of his poems, based on sensations, and there was another poem based on a color. I think Kyle chose "white" and talked about sambuca. I wonder if the professor will stick to the same assignments...
For the first one:
Mini-memoir: Bring four copies for workship on TH.
I'm thinking of this as assignment as "memoir as a series of snapshots of short films." You don't need to worry about creating a story at this point, or about whether or not the "snapshot" fit together. Hopefully this assignment will lead you to your longer nonfiction essay: this is practice and exploration time. Your goal is to create (re/create) part of the world you grew up in, to make that world tangible to readers. How do you do that? ( Assignment description )
I will admit some visceral dislike to this "place you grew up in/hometown" theme/question. The Ice-Breaker exercise on the first day of class was interviewing another student. Two of the questions on the handout were "What is your hometown? How would you describe it?" >_> My simple answer was "Malaysia. Hot, humid, delicious food."
Then, the next class we had an in-class assignment of writing "what we were made of" based on our hometown and poet Linda Gregg's describing what she's "made of" of where she grew up. (As an example of writing concrete images.) ( Excerpt )
I know the professor told us to avoid generalizations or abstract concepts but the first thing I wrote was "I am made of uncertainty built upon..." Grand abstract concept, that, "uncertainty." I envy Linda Gregg for having such vivid memories of a home-town.
Frequent rant, I know. I don't know if a lot of people take it for granted, having a sense and feel of "home" and memories of a school and/or a residence that's more than 3 years, but sometimes I feel they do. They don't really see how lucky they are. Even as they grow older and have different homes where they live with roommates, partners, spouse, family, pets, whatever, they still have a "home" with Mom and Dad (or whatever arrangement of parents and siblings there are). I can't imagine what it feels like moving out from a house you'd lived in for 16-18 years, or living/leaving in a house that's been in your family for generations. I can't fully empathize with the feeling of that kind of broken attachment. I can definitely empathize with the hassle of packing and unpacking, and some of the missing-home/homesickness, but I imagine my magnitude and degree of missing-home is different from theirs.
I also know there are a lot of variance in people's home situations. I'm describing an "ideal" childhood home life where there was no moving, a steady physical thing as a "home" where the parents don't move after the children move out, until they're old or in assisted living, where they can go back for (family) holidays, etc.
~End rant this particular time~
We did some in-class scribbling after she gave us the assignment. I have two memories I know I want to do, but I'm a little uncertain about the third one. And which question I'm answering -- three incidents involving moving, or three settings regarding the place(s) I grew up. *shrug*
We'll see how it goes, eh?
Oh, right! Please excuse typos for the assignment. I re-typed it from the handout she gave us (instead of copying and pasting it from Moodle) and my typing skills aren't fantastic now.