Last week I had the opportunity to attend a writing workshop at the local library. I have completed a lot of online courses and was dying to attend a classroom course or at least a class to get beyond the ‘virtual’ world for a change. Just then I saw this workshop listed on my local library’s website and registered myself for it right away.
When I entered the class on the said day, I could not believe myself. There were 6 people sitting in the conference room and guess what? All of them were very elderly and mostly retired. I first thought I had come to the wrong class, so I checked again with the library staff. No, I wasn’t mistaken – THIS was the exact same class. Ok, with a little apprehension I entered the class and took my place beside an old gentleman.
The old gentleman’s name was George and he asked me a few questions and we had a small talk. There was a pre-assignment given to the attendants and it was, ‘Your Favorite Book’. George asked me about which book I wrote about and he was pleasantly surprised that I had chosen ‘The Fountainhead’. He assumed I am too young to understand the gravity of this book. I told him I am not ‘that young’. Everyone at the workshop thought I was 16!!!
The instructor was a published poet and she told us at the beginning itself that she will act as a facilitator and will not be critiquing anyone’s work as such. This made me a little sad as I thought I will receive some constructive feedback on my writing which will help improve my writing. After the class, I asked the instructor about this and her answer made me think. She said, “I can critique the work but then more than taking it as a constructive feedback, many of the attendants will shy away from writing more and that is not we want, right?”
The class consisted of first reading our assignments, then she gave us a 10 minute assignment of writing on ‘famous’ and then again a 5 minute assignment of writing on ‘The day was…’. There were 22 folks attending the workshop with me and I was thrilled to hear the different perspectives of so many unique minds. The experience of the elderly was clearly seen in their writings and their enthusiasm at this age just made me feel so ashamed at how sometimes I crib and keep on saying I am tired!
I was an enriched person after the workshop with 22 different experiences stored in my kitty. It is amazing just how much you can learn by simple interactions with new people. It is rejuvenating.
And as I was sitting outside on a bench, waiting for my ride back home a.k.a husband, a gentleman gifted me a Bible copy saying that I have a blessed smile. Now, wasn’t this is a real great day for me?