I really, really love teaching.

Tonight I taught the first session of my speculative-fiction-writing workshop, this time for adult learners through the really quite terrific WEA. It's always a challenge when teaching beginners, particularly adult beginners, to remember that you are NOT patronizing them when you go slow and give information in small pieces. When someone is truly a beginner, those small pieces seem a lot larger than they do to you, now that you've been writing, and thinking about writing, and learning about writing, and thinking about learning about writing, and writing some more, for several years now. To them, it's a new country, and they don't even know which edge of the map they're starting from. I reckon my job is not so much to "teach them to write," whatever that means, but to give them things to think about that can help them channel all that fabulous writing juju in one direction, one that will mean they end up in a few weeks' time with a story they'll like and some skills to apply to the next story.

I gotta tell you, though, there's not much that beats the feeling of saying something to a class and watching them suddenly take up their pens and write it down in a rush of "Aha!" I have to control myself when that happens lest I giggle with joy.

Oh, while I have you: next time you're in Adelaide (or, for those of you who live there, like, tomorrow or equivalent — they're open Friday through Sunday and public holidays), make sure you stop by the Adelaide Hills Market (web site here, and blog here). My friend Tyce is well on his way to making this the go-to spot for anyone interested in food, wine, and plain old joie de vivre.


At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's great that you're teaching that course. I did a 2-day "get published" thing through WEA when I was 16 and it boosted my confidence immensely.

Yes, the teacher was a romance writer and we spent a bit of time learning rules such as "hero must have dark hair, or, if has blond hair, must have cold/piercing blue eyes". Also, "heroine must be so naive about sex that she cannot recognise male reproductive organs and is startled/amazed by them; if she isn't a virgin then she must be a widow with a tragic past and it's been an eternity since she's "been" with a man."

The point is, WEA is win, and I hope your class is full for all the forseeable future!


At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Jason Fischer said...

Next time YOU'RE in Adelaide, come to my goddamn house :-)

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Hi Laura, I would definitely agree that there's nothing quite like the fun of teaching, no matter whatever it is you're teaching! Dave


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