Interlochen College: Memoir Course Day 3

Looking across a classroom filled with the bright, eager faces of my adult students never ceases to inspire me. This week, I happen to have 16 women. As varied as their ages and their smiles are, more than anything else they bring different life experiences to the table. I spent the afternoon in back-to-back tutorials with my students, discussing their work one-on-one. We concluded today’s studies with my reading in the Interlochen College of Creative Arts performance room. What an endearing group of writers:

Book Event #14, with my ICCA students

My tutorials had to be brief, due to class size and time limitations, but I came away feeling
awed and inspired by the different paths each person has taken to find her way back into the classroom. For some, it is a gift to themselves–something to mark a turn in life or meet a lifelong goal. Others hope for a path to publication. Some attend to gain renewal to a commitment to writing. And for a fair number, it’s the first time they’ve allowed themselves to formally invest–time, effort, and money–in a class dedicated wholly to writing about themselves.

Sure, some people say that writing memoir seems self-indulgent. But these women are here to tell a good story, and if story is the backbone of anything, it’s community. Story brings human beings together and it has done so since the first fire in the first “cave of man.” The women in this class want to write their stories and they want to do it well–to be compelling, specific, and evocative. Whether their ultimate audience is themselves, their families, or the world, their interests remain the same: to do the best that they can. I couldn’t be happier for them, or more honored to call myself their teacher.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.